Drag queens are attention getters. As performers they are the highlight of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Friends Association’s “UR a Drag” show.
Wilson Commons’ May Room was packed ? there was standing room only when the show started. The crowd was welcoming of veteran drag queens Aggy Dune and Ambrosia Salad along with Pandora Boxx, Shirley D. Vyne and Miss Gay Rochester 2001 herself, Niaomy Kane.
It was definitely an interactive show ? the audience participated in all the music and dance.
Kane stood apart from the other queens when she salsa danced with sophomore Corine Saltara and freshman Isis del Orbe. By the end of the number, she had a stage full of back-up dancers. Not only that, she kept her head high throughout the performance in true diva style and was eager to get the audience into her act by dancing in the aisles and even going as far as stripping an audience member of his shirt.
Aggy Dune, a UR regular since the show began and emcee for the show, had a performance that caters more to the older people who attended the show.
Shirley D. Vyne quickly changed the focus by performing the current Mary J. Blige hit “Family Affair.”
On a side note, everytime I see Shirley perform, I am always stunned by how amazingly beautiful she is. To top it all off, she also has the attitude of a diva to match and it shines through.
Next, the seven-foot diva Ambrosia Salad stirred up the crowd with her performance of “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails.
She brought out the animal in all of the audience, especially for one lucky girl who she literally got down and dirty with.
Pandora Boxx closed the first half with a crowd-pleasing Janet Jackson medley. I do wish that she had included some more Janet favorites like “If” and “Doesn’t Really Matter.”
The show definitely ran on drag-time ? it started late and even the interval was lengthy because these drag queens take their job seriously and take their time to get ready.
Even then, members of GLBFA kept the show going and kept the energy level up by playing popular music, inviting students to dance on stage. Junior and social director of GLBFA Nasser Al-Qatami capped off the interval portion with his masterfully choreographed performance of Madonna’s “Vogue.”
Ambrosia, Pandora and Niaomy brought forth the element of vulgarity characteristic of drag culture. Shirley’s rendition of Lil’ Kim added to this.
This event was a smash hit and it makes me think about my freshman year when only thirty-something students attended the show. A senior at the time told me that the show used to be a student favorite. It was a disappointment that this tradition was dying. Fortunately, history is repeating itself.
The people at the show came with pride in our diversity. The success of the event deserves more attention than the events of prejudice on campus. Hopefully, it will encourage students to deter people from painting inflamatory remarks on the tunnel walls or ripping any GLBFA posters off the walls.
Desai can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.