Fishnets, Fanfare, and Fun: The 13th Annual Totally Fabulous Drag Show
Pride Union hosted its 13th Annual Totally Fabulous Drag Show Friday night and it was nothing but totally fabulous. The show, held in Goldstein Auditorium, was hosted by Shangela from the reality television show RuPual’s Drag Race. For some students, like myself, this was an entirely new experience, and it was pretty damn entertaining.
From the moment the first contestant walked onto the stage, it was impossible to not be screaming, “YASSSS” in your head (or out loud). How could you not? These queens were fierce, had incredible dance movies, and exuded so much attitude that you were left with mouth agape. I basically wanted to become best friends with every single one of them.
Contestants were dressed in wigs, fishnets, skin-tight dresses — anything you can think of that is totally exuberant and vivacious. And there was glitter everywhere. Hair, body, clothes — every time a contestant flipped their hair, a shower of sparkles flew onto the stage. Each contestant performed a number, or a medley of numbers. They were judged on three things: charisma, lip-syncing, and coordination.
It was clear to see from the performances that a lot of hard work and practice had gone into each one. After each contestant, I was left thinking, “Oh, they are definitely going to win.”
Donyella Dupree, defending her crown as last years' winner, performed to a medley of popular dance songs, including “Bang Bang” by Jessie J and “7/11” by Beyoncé. The end of her performance was met with a huge standing ovation, myself included. It was easy to spot which one she was — she performed as if the stage was her dorm room, and there was absolutely no one watching her.
Dupree ended up winning the show for the second year in a row, which was no surprise after her stellar performance.
Kitten and Lou, a burlesque performer and drag king, also performed two of their own incredible performances, and even ended up nearly naked.
Shangela closed the show, performing a Beyoncé/Destiny's Child mashup for the fairly large crowd. Like everyone else, I was on my feet during the entire performance.
By the end of the night, I was exhausted from watching, standing, and clapping. Nonetheless, I found myself riding high on the excitement and entertainment of the show. As this was my first drag show, I had gone in not quite knowing what to expect. I left amazed by the performances of these queens, and was already looking forward to next year. In the meantime, you can find me on YouTube looking up videos.
Photos by Giancarlos Kunhardt