Bianca Del Rio Brings 'Rolodex of Hate' to Valley Stage

By David-Elijah Nahmod, June 2015 Issue.

"RuPaul's Drag Race" winner Bianca Del Rio brings her outrageous stand-up show to the Orpheum Theater in Phoenix. The show is called Rolodex of Hate, and attendees can expect some entertaining, if not eyebrow-raising, comedy.

You may indeed call Del Rio a drag queen, but don't ever forget that she is actually a man in a dress.

"She's an extension of who I am," Del Rio told Echo, speaking by phone from New York City. "I am not an identity, not a character. I'm a stand-up comic who happens to be a drag queen."

All photos courtesy of Photo credit: Magnus Hastings.

The New Orleans native currently lives in New York City, where, according to her, she pays a great deal of money for an apartment that's no bigger than a closet.

Del Rio spent the better part of two decades designing costumes for theater and opera, while also appearing in New York City and New Orleans clubs. She appeared in The Sons of Tennessee Williams, a feature length documentary about the New Orleans drag community, and National Lampoon's Dirty Movie (2011). She played the Master of Ceremonies in a New Orleans production of the classic musical Cabaret, and Angel, the HIV-stricken drag queen in Rent. Yet real success eluded her.

All that changed when she went from being a minor player to bona fide celebrity after taking home the top prize on the sixth season of Logo's RuPaul's Drag Race.

She said she has fond memories of her experience as a part of the show's cast and has a great deal of admiration for RuPaul.

"RuPaul is amazing!" Del Rio said. "I've heard stories from other drag queens who may have seemed bitter that they lost. But we got to schmooze with him. He cares about the contestants and is very hands-on in every aspect of production."

And, Del Rio reports, the longest contestants last on the show, the greater the odds of getting to know the show's legendary host a little better than the rest.

"As we lost contestants, it [became] more intimate," she said. "You get to know Ru."

But the Drag Race experience is not without its tensions.

"It's a roller coaster," Del Rio said. "One show may not be good, but you can't tell people that it get's better next week. I learned to shut the f**k up – which is hard for a drag queen."

The Phoenix show, Del Rio said, will be a simple stand-up act, though probably not a show you'd want to bring the kids to.

"It's just me on a bare stage," she said. "It's a chance to do what I want to do – no singing or dancing. We have enough drag queens doing that, you don't need me doing it, too."

Del Rio's hilarious brand of insult humor has gotten her dubbed the Joan Rivers of drag by the New York Times. She added that her drag name was chosen by a friend in a bar and happily revealed that her "boy name" is Roy Haylock. She told Echo what audiences can expect of her.

"It's my 'Rolodex of Hate,'" Del Rio said. "The world is too PC, everyone is offended by everything. This show is not for sissies! This show gives me a chance to put things out there – these are the things that helped shaped my hate!"

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