EW exclusively reveals a first look at the drag superstar's upcoming digital solo show featuring lip-syncs to Lady Gaga, Barbra Streisand, Kelela, and more.

By Joey Nolfi
July 31, 2020 at 12:00 PM EDT
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Drag superstar Naomi Smalls has a new solo drag show in the works. But is it fashion? In the immortal words of Peppermint: "It's fashion," and EW has an exclusive first look to prove it.

As evidenced by The Smalls World Show trailer (above), the self-directed one-woman production features the visual artist (who rose to prominence on RuPaul's Drag Race season 8 and RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars 4) lip-syncing her way through musical numbers in a stylized interpretation of the Naomi Smalls multiverse also including an appearance by the entertainer's mother, raw storytelling about the loss of her father, and a family slideshow — all in an effort to build "a reputation and persona outside of reality television," Smalls tells EW.

Sarah Crump and Martin June

"The show is meant to be visually engaging in a way that I've never been able to showcase on a stage, or in this case, on a screen. This is my first time creating something outside of reality TV or for someone else's production. This is all my own," she says of the show, which premieres Sept. 1 online and features meditation on family, loss, healing, and relationships, all told through Smalls' stylized drag language. "This is my first solo show, and while I miss being on stage every night, the isolation has given me time to reflect and create something so epic yet so personal, with just my tight, close-knit family of collaborators who I love. This was a family effort. And you’ll see that throughout the whole show, whether I’m dedicating a Barbra Streisand number to my mom, reliving the memories she has of me as a teenager through a performance of Lady Gaga’s 'Dance In the Dark,' or transporting the audience to another planet via 'Frontline' by Kelela. This is the story of me and my family so far, told through the art of drag."

In addition to her signature ferocity, the presentation includes jaw-dropping fashions, which Smalls estimates she has conceptualized or designed about 85 percent of herself.

Sarah Crump and Martin June

"Fashion is something that I have always loved and enjoy using as a tool to take an audience even further into the picture I'm painting on stage or with my content. I like to think of myself as a truly visual person: Obsessed with looks, but for a reason. There's an intention behind it," she continues. "There are so many different places a mind can run to when they see a look, so I like to keep it stylized, focused, and chic. Working with Michael Brambilla and Beverly Luxe on the looks for The Smalls World Show has been incredible."

In addition to The Smalls World Show, Smalls released her ballroom anthem "Pose" in 2018, became an ambassador for Rihanna's Savage X Fenty lingerie line, and recently released a makeup collaboration with fellow drag superstar Kim Chi. She is also set to appear in VH1's RuPaul's Drag Race: Vegas Revue spin-off on Friday, Aug. 21.

Courtesy of Naomi Smalls

Ahead of its Sept. 1 debut, tickets for The Smalls World Show are available on Smalls' website alongside meet-and-greet Zoom packages that will benefit a charity to be announced.

Courtesy of Naomi Smalls

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