Dina Martina is more than a drag queen. Her show combines alarming costumes, dance and video with a hilarious style of wordplay that is all her own. Director John Waters has described her work as “[going] way beyond drag into some new kind of twisted art.” She’ll soon return to The Flying Beaver in Toronto with a greatest-hits show. Xtra caught up with her recently for a surreal little chinwag.
Xtra: You were in town almost exactly the same time last year. How does your upcoming show compare?
Dina Martina: This show is a compilation of all my very best material ever, along with some amazing stuff I’ve never brought to Toronto. In a nutshell, it’s the cream of the drawer!
I understand you toured this show during summer 2014. Where did you perform?
Yes, I toured this show everywhere last summer, from New York to Provincetown to the Sagamore Rotary. After Toronto, I’m off to the Gaza Strip.
You took umbrage when The Flying Beaver’s website described your dance as “unnecessary” for your last visit. They describe your show in a similar fashion this year. Does this trend distress you?
Not at all, ’cause whatever they say bounces off me and sticks to you.
Your visit will happen just before the Oscars. Any thoughts on the outcome?
I’m pretty sure the Seahawks will win. Even if they don’t, I’m excited to see their gowns.
Many people find this time of year dark and depressing. Do you get gloomy during the winter? If so, why come to frosty ol’ Toronto?
I might be prone to depression, but I’m also very resourceful. You know that old saying: “Cut off my arms and I’ll slit my ankles!”
How’s your love life?
It’s pretty non-existent, due to a mutual unspoken agreement between me and men. It’s been three years since my last boyfriend, and I don’t even remember his name. Do I care? No. I do remember his nickname, though; his college buddies used to call him “Reacharound.”
How’s your daughter?
Oh, she’s fine. I’m on tour right now in LA, and I wanted to bring her with me, but I already had two carry-ons and they wouldn’t let me check her. It’s probably for the best, though, because if I ever lost her in an airport, I think I’d be sad.
What are you looking forward to most about coming to Toronto?
The wonderful breakfast wines.
What do you do in your downtime?
Well, I’m a classically trained gymnast, so I’m always working on my dismount. But there are a lot of worthy causes I dedicate my time to, selflessly and effortlessly, like trying to find a cure for pinkeye — or at least a vaccine — and over the years we’ve made real extreme inroads in the form of some groundbreaking ointments.
Who are your favourite pop stars these days?
I don’t really care for any of them. Oh, wait — I do love Tyler Swift, for the same reason Aretha Franklin does: she has nice gowns. But other than her, I don’t really care for any of the new young female singers. You can see just how class-deficient they are, walking down the red carpet, wearing not much more than a tampon. ’Scuse my French.