MY NAME IS JACKIE BEAT! (Randolph Mark Viverito, U.S.). 66 minutes. Sunday (May 20), 11:45 pm, ROM. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
When drag is done right, it's thrilling, and NYC queen Jackie Beat is one of the best, skilled at creating a cutting camp commentary that eviscerates social stereotypes with glitter and gusto. Her sheer talent is what sucks you into Randolph Mark Viverito's modest doc, which follows Beat and her real-world alter ego, Kent Fuher, onstage and off.
More than just a lip-sync diva, Beat sings well and rewrites tunes ingeniously, and the performance footage here leaves you jonesing to see Jackie in the flesh. Watching Beat, with a chicken-suited Will Munro, perform at old-school Vazaleen, left me nostalgic for both the crusty old El Mo and the T.O. queer night's glory days.
Beyond the valley of the camp, though, Viverito's behind-the-scenes look at Fuher's background (complete with childhood photos and videos) and family make you fall in love with the person behind the performer.