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Dishy drag docu-series is a ‘Werq’ of wonder A 10-part look at world tour of RuPaul’s queens By SCOTT STIFFLER

Dense with dish and details, ‘Werq the World’ takes you behind the scenes, and beyond. Photo courtesy of World of Wonder

Put aside the fabulous dresses, formidable heels, life-giving lipsynching skills, and the ability to delight legions of fans night after night—and the queens of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” are just like you and me. They have their good days and bad, and who they really are is tucked somewhere between the work clothes they show to the world, and the naked truth seen in unguarded moments. That’s the tasty, oftentimes touching, takeaway, when viewing any given installment of “Werq the World’’ — director Jasper Rischen’s deliciously RuVealing 10-part docu-series, airing weekly on WOW Presents Plus through Aug. 8. Filmed with the blessing of “Drag Race” production company World of Wonder (WOW)—and all the unfettered access that goes with it— the series chronicles 2018’s May/June European “Werq the World” tour, which featured Alyssa Edwards, Shangela, Valentina, Latrice Royale, Sharon Needles, Kim Chi, Detox, Violet Chachki, Aquaria, and Kennedy Davenport. Each queen just mentioned gets their own stand-alone episode, but the whole group inevitably shows up during the course of any given installment, to varying degrees of interaction with the main attraction. (A consequences-be-damned gesture of support from Violet Chachki, for






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example, looms large in Valentina’s episode, which does a particularly good job at lifting the veil on what goes down before, during, and after those meet-and-greets with fans.) From waking up at ungodly hours to afternoon tech rehearsals in an unfamiliar venue to slaying it in performance to post-show shenanigans to tour bus bonding with fellow queens (and the occasional bunkmate picked up along the way), each installment seems much longer than its 35-minute runtime—and that’s a compliment. But like the “overnight success” of a girl who makes it to “Drag Race,” Rischen’s epic project didn’t announce itself to the world out of thin air. “I started doing a couple little video projects for World of Wonder about a year and a half ago,” Rischen recalls. “The first thing they had me do was make a couple ‘Day in the Life’ shorts of some of their queens,” including Gia Gunn and Aja. WOW liked the fly on the wall style of what they saw, and invited Rischen in for a meeting, during which it was proposed he turn his eye for detail on the queens slated for WOW’s upcoming summer tour. Other than that, specifics were sparse. “It was a blank state mission,” Rischen says, other than the directive to “come back with, like, six to eight episodes of 10 minutes [each].” Originally, the plan was to make “an episode per city. You know—the







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