Sapphira Cristál Comes to SF - 'Drag Race' Miss Congeniality to play Bimbo's

  • by David-Elijah Nahmod
  • Tuesday July 9, 2024
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Sapphira Cristál (photo: Jacob Ritts)
Sapphira Cristál (photo: Jacob Ritts)

Sapphira Cristál is most definitely a star on the rise. She's a trained opera singer, a songwriter, and a "RuPaul's Drag Race" alumnus. She has a new EP out, and a hit single, "Enough," which was shot on location in her beloved Philadelphia.

In the song's lively video, which showcases Cristal in a variety of colorful outfits, she sings, "I am enough for me, you can't love me more than me, myself, and I." She's surrounded by an equally colorful chorus of singers and dancers.

Cristál is now on tour in a show called "The Cristál Ball Tour," in which she shares stories of her diverse life. On July 17 she'll make a stop in San Francisco to do a show at Bimbo's, part of a multi-city tour that includes appearances all over the country, and even a few stops in Canada.

Cristál is a busy woman. She's all over the map. Even so, she found time in her busy schedule to sit down for an interview with the Bay Area Reporter.

Sapphira Cristál performing at a Pride Concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and conductor Marin Alsop, in June 2024. (photo: Margo Reed)  

David-Elijah Nahmod: Please tell us about Sapphira Cristal, who she is and how she came to be.
Sapphira Cristál: Sapphira Cristál is the embodiment of all the best parts of me. My kindness, my loving nature, my sass, my talent, and everything else you love about me, times 100.

What inspires you to do drag?
Drag allows me to express myself artistically through every outlet, utilizing all my separate talents at once.

Did you ever think that drag would be as big as it is now?
Yes. I think drag is and always has been the embodiment of freedom. It allows people to imagine a world where they are free to explore themselves and have fun, so of course it will be huge. Drag gives people hope, and anything that provides hope will persist and be adored and cherished.

Tell us about your operatic aspirations.
Opera is one of my greatest passions. When I was in college, I starred as Jack Point in "The Yeoman of the Guard" in Rochester NY and performed as Jack in "Die Fledermaus" at the Longy School of Music. Not too long after that, I ended up homeless in Boston which threw my operatic career off track. My dream is to play the role of Carmen in drag, wink wink. Who wants to cast me?

You're also a songwriter. What subjects do you like to write about?
My primary subject is love, and more specifically self-love. A lot of my songs can be sung equally well to another person or to yourself in the mirror. It is of crucial importance to love who you are, and my music is emphatic about that message.

How was your "Drag Race" experience?
I had a blast. It was simply amazing. I got to spend several weeks doing what I love most and meeting some fabulous drag queens and wonderful stars that I look up to.

How did it feel to win Miss Congeniality?
Truthfully, it felt correct. While filming the show, as always, I prioritized being kind, loving, passionate, and helpful, all of which are qualities that I deeply value and that also embody congeniality. It was a wonderful honor.

What can the audience expect at your Bimbo's show?
The audience better buckle up and prepare themselves for a night! This is a show about my life, about the person people saw on season 16. It's an interactive experience, replete with music, comedy, and stories of my experiences. I will be performing songs off my new EP, and I hope to see you there.

Sapphira Cristál's 'The Cristal Ball Tour,' July 17, 8pm, Bimbo's, 1025 Columbus Ave. $44.25-$80.81, 21+.

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