“Distorted Diznee” is a classic theatrical spectacle that views Disney characters through the lens of farce, recreating them through drag-queen portrayals that are high camp, outrageous, and comedy gold. The series is so popular that it has run for eight years and is now returning, post Covid, on October 22 at The Laurie Beechman Theatre in New York City.
This zany showcase is the creation of the Twizted Sisterz troupe of fabulous drag queens who delight in taking audiences on a twisted — and very adult — journey, where Evil Queens become Mean Girls, Pocahontas is a proud mary, and a little mermaid yearns for the carnal benefits of being an anatomically correct woman. It is 75-minutes of joyous madness featuring songs, energetic dance numbers, dazzling costumes and truly artistic makeup. Unforgettable and belly-laugh inducing, it’s no wonder that this show has gained a cult following.
Current Twizted Sisterz include Bootsie LeFaris, Brenda Dharling, Holly Dae, and Pixie Aventura. Past Distorted/Twizted performers include Bob the Drag Queen, Chelsea Piers, Dallas DuBois, Holly Box-Springs, Kizha Carr, Monet X Change, Shenea DeDranke, Shuga Cain, Sutton Lee Seymour and Tina Burner.
Performer Holly Dae recently discussed the show and more via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): When did you know that you wanted to be a drag queen and how did you get involved with “Distorted Diznee”?
Holly Dae (HD): I’ve been a performer for as long as I can remember. Drag fell into my lap and then snowballed into a fabulous, fun career that I have been enjoying now for 16 years. Drag performer Daniel Logan came to me with an idea for a show that celebrated Disney characters and he and I sat down to figure out the logistics. We thought of all the characters we would want to do, then we brought on an amazing cast. Each queen made their own mixes for their character and the rest is history.
MM: Which characters do you take on and how did you prepare for them?
HD: Truthfully, I picked my villain character first. I mean, let’s be honest, the best Disney characters are the villains. Cruella is such a fun, eccentric character. As far as the princesses go, I instantly connected to Ariel from The Little Mermaid, but I knew that her tail was going to be a huge hurdle. And then I got the idea of a “fish out of water.” Not to give anything away, but it worked well.
MM: Of all the Disney characters, who do you think has the MOST issues and why?
HD: A lot of them are tricky to stage, each in their own way. Jasmine flying around on a magic carpet, Lion King being all animals, Elsa and her big dress reveal. Putting cartoons on a small stage with no magic “pixiedust” and a limited budget was a challenge, but a super fun one at the same time.
MM: What have been the most memorable audience reactions?
HD: We love when the audience sings along, but then it’s suddenly our version of the song so it switches on them and they all laugh and get a big kick out of it. We have had some really great celebrities come to the show, too. One that sticks out is the amazing Dana Delany from “Desperate Housewives,” “China Beach,” and so many other great TV shows. We do a quick auction at the end of each show to help raise some money so that we can afford to add new numbers and to freshen up the costumes since quick changes are rough on them. Dana ended up donating $1000 and offered to take pictures with other audience members as long as they promised to help spread the word about Distorted Diznee. Talk about a celebrity giving back!
MM: What’s your favorite part of this zany show and why?
HD: I love that the show is always changing. As Disney gives us new characters or re-releasing the classics, we keep updating the show. So, if you have seen it before, come see it again. Most likely we will have new numbers.
MM: What is some of the best feedback you’ve gotten about this piece thus far?
HD: I think the biggest compliment is that so many audience members keep coming back and bringing friends. We have been running for 8 years now and there are people that have been with us from the beginning and still come back for more. It really touches all of us as performers.
MM: What are your ultimate goals for the future and is there anything else that you would like to mention?
HD: Ultimately, we would love for this show to continue on and keep evolving. We listen to the feedback of the fans and try to make the show bigger and better each time we perform. Whether that’s new costumes, new set pieces, or new characters. Just like the real Disney, this show has endless opportunities and I can’t wait to see what else we come up with!
“DISTORTED DIZNEE” runs select Fridays at 10pm. The Laurie Beechman Theater is located inside West Bank Cafe at 407 West 42nd Street — at Ninth Avenue, accessible from the A, C,E,N,R,V,F,1,2 & 3 trains at 42nd Street). Tickets are $22 (plus a $20 food/drink minimum). To purchase tickets, call 212-352-3101 or visit www.SpinCycleNYC.com