Home Features Q&A: Latrice Royale and Christopher Hamblin Present: Here’s To Life, a Homecoming!

Q&A: Latrice Royale and Christopher Hamblin Present: Here’s To Life, a Homecoming!

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Latrice Royale and Christopher Hamblin / Jenny Gorman

Latrice Royale: Here’s to Life is a one woman show which combines her love of story-telling and music on Saturday, February 1 at 7 and 9:30 pm at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center (3385 N.E. 188 Street).

Born Timothy Wilcots in Compton, California, Latrice Royale is large and in charge, chunky yet funky, bold and beautiful! After 20 years in the business of female impersonation, Latrice’s unique talent came to the attention of the world on RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2012 as well as during her return to RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars in 2019. 

Accompanied by her husband Christopher Hamblin, they take the audience on an incredible journey through her life story of growing up gay in Compton, the circumstances surrounding her “unfortunate incarceration” and how her positive perspective helped her get through it all. 

It was once again a pleasure to sit down with my friend of over 20 years, and her talented hubby for this Hotspots interview:

We all have seen your proposal video, but how did you meet? And when did you each know he was the one?

Christopher – I went to see Latrice perform at the Edge in Knoxville Tenn where I was living at the time. I went to the show like any other fan, and I offered to help take pics in the meet and greet, and now 7 years later I am still doing the meet and greet.

After the club that night we talked for quite awhile and he messaged me before I even got back to my place. A few weeks later we had a conversation on the phone and it seemed like it was getting more serious and then he ghosted me because he felt we were not on the same page. But then we talked things out, and I told him if he wanted to prove he was the one he would have to start doing that, and he did.  When we finally had a good make out session, I knew he was the one! 

Latrice – That first night, I dropped my sharpie on purpose, he bent over to pick it up and the rest is history. 

I knew I was in trouble that very first night when we stayed up talking all night. I was denying it but the following weekend we saw each other and talked the entire night and I knew. 

Tell me about how the proposal came together?

Latrice – Honestly I started thinking about it 2 years before I actually executed it. I planned it for that night as I knew we would be in Seattle, and holds a special place in both our hearts. The week prior to the proposal the Pulse massacre happened and I was re-thinking it, but I decided we needed some good love stories out there, so I went ahead with it. 

Your 8th year producing Miss and Mr. Pride South Florida is coming up on March 23 at the Aventura Cultural Center where Raul and Kennedy are stepping down. Tell me more about that (as if I don’t know all the details already…LOL)? 

Latrice – This is especially exciting, because this pageant holds a very special place in my heart as a former. It has been my mission and goal to re-introduce the system to our community (there was 7 year gap in the pageant), and after last year I feel like we have, made great progress and breakthrough in terms of attendance. 

Christopher – I have really appreciated the opportunity to do something different in the world of pageantry as I am the live accompanist in Evening Wear. It’s a challenge every year for me to find something to play that will add to the ambiance and let the talent shine. 

You have traveled the world doing many different types of shows. How did Here’s To Life come about and was Christopher in it from the beginning? 

Christopher – I was at home playing Porgy and Bess on the Piano and Tim was cooking and started singing it, and I said if you really wanted to sing that you could (that ended up being the first song in the show). That’s when we realized we should have a show. The original workshop of the show happened at Hunters. The show was half lip synch and half singing at the time. We then realized people wanted to really hear Latrice’s Voice the whole show and that’s how Here’s To Life was born. It then came to the attention of MiMi Imfurst and she came to Florida and spent a week with us so we could develop the script. 

Where has the show traveled to?

Christopher – All through Europe, Norway and Canada, Los Angeles, Seattle, New York City, Minneapolis, Detroit, and Provincetown.  

Are you excited to be performing your successful show in your home town right here in South Florida? And is there more pressure to perform it here? 

Latrice – Ecstatic…..actually, I am beyond ecstatic, but honestly a little nervous. I don’t want to say pressure, but I am really excited to connect all the dots. 

Christopher – I’m really excited to play with our band again. Sometimes it’s just me on the piano but since its south Florida we want to show out for our home town and the whole band is coming in. We have PJ Roberts on Bass, and Drummer David Tedeschi (Post Modern Jukebox). In addition, we also Kennedy and Raul (Miss and Mr. Pride South Florida) in the show, and we are excited about that. 

What should our readers expect of Here’s To Life?

Latrice – You should expect to have an evening of high glamour, lots of laughs, touching stories, and leave feeling invigorated like you can conquer the world. 

You have a lot of Latrice Merchandise, where do your fans buy this? 

Latriceroyale.com or you can buy it in person at the show.

What does the future hold for Latrice and for Timothy and Christopher? 

Latrice – for Latrice, the sky the limit: Acting is a real passion, and after AJ and the Queen it renewed my desire. I was also a creative consultant in the writer’s room on AJ and the Queen, and that was right before the wedding so Christopher and I sacrificed a lot to make it happen, but we really wanted to be involved with this project and we hope that this will lead to more acting and writing opportunities. 

Christopher – Timothy and I just bought a new home and we are trying to get that set up and get our life together. I am also focusing on getting my own music out there to the world, and I am available for bookings: wedding, Birthday parties, etc. you can contact him via social media: Twitter.com/ChrisLHamblin or facebook.com/ChristopherHamblin. 

Tickets are $40 – $45 with $70 VIP tickets that include a meet and greet and photo opportunity.. Buy tickets online at aventuracenter.org, by phone at 877.311.7469 or 954.462.0222, or in person at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center box office Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and 90 minutes prior to each performance. 

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