Holidays in Drag

Giddy Rockettes kicking up their leggy legs for Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular? Angelic-faced Sugar-Plum fairies pirouetting in The Nutcracker? Bah, humbug! How about Kiki & Herb: The Second Coming—a Christmas Concert at Carnegie Hall, featuring a 70-something-year-old, boozy lounge singer with saggy boobs and giant hair performing revamped Kanye West and Emmylou Harris holiday songs together with her devoted piano player?

“Both of us see Christmas as outsiders,” said Kenny Mellman (a.k.a. Herb) in a dressing room at Joe’s Pub, applying gray hair tint to his lengthy sideburns to summon his alter ego. “I’m Jewish. Justin (Bond, who plays Kiki DuRane) is Jewish. We relate to the people who can’t stomach” the holiday season.

“They’re ramming capitalism down your throat, they’re ramming religion down your throat, they’re ramming family obligations and shoulds down your throat,” added Mr. Bond, while dabbing a pale foundation under his eyes. “I think Kiki and Herb aren’t victims of shoulds.”

Since 1992, Mr. Bond and Mr. Mellman have been performing as the political drag-cabaret act, and this performance will mark their first return to the New York stage since last summer’s Tony-nominated Kiki & Herb: Alive on Broadway.

Although their act may be considered the “anti-Christmas” Christmas show, Mr. Bond admits to indulging in a little holiday cheer by visiting the Rockefeller Center tree and Bergdorf’s window every year. “It’s always so beautiful, and it’s usually more pagany than the other holiday ones,” he explained. Mr. Mellman, however, remains a holiday Scrooge. “Maybe make some latkes, but that’s about it.”

Kiki & Herb: The Second Coming—a Christmas Concert will take place Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. Carnegie Hall is located at 154 West 57th Street. For tickets,

Holidays in Drag