Music

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’: 5 Rusicals We’d Like to See in Upcoming Seasons

Musical theater and the art of drag go hand in hand — both involve costumes, wigs, makeup and occasionally over-the-top performances. So it’s no wonder that RuPaul’s Drag Race struck gold when it learned to mash the two together.

For nearly a decade, the Rusical challenge ascended beyond its humble origins, becoming a mainstay of nearly every season. Beginning with “Shade: The Rusical” back in season six, the theatrical exercise asked queens to deliver their best renditions of musical caricatures. Whether singing live or lip syncing along with a pre-recorded track, the goal remained the same: sell your role to the judges.

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As season 15 contestant Loosey LaDuca explained to Billboard last year, the Rusical challenge works best because it is just that: a challenge. “You can’t just skate by in the Rusical — you can’t just go, ‘Oh, I hope to get through and be safe.’ You need to make an impact,” she said. “It’s a difficult challenge; you’re putting on a pretty extensive show, and having to learn it and perform it very quickly.”

The challenge itself may still be intact, but the artifice surrounding the Rusical has vastly changed. Throughout the numerous permutations of the challenge, the plot structures used for each Rusical have varied — some seasons employed entirely original creations, while others adapted the life stories of pop divas, historical figures, politicians and reality television stars to create a musical narrative.

In recent seasons, though, Drag Race seems to have found a formula that works — taking existing Broadway musicals and retrofitting them into a 12-minute cavalcade of drag hysteria. Spoofing properties like Moulin Rouge, Cats and most recently The Sound of Music, the Rusical format has blossomed into a ripe opportunity to poke fun at the art form itself.

So, what classic musical theatre productions deserve to get the Rusical treatment? Below, Billboard pitches five ideas for future based on beloved Broadway shows:

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