Photo courtesy of UR Pride Network

On Friday, Oct. 26, students came in from the cold for a night of divas, dancing and drag. The Fall Drag Show, sponsored by the Pride Network, turned the normally bland May Room into a fabulous production, complete with a runway, drag queens passing out cookies and “candy whores” keeping attendees entertained with food until the show was ready to start. And though it can be overwhelming for some, more often than not these shows are simply a night full of laughs and fabulous costumes and this night was no exception.

Drag shows generally all follow the same basic structure: men and women dress in exaggerated clothing of the opposite gender and lip-sync while dancing.

The ever-popular drag queen Samantha Vega hosted again this semester, and though sometimes repeating a host can get dull, Vega once again pulled off a masterpiece of a performance. She was upbeat, funny and constantly  engaged with the audience, even continuously flirtin

g with an audience member named Ryan. Vega’s sense of humor is irreverent, which seemed to suit her audience: at one point, she cracked, “real vaginas have teeth. That’s why I’m afraid of them! I wasn’t born gay, I just had a bad experience with pussy.”

Vega’s hosting abilities weren’t her only positive aspect though. Her performances, particularly her medley of songs focusing on a telephone theme, which included Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe,” Blondie’s “Call Me” and Lady Gaga and Beyoncé’s “Telephone,” were astoundingly fun to watch. Her patriotic costume matched that of Beyoncé’s in the “Telephone” music video, and her hilarious interpretation of the “my pussy is burning” prank call kept the crowd laughing.

Vega also had some of the best costumes of the evening. Her “Carrie” outfit, in particular, was phenomenal. The prom dress drenched in blood, coupled with the bucket suspended above her head, with ribbons and other mysterious substances trailing from it, received raucous laughter from the audience, particularly after Vega made a “heavy flow” joke. She also played to UR pride by dressing up as a bee and exclaiming, “I’m a yellowjacket! But my stingers all the way in my ass right now.” However, fabulous though she was, Vega wasn’t the only queen to amaze  that evening.

Drag queen Kyla Minx performed to Rihanna’s “Diamonds” and Demi Lovato’s “Give Your Heart a Break,” and the crowd seemed to respond enthusiastically. She didn’t have the adventurousness some of the other queens had, but she had a “diva” presence that commanded attention. Queen DeeDee Dubois was similar in this regard — her performances were excellent, but didn’t have that over-the-top element that made some of the others so memorable.

Drag queen Mercedes Sulay was also immensely popular. Her dominatrix cat costume, coupled with her rendition of “pussy themed” songs (working through everything from the Meow Mix jingle to YG’s “Pop It” to Khia’s “My Neck, My Back”) won hearts instantly. Queen Chastity Dee was a surprise hit of the night as well — her dancing was surprisingly good (since drag shows tend to be more about enthusiasm and personality rather than technique), and the moment she jumped into a split she instantly made up for what her costume lacked.

Not to be outdone, two drag kings pulled out spectacular performances as well. Ryder Strong brought the country to the city with Rascal Flatts’ “Me and My Gang.” He played off the country trope well, wearing a bright red cowboy hat that kept the costume from feeling like normal,

day-to-day clothing. He later returned with Neyo’s “Let Me Love You,” and was every bit the swoon-worthy love interest the song called for. The Notorious LEZ was also superb, living up to the expectations set forth for the popular king by his fans. His first performance, set to a mash-up of Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back” and LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It,” was a perfect combination of goofy and sexy, and kept the audience cheering.

His second number, which closed  the show,stole the spotlight entirely, however. A rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” complete with a sparkly white glove and iconic red leather jacket, as well as sublime zombie-girl dancers, donning ripped shirts and glitter lipstick who were so good that, for better or worse, they often pulled focus from LEZ. Either way, though, it was a fun and upbeat way to close the show, especially considering its proximity to Halloween.

With every great Drag Show, the event is constantly setting higher standards for itself that it magically seems to exceed every semester. Hopefully this trend of ever-better performances can continue to live on in semesters to come — as long as it does, it seems that drag-devoted students will keep turning out for the show.

Howard is a member of the class of 2013.

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