Synopsis: TRINKETS is set during a time when acceptance of a fringe group by the straight world was often little to none; as such, many drag and transsexual females were given no opportunity for real employment. In order for them to make a living, sex work was a common choice. The audience is introduced to a moment in the lives of an ensemble of characters in a story highlighting the tragedies and hardship faced by these brave defying individuals. And we witness them coming together as a small community to do the right thing.
Every year, shows line up across NYC with a one goal amongst them all: BROADWAY. Trinkets is no different in ambition, but it is different in tale. You are not going to find too many Broadway shows that confronts the poverty and the fabulosity of Trans-life. How to keep your head high, your heels pumped, and your heart going when facing life on the streets is the focus of first-time playwright Paul E Alexander.
TRINKETS is an original musical set in NYC’s meatpacking district and concerns a tight-knit group of drag and transsexual prostitutes who worked those streets during the 1990’s. Through book and lyrics, Alexander displays and integral, but harsh time of growth in the LGBT community, which is often overlooked. LGBT history is not found in history books, but relies on creatives like, Alexander, to remind the world the sufferings and resilience of this community, which he does through his characters.
Honey Davenport shines as Diva, a drag woman who is protective over her friends and fellow prostitutes, but lost in terms of her purpose. Davenport exudes the warmness and confusion of a good human being trapped in a bad situation. Sure, an outsider may judge her choices, but Alexander’s goal is to make you judge the limitedness of her situation. Certain lives are only given a few good chances, and a lot of bad ones. This can be seen through Antyon Lemonte’s Blondie, Jay Knowles’ Janet, and Mercedes Torres’ Strawberry. Each member forms a trinity of support and worry over Diva, as they try to come to terms that street life does not lead to a happy life. Yet, again, what are their options? Even so, the music of the show helps to elevate its darker themes, and gives an opportunity for the cast to show its lighter side.
Musically, Trinkets belongs in Vogue. You simply want to fashion strut your way through its songs that splash between hilarious views on sex to the harrowing views we have of ourselves. Either way, you follow the charming cast, and their electric voices because everyone feels so at ease. From the sweet Strawberry to the Fierce Blondie or from the powerhouse Burgundy Williams as Kitten Control to the commanding Kevin Aviance as Mr. Pea, the show is extremely fun, and uses the costumes and personality of its cast to supersede the small set. Yet, nothing overpowers the musical more than its desire to build hope.
From Diva’s discovery of her self-worth to Strawberry’s romance that happily works, Trinkets has all the potential to further a path to The Great White Way. Thus, I encourage you to check out its current run at The Gene Frankel Theatre. It is like watching a genius be born, of which you can say, when its on Broadway, you, literally, watch it grow from the beginning.
TRINKETS will perform on a Thursday through Sunday schedule. The run of the show is January 11 through February 3, all performances at 7pm. Tickets are $40 ($30 students/seniors). 10 tickets for every performance available for $20 (at the door). CASH SALES AT THE DOOR ONLY. – Please note there is no perofrmance on Thursday, January 25th. The Gene Frankel Theatre-24 Bond Street, New York, NY 10012.