Recap of Nina Flowers at SPIN Nightclub

By J. Scott Hill

Her name is Loca.  She is a showgirl — a showgirl who knows the age-old advice, “Always leave them wanting more.”

The original Miss Loca herself, Nina Flowers — runner-up and Miss Congeniality from the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race — teased an enthusiastic audience with her elaborate costumes and impossibly vertical hair Saturday night at SPIN Nightclub on Belmont at Halsted.  Nina Flowers, AKA Jorge Flores, came to Chicago for one night only on December 5.

On RuPaul’s Drag Race, Nina Flowers was a fan favorite.  For the uninitiated, the LOGO/VH-1 series RuPaul’s Drag Race is a drag-queen competition reality show that is one part America’s Next Top Model, one part Project Runway, and a whole lot of fierceness.  Miss Nina excelled in every way: performance, makeup, hair, costume making and modification, sass, but most important, kindness.  She showed immense class, humility, and poise in a television genre designed to glorify and reward backstabbing, bitchiness, and secret alliances.

At SPIN Nightclub, Nina’s two numbers were energetic and crowd-pleasing — the second number being her new hit dance single with Ranny, “Loca” (#41 this week on the Billboard Dance/Club Play charts).  She was energetic, athletic, and beautiful.

Miss Loca is like a cross between Ivana Trump and Carmen Miranda, as re-envisioned by Patrick Nagel.  Such exotic fabulousness takes a lot of primping.  Nina Flowers does not just throw her face on and slip into her shift five minutes before curtain. Nooo.

Nina Flowers needs a little prep time.

Her two numbers were scheduled an hour apart, with a fan meet-and-greet to follow.  Nina Flowers comes to us from Puerto Rico originally, by way of Denver.  For a one-night-only performance for a mere $10 cover, it is understandable that she did not bring a giant entourage and one of her famous DRAMA DRAG shows like the ones she conducts monthly at her home club (Tracks in Denver).  Two numbers, a costume change — and maybe a hug, an air kiss, and a photo op — were priceless to the club full of her adoring fans. Most scintillated with anticipation for the hour between Miss Nina’s two numbers.

Still, I wish that SPIN Nightclub would have filled that time better.  Encouraging patrons to belly up to the bar while they feel the thump of the subwoofer does not sustain the level of energy with which Nina Flowers had infused the room.  Miss Loca’s appearance drew some pretty amazing local drag queens — some obviously paying homage to Nina’s signature look (Yes, you in the black with the feathers, I am thinking especially of you; I wish I would have taken your picture to include here).  SPIN Nightclub could have showcased some of Chicago’s sizeable pool of drag talent between Miss Nina’s numbers.  There could have been a Nina Flowers drag-alike contest.  They could have even hired a couple of birthday party clowns to make dirty balloon animals with condoms.  Most of the crowd was just happy that Nina came to visit, but I wanted more show in the show.

I realize that sometimes talent has a rider in their contract about being the only performer that evening: no one wants to come to town only to be upstaged by the locals.  But could Miss Congeniality Nina Flowers ever have a rider so catty and unsporting? Never, locas.

If you weren’t at the Nina Flowers appearance at SPIN Nightclub Saturday night, you missed a great little piece of drag spectacle — the only negative being that it was barely a taste.  I think Nina Flowers could have put on a three-hour extravaganza and still left her audience wanting more.  I hope the divine Miss Loca returns to Chicago soon, with either a full DRAMA DRAG show, or onstage support from some fine Chicago drag queens who can make the time during her costume changes feel as if it is flying by on gossamer wings.

Nina Flowers’s Homepage:

http://ninaflowers.com/

SPIN Nightclub:

http://www.spin-nightclub.com/

RuPaul’s Drag Race:

http://www.logoonline.com/shows/dyn/rupauls_drag_race/series.jhtml

Track Nightclub/DRAMA DRAG:

http://www.tracksdenver.com/content/

The single “Loca” by Ranny, featuring Nina Flowers, is available on iTunes and at Masterbeat:

http://www.masterbeat.com/

Nina Flowers performance photo by J. Scott Hill.

Nina Flowers poster photo by Venus Zarris.

Nina Flowers ONE NIGHT ONLY @ SPIN Night Club!

Nina Flowers brings a triple threat of talent to venues across the globe: an infectious understanding of how to bring music alive on the dance floor, a powerfully engaging connection to the audience, and a character transformation through makeup that can be matched by none.

Nina Flowers was born in the city of Bayamon, Puerto Rico and began her practice in the art of female impersonation in 1993. At only 19 years old, Nina discovered an intense passion and connection for the art of makeup and the versatility it allows in creating unique characters that brings life to the stage.

“The lights, the music, the stage, and the crowd – putting it all together – magic in the making”Nina Flowers

In 1999, Nina Flowers career reached new heights as she competed and won Miss Puerto Rico Continental and soon after Miss City Lights Continental. This humbling experience brought her new opportunities to perform with some of the best female impersonators across the country in cities like New York, Chicago, Miami, and more.

Nina Flower’s then stormed the scene on Logo’s popular TV show “RuPaul’s Drag race. Nina was the winner of the first of many competitions on the show. Always displaying talent, charisma, creativity and most importantly humbleness, Nina made it all the way to the finale.

Today Nina Flowers continues to enthrall audiences across the U.S. and beyond, performing in Night Clubs and also holding residencies in three major cities as a DJ: TRACKS in Denver where she spins and also hosts DRAMA DRAG; in New York city where he spins as DJ Nina Flowers at both Club RITZ and Club RUSH; and in Boston, MA at EPIC where he both spins and performs. Nina just recently released her first single, “LOCA,” produced by DJ Ranny, now available on both www.masterbeat.com and ITunes.

If you want to keep up with Nina Flowers , you can visit her website on www.ninaflowers.com.

The SPIN Night Club is bringing the icon to Chicago for one night only – arrive at Saturday night, on Dec 5th . You don’t want to miss this event. Go to www.spin-nightclub.com for more information.

SPIN Nightclub – Chicago, IL