After a six-year stint in Cirque du Soleil’s racy Zumanity in Las Vegas, drag legend Joey Arias makes a triumphant return downtown in the wonderfully bizarre Arias With a Twist. Co-starring a multitude of colorful creatures by director-puppeteer Basil Twist, the show follows Arias (in Bettie Page fetishwear) on a wild journey as he tries to get back to Manhattan after being kidnapped by aliens. Tied down inside a UFO, Arias moans to Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” as if he were the love child of Robert Plant and Billie Holiday. “I’m a virgin!” he screams at the aliens as they prepare to “probe” him.
But happily, the probing doesn’t stop there, as Arias travels—with the aid of visuals flashing on a scrim—to the jungle (where he gets felt up by flowers), the sea (where he sucks off an octopus), and the fiery depths of hell (where he has a ménage à trois with two obscenely well-endowed devils). Along the way, he performs a variety of tunes, including a gritty rendition of Holiday’s “You’ve Changed,” finally arriving in the city as a hulking giant (think Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman). Famished, he gobbles up a subway car full of people. “I love Puerto Ricans!” he exclaims. Ah, it’s great to have him back.