Monday, September 26, 2016

Applause! Applause! Review of Ginger Minj: The Album Premiere at The Laurie Beechman Theatre by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens

This review of Ginger Minj: The Album Premiere at The Laurie Beechman Theatre was 
written by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens and published in Volume X, Issue 6 (2016) of 
the online edition of Applause! Applause!

Ginger Minj: The Album Premiere
Written & Performed by Joshua Eads-Brown
The Laurie Beechman Theatre
407 West 42nd Street
New York, New York 10036
Reviewed 9/22/16  

Ginger Minj (Joshua Eads-Brown) is back in New York City introducing us to her first album entitled Sweet T, which is set to be released on October 21, 2016. She basically sang five songs from the album with backup video, and from what I heard, I would highly recommend you purchase it. Ginger Minj has a strong and powerful voice. She sings perfectly in tune and each of the songs is accompanied with some personal story from her life, even the covers. She gave this show her all. When speaking of the emotional abuse she suffered at the hands of her father, she got highly personal and honestly spoke about her efforts over the past two years to reconcile with her dad after he reached out to her during the 7th season of RuPaul's Drag Race saying he was proud of her and wanted to start over. When she spoke of her grandfather Roy, the man who raised her and showed her love, she broke down in tears, not just in remembrance of a great, generous, and selfless man, but also because 400 of her fans showed up in Leesburg, Florida with flowers in hand to attend his funeral and pay their respects. 

Appearing in the 7th season of RuPaul's Drag Race, Ginger Minj introduced herself as an "overweight, asthmatic, chain-smoking, cross-dresser from Orlando." Nothing much has changed nor would I want it to. However, Ms. Minj should seriously consider giving up the smokes especially since she is asthmatic. She has worked at Pulse, Hamburger Mary's and Parliament House in Orlando, Ultra Lounge in Cocoa Village, and as an actor in Sleuths Mystery Dinner Show on International Drive. Ginger Minj has long reigned as The Comedy Queen Of The South, with pageant titles including Miss Gay United States 2013 and Miss National Comedy Queen 2012. Before becoming Ginger Minj, Joshua Eads-Brown was a child actor starring in a series of Christian movies and books on tape, and even won a Best Actor Award for the State of Florida in 2002.

As a child, Ginger said the shy boy underneath named Joshua knew he was different but didn't know how or why. He became a fan of Divine after his grandparents rented Pink Flamingos for him, which he watched in private under a blanket in their Florida Room. As he became obsessed with That Beautiful Divine Entity (Creature), his father tried to make a man out of him by encouraging him to play football. He went along, starting off as "a tight end" and ending up "a wide receiver." As time went by, he preferred hanging out with freaks since it made him look normal by comparison. Eventually, his grandfather asked him if he was "a gay" to which he answered that he has tried to like girls but just couldn't. His grandfather accepted him and said, "if anyone comes at you, let me know and I'll have your back." That is truly an example of unconditional love. 

Ginger Minj has dedicated this show to her fans. The Sweet T album, which is about Truth, shares with the listener insights into who Joshua and Ginger really are and what they have been through. Sure there are jokes told in her interactions with audience members such as, "Don't get too close - you might get cockeyed!"; "You look like a picnic ready to be had!"; and "You look like a one-man living pride parade!" but most of the show is about revelation told in chapters (Chapter 1 - Dream A Little Dream; Chapter 2 - You Think You're A Man; Chapter 3 - Father's Song; Chapter 4 -  Losing My Religion; and Chapter 5 - Leave It All Behind). In the Losing My Religion segment, Ginger tells the audience, "I can't save your soul but I can get you on your knees screaming for Jesus!" In the Leave It All Behind segment, she warns "we will never reach our full potential until we let go of things that hold us back." In the end, Ginger Minj reveals all by removing her make-up and transitioning back into Joshua before singing her last song.

This show did not have the politically incorrect edge her last show had nor was it well-scripted or directed. It appeared at times as if she was making up what to do next as she went along and if you are not a fan of hers from RuPaul's Drag Race, there were segments of the show, such as the Question & Answer period, that you may not find interesting. The stripping down would have been more dramatic and effective if Ginger sang Charles Aznavour's What Makes A Man A Man instead of simply taking questions. Ginger Minj certainly put it all out there (she didn't "tuck" because she was wearing a long gown) and shared a piece of her soul with the audience. She showed love and received it in return. 

Ginger Minj told us, "Don't Listen To Darkness. Dream Your Own Way!" and reminded everyone that "If men can look this good (referring to herself in drag), then there's no excuse for ugly women!" Minj is a very entertaining performer who I recommend you see. For more information about Ginger Minj, visit 

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