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Coco Peru: Drag-queen Jesus

Raziel Reid and Coco Peru backstage at the Stanley Theatre.

“The people who walk around with ‘God hates fags’ signs are the same people who believe Jesus had long blond hair, blue eyes and was a Christian. Poor Jesus. She must be spinning in her grave,” Coco Peru said, wryly, in her New York accent, to the packed crowd at the Stanley Theatre.

“I have this fantasy that if Jesus were to come back, he’d tap one of the ‘God hates fags’ people on the shoulder and say, ‘Excuse me, hi, I’m Jesus. I’ve been spinning in my grave for the past 2,000 years, and I finally decided to come back because I just wanted to say, ‘Shut the fuck up! By the way, I’m a Jew, and this here is a Jew ‘fro.’ And then I’d like him to take their sign and beat them with it until it broke. But Jesus wouldn’t do that; he’d be able to see the good in them and bring it forth, and, well, that’s why I’ll never be a drag-queen Jesus . . .”

Violent tendencies aside, Coco Peru is divine. The Holy Mother of Laughter was brought to Vancouver by Christopher Logan to help raise self-publishing funds for his glamorous coffee-table book DRAG. 

The show was a combination of standup comedy, nostalgic stories of Peru’s childhood and musical numbers sung live. The encore included “The Chance to Sing,” which was composed by Billy Goldenberg and originally performed in Bea Arthur’s one-woman show up until her death, when Billy passed it on to an honoured Coco.

For my full review of Coco Peru’s one-woman show at the Stanley Theatre, check out Blitz & Shitz in Xtra in stands Aug 28. 

And check out this Bea Arthur tribute to hear her version of “The Chance to Sing":