Las Vegas Sun

January 18, 2021

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RuPaul’s Drag Race’ cast member Derrick Barry on the Vegas show and the new TV series

Derrick Barry

Denise Truscello

Derrick Barry performs in “RuPaul’s Drag Race Live” at the Flamingo.

Sun on the Strip

Derrick Barry

Brock speaks with RuPaul's Drag Race star Derrick Barry.

If you’re in need of a powerful shot of Vegas showbiz glamour, you’re in luck. VH1 premiered the six-episode “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Vegas Revue” on Friday night, taking viewers behind the scenes of the launch of the “Drag Race” show at the Flamingo on the Strip and getting up close and personal with the six queens that star in the vibrant new production.

Only one of those performers has extensive experience on the Strip stage, Britney Spears impersonator Derrick Barry.

“Opening a brand-new show is always so stressful and nerve wracking, so the fact that there were cameras documenting all of it as well was very similar to what was going on with the [original] ‘Drag Race’ TV show,” Barry says on the latest episode of the Sun on the Strip podcast. “It’s a lot. You have to be on all the time for the stage show and the reality show side of it.”

While the backstage camera crew was capturing reality TV gold, live audiences were going wild for the exhilarating stage show, which opened in January and was forced to close along with everything else on the Strip in mid-March.

“We had only been open for six weeks and were still having large audiences when everything was going on and we started seeing other shows start to close,” Barry says. “And once we got the news that Broadway had closed and New York was in a state of emergency, we knew we couldn’t continue performing.”

Barry’s years of performing in a pair of Las Vegas’ favorite drag shows, “An Evening at La Cage” and “Divas Las Vegas,” created a solid foundation for what was to come with the Vegas version of “Drag Race.”

“When I heard RuPaul was planning to put together a show in Vegas I knew it would be something I would be honored to be a part of. And there was a lack of drag. I think it needed to be shown on the Vegas Strip bigger and better than ever.”

Listen to this and more on the Sun on the Strip, also available at Apple Podcasts.