By JULIANE KIM
Drag queens and kings entertained on stage, dancing and singing before a crowd of cheering admirers at the annual Drag Show this past Saturday.
The People for the Rights of Individuals of Sexual Minorities put on a Drag Show every year. The theme for this year’s drag show was based on the film “Moulin Rouge,” and the stage reflected a pink windmill on stage and a backdrop of stars and red curtains.
The judges of the competition were esteemed UMW professors and administration members, including theatre professor and costume designer for Klein Theatre Kevin McCluskey, professor of psychology Laura Wilson, Associate Vice President and Dean of Student Life Cedric Rucker and Assistant Dean for Student Involvement Melissa Jones.
The hosts of this year’s show were the reigning Mr. and Miss Gay Fredericksburg 2014, Romeo Chalet Twist and Carrie Monroe, who strutted on stage with equal amounts of confidence and sass.
The first set of contestants, a duo of drag kings, performed a duet of “Agony” from the “Into the Woods” film soundtrack. The routine ended with both performers opening their shirts in imitation of the characters in the film, to the audience’s applause. The second group of contestants, also a duo, danced and lip-synced to “I Kissed A Girl” by Katy Perry.
After the two acts, there was an intermission in the form of an audience participation game. Four pairs of audience members volunteered to be part of a game in which one half of the pair took off a garter from the other person’s leg with their teeth. The first one to do so won a prize.
The next contestants were was a trio of two drag kings and a female performer, who did an amazing dance routine while the two drag kings dance-fought over the woman. The drag kings threw fake money into the crowd during their routine, which was very well received by the audience. The last contestants were a drag king and queen doing a lip-sync rendition of “Baby Got Back” and “Anaconda.”
A guest performer danced to “Partition” by Beyonce, then there was another intermission, in which McClusky showed off his inner drag by doing his own unofficial, impromptu lip-sync to “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from the musical “Dreamgirls”. After declining a lip-sync challenge from Carrie Monroe, Mr. Gay Fredericksburg Romeo Chalet Twist treated the audience to a heartfelt lip-sync to “Jack’s Lament” from “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” in full Jack Skellington makeup.
The competition then continued on with performances of “Everybody Talks” by Neon Trees and “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend.” There was another audience game in which the contestant put a condom on a banana only using their mouths. After the last two acts, another guest entertainer reenacted the scene in which the main characters fall in love from “Moulin Rouge.”
Before the winners were announced, the hosts called up Dean Rucker and three student volunteers to the stage to participate in a lip-sync battle. The three students amazed the crowd, dancing to “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift with their energy and dancing skills until another song came on, and Dean Rucker joined in with his own impressive moves.
The drag show not only entertained and awed the judges and students who attended, but also promoted safe sex practices while educating about sexually transmitted infections and proper condom use.
“We educate the community on GSM issues, which is gender and sexual minority issues, and we also provide a safe space on campus and to the community as well,” stated PRISM executive board member and senior Cara Wimberley.