Bianca Del Rio, a.k.a. Roy Haylock, has, over the last several years, become increasingly popular as one of New York's most respected drag queens, heralded for her sharp sensibility, iconic style and memorable one-liners. This Bianca love reached a fervent pitch across the country on this season of Logo TV's "RuPaul's Drag Race" which she won handily, returning to New York in a blaze of glory with her local performances mobbed by ardent fans.
Appearing opposite no less than James Franco in Broadway Bares, Bianca received the longest and wildest entrance ovation since Patti LuPone returned to the New York stage post-Sunset Boulevard in Pal Joey in 1995. As Broadway professionals have long known, Haylock's talents lie not only in front of the curtain, but backstage as well, with a long career in costuming for the performing arts, including a staff position with the legendary Barbara Matera, Ltd.
Haylock loved the arts from an early age and in high school, he got involved in the costume shop of a local dinner theatre, where he eventually began performing as well, mostly in musicals.
"You can hide more in musical theatre as opposed to doing a straight play, because it's always a large cast with people clunking around. I was always the one off to the side who might not have a name, but you're there."
A small featured role in a 1996 New Orleans area production of the cult musical Pageant changed everything. His comic timing led to more feaured roles in musicals including the Emcee in Cabaret, Moonface Martin in Anything Goes, Angel in Rent and even Mazeppa in Gypsy at the Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre.
"They were kind of antsy and nervous about casting a man as Mazeppa. I'm like, 'Come on! She's a man as it is.' The other strippers were women. Nobody questioned it once we did it. Mazeppa's always an amazon with a deep voice anyway."
He kept up the costume work, though.
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