14 ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Queens who played theater stars in Snatch Game
Where would we be without RuPaul’s Drag Race? Since theaters shut in March 2020, there’s been six seasons to enjoy, with drag queens becoming global stars. A highlight in any Drag Race series is Snatch Game, where the contestants try their hand at impersonating iconic celebrities.
Nobody is safe from being impersonated. Previous series have seen everyone from Ellen Degeneres to Maya Angelou at the mercy of drag queens. But, we have a special place in our hearts for the drag queens who decide to take on theater stars.
Take a walk down the red carpet with all the RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants from around the world who’ve been theater characters in Snatch Game.
Drag Race US
Aiden Zhane as Patricia Quinn
In season 12, Aiden Zhane portrayed Patricia Quinn, best known for originating the role of Magenta in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Unfortunately, Zhane couldn’t put the judges into a “Time Warp” and was forced to make a jump to the left, as she was subsequently eliminated from the competition.
Alexis Michelle as Liza Minnelli
Life was a cabaret for Alexis Michelle, choosing Liza Minnelli as her Snatch Game icon. Using quick wit and staying in character throughout, the name on everybody’s lips wasn’t Roxie Hart — it was Alexis Michelle. For her performance, Michelle was crowned the Snatch Game winner.
BenDeLaCreme as Maggie Smith
The sixth season of Drag Race made stars out of Bianca Del Rio and Courtney Act, who have now both made their West End debuts. But, BenDeLaCreme received unanimous approval for her performance as Maggie Smith. For Snatch Game, BenDeLaCreme sought inspiration from Downton Abbey, but Smith’s lifetime of theater includes Broadway and West End appearances, as well as playing Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter film series. BenDeLaCreme won her Snatch Game as the acting octogenarian.
Bob the Drag Queen as Uzo Aduba and Carol Channing
Taking on one person for Snatch Game is difficult enough, but two? Bob The Drag Queen made us say hello to Crazy Eyes and “Hello, Dolly!” in a double-bill of impressions. On paper, an Uzo Aduba and Carol Channing mashup shouldn’t work, but Bob’s season 8 performance was a masterclass in quick-witted celebrity impersonations.
Jan as Bernadette Peters
The self-confessed season 12 musical theater lover played Bernadette Peters in Snatch Game. Having been in Sondheim musicals like Sunday in the Park With George, Gypsy, Follies, and Into the Woods, Peters’s career definitely provides a wealth of musical material. For her performance, Jan was declared, in a way that Sondheim would write, as all right, good, defended, secure, solid, mediocre, or in one word, safe.
Mariah Paris Balenciaga as Joan Crawford
Competing in season 3, Mariah Paris Balenciaga was one of the first ever RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants to take on this hallowed challenge, so this season 3 queen was guaranteed to make history. Deciding to emulate the American film actress turned Broadway starlet Joan Crawford proved tricky though, with the judges slating her quiet nature. After Snatch Game, Balenciaga was eventually eliminated from the competition.
Manila Luzon as Barbra Streisand
Originally competing on season 3 of Drag Race, Manila Luzon has since competed in two “All Star” seasons, where losing queens vie for the crown once more. In All Stars 4, Luzon portrayed the funny girl herself, Barbra Streisand, trying to win the heart of a potential suitor in a “Blind Date” challenge. Impressing the heartthrob behind the wall, Luzon as Streisand eventually became a “Woman in Love” and was selected as the winner.
Nina West as Harvey Fierstein and Jo Anne Worley
In season 11, audiences were treated to another Snatch Game double act, as Nina West took on two Broadway stars. First, she portrayed Fierstein, who originated the role of Edna Turnblad in Hairspray, a role that’s played by a man dressing as a woman. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, West became Worley, who recently starred in Wicked, giving viewers a double dose of stagey jazz hands.
Pandora Boxx as Carol Channing
In the 1940s, Carol Channing starred in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and she also originated the role of Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly! on Broadway. This statement proved true over 70 years later, with Pandora Boxx’s witty take on the Broadway diva. Competing in the first ever Snatch Game, this season 2 queen ranked high as Channing, sitting alongside portrayals of Pink, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, and even RuPaul himself.
Sasha Velour as Marlene Dietrich
No, it’s not that performance with the rose petals falling out of the wig. But, the season 9 winner gave a highly-ranked impersonation as the German-American actress. Although Dietrich’s widely known for her silent films, Velour breathed a new lease of life into the 20th century actress.
Tatianna as Ariana Grande
Yes, we know that Ariana Grande is a Grammy Award-winning vocalist, but she made her Broadway debut in 13 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, so she’s a theater kid at heart. On All Stars Season 2, Tatianna tried to be a “Dangerous Woman” in Snatch Game, but failed to impress, and was subsequently eliminated.
Yvie Oddly as Whoopi Goldberg
Although Yvie Oddly wowed the judges and viewers throughout the entire series, her Snatch Game performance left a lot to be desired. Yvie Oddly picked The Color Purple and Sister Act’s Whoopi Goldberg to portray, but needed divine intervention to assist as she was placed in the bottom two. Thankfully, she was saved in a “double sashay” and went on to win the series.
Drag Race UK
Lawrence Chaney as Miriam Margolyes
Miriam Margolyes is a zany performer, who is loved the world over for her no-nonsense commentary. In attempts to capture her eccentric personality, the Scottish drag queen portrayed Margolyes in season 2 of Drag Race UK. But, rather than referencing her performances in Harry Potter films and her West End performance as Madame Morrible in Wicked, Chaney was too intellectual, eventually having to lip sync for her life.
Drag Race Canada
Scarlett BoBo as Liza Minnelli
If one Liza Minnelli performance wasn’t enough for you, then “Maybe This Time” you’re in luck. In the first Canadian Drag Race series, Scarlett BoBo sought inspiration from the Cabaret star. Declared safe, BoBo then continued placing high in the competition, eventually becoming runner up.