‘Wigstock’ was born to prove that drag queens can show themselves during the day, and not just at midnight shows at The Pyramid, across from Tompkins Square Park, where the festival was heard. Part of the fun was that the people in the audience were encouraged to wear a wig, in solidarity with the performers. I wasn’t there the very first year, but I was there when the event still felt like a family thing. Now, of course, drag via ‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race,’ is as mainstream as one gets, and drag nowadays is so commercial and finessed. During those time, drag was more about personality, and uniqueness – each queen had something intelligent and witty to say.
That, of course, is what ‘Wig’ tries to say. This documentary is as big as one can get – it is on HBO. and produced by a whole slew of people (Neil Patrick Harris and his husband among the eight listed) and has interviews with the OGs, like Lady Bunny and Linda Simpson. Sure, the message is repeatedly reminded, and shown (the archival footage from the 90s is special to watch) but the film is a bit all over the place. Did we really need all the footage of the new last Woodstock that seems so commercial and corporate? I guess they needed to prove their original point. But still, there are a lot of things that can be taken away from the film, and the children should be able to learn a thing or two from the ‘old queens’ who paved the way for them, so they can shamelessly watch ‘Drag Race’ now in the comfort of their couches.