Photo courtesy of Bow Young Kim

The May Room may not have had the largest or the most boisterous crowd on Friday, April 6, but it certainly had one of the most entertained, all thanks to the spring drag show.

Hosted by the ever lovely Samantha Vega and her “stage-husband” the Notorious L.E.Z., the show featured drag queens and kings lyp-synching an interesting mix of Broadway numbers, current top 40 hits and older, but nevertheless beloved songs.

The performers were all at the top of their games, keeping the laughs going and the audience engaged, and even interacted with the ASL interpreters present at the performance from time to time.

The hosts complemented each other well. The way they interacted was charming, often joking and teasing each other as much as they did to the audience. Their laid back demeanor helped relax the crowd, and their wicked sense of humor would wake them right back up. Vega seemed to be the crowd favorite, perhaps due to her boisterous nature, but L.E.Z. balanced her out as well, as he was full of charisma and magnetism.

Guy Faux kicked off the show with Fountain of Wayne’s “Stacy’s Mom.” Though the audience was cold and silent at first, they warmed up fairly quickly during this popular number. However, the crowd didn’t really get into the swing of things until Vega took to the stage. Her performance, which began with “My Heart Will Go On,” originally performed in James Cameron’s “Titanic,” and turned into a long round of fart jokes that, in theory, was silly and overdone, but, in reality, was hilarious. The Notorious L.E.Z. summed the entire experience up with the statement, “I don’t care how old we get, fart noises are [always] going to be the funniest thing in the world.”

Though there were a few technical issues following this number, Vega and L.E.Z. kept the crowd going by making jokes when the lights would go out or the music would stop.

The show picked back up with two UR students, Ms. Sass and Magnum, performing to Cobra Starship’s “You Make Me Feel.” These two were great entertainers from the get-go, though Ms. Sass seemed to have more confidence in her persona. However, the routine as a whole was remarkably welldone, considering they were both first-time performers.

Gloria Shaaft brought a serious note to the evening with her performance of “Girl with One Eye” by Florence and the Machine. The number was unusual for a drag show, playing on far more serious themes and straying from the glittery pop tunes that tend to fill the event. It culminated in a spoken word performance, which felt like an odd touch at first, but proved to be one of the most beautiful and interesting moments of the night.

Act 2 was a return to the upbeat, lighthearted numbers, in which Vega opened with an acoustic version of Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” which then morphed into “We Found Love.”

This was a great way to restart the show. Vega was a master at interacting with the audience — she constantly moved amongst the crowd, sat on their laps, had them twirl her umbrella and generally made them more like participants than spectators.

Faux showed off his astounding skills again in “Kiss Me Through the Phone” by Soulja Boy. He was also fantastic at interacting with the audience, but his true talent was in his choreography — he was the best dancer of the bunch, and really got the chance to shine in this number. It’s unfortunate the audience didn’t get to see more of him.

Gloria Shaaft made her return with “I’m the Greatest Star” from the musical “Funny Girl.” The song is a Barbara Streisand classic, and iconic within musical theater. It was done acoustically, and Schaaft sang the song herself, as opposed to lyp-synching it, which is common in drag. It was well done, and although it’s tough to compete with Streisand’s star quality and overarching appeal, it was a sweet number, and added something special to the show.

The performance closed with “You’re the One that I Want” from Randal Kleiser’s Grease, with Vega and L.E.Z. as the leads, but eventually featured all the performers. This song had an appealing mix of the genres already presented: Broadway, upbeat and entertaining to watch.

The event closed on a particularly high note, but overall the entire evening was incredibly enjoyable. The audience may have been unenthusiastic at first, but they certainly weren’t able to stay that way in the face of the extraordinary performers taking the stage.

Howard is a member of the class of 2013.

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