The SUB Ballroom A was packed to capacity at the 12th annual Drag Show last Saturday. Before the show, lead organizer Sonja Benton, welcomed questions about the Queer Straight Alliance who hosted the event. QSA supports and empowers LGBTQ+ students and their allies in the Bozeman community. The Drag Show pushes against the rigid constraints placed on gender identity and celebrates gender fluidity, the concept that gender isn’t binary and fluctuates.
Sonja introduced me to two performers taking the stage. First up, the gorgeous queen Fawn Ovamea has performed for fun and charity for five years and shared her biggest tip for performing drag, “accept the mistakes, because they are inevitable. Your wig will fall off. Turn it into a part of the number.” King Rough Ryder, a microbiology major from New Jersey said Bozeman is, “most accepting and people in Montana are just nicer here than in Jersey.” Rough expressed a desire to “do a collaborative number” with the drag family. Although we chuckled at the concept of a drag show as a musical, the idea has serious potential.
Emcee Hexx Shadow kicked off the event by warming up the crowd. Decked out in a sparkly, midnight blue gown, Hexx reminded the crowd that, “tipping is not a county in Ireland” and all proceeds benefit QSA at MSU and mentioned the upcoming Red Ribbon Ball, a formal fundraiser and auction that benefits Aids Outreach on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Baxter Hotel. Hexx opened the show old school style with the song “That’s Rich” revving up the audience for the next performance. Iowa Caucus strutted on stage in gravity-defying stilettos, pulling off moves that had the rowdy crowd on their feet screaming in approval. The number climaxed with a planned body slam flat on the stage. Fawn Overmea followed in an adorable goth ensemble, performing “This is Halloween” reminding us a queen’s favorite holiday is right around the corner.
King and co-emcee Jack Rackham, a natural born ham, knew how to work an audience and the song, “Renegade” featured an impressively choreographed fight scene. Next came Sofia Valentina, the first Latina queen to grace the MSU stage, who wowed the crowd with a Spanish rendition of “I Will Survive.” The iconic song had the audience begging for more.
King and resident rabble-rouser Ryder Rough, donned an Anonymous mask to the song, “Uprising” and welcomed people on stage in support of the QSA community. After about 50 people stormed the stage, Sonja reminded the crowd of safety and urged them to plant their behinds back in their seats. Sushi Homewrecker took the stage after a two year hiatus with the Bette Midler classic, “Otto Titsling” that would make the Divine Miss M proud.
Anita Poosay earned the roar of the crowd by demonstrating the best booty shake of the evening, twerking into the audience’s heart with the song, “Sissy that Walk.” King Roger Rackham performed a bawdy, well-choreographed number to the song “Enormous Penis” while wearing traditional barbershop quartet garb. The crowd broke into uproarious laughter when Roger launched a giant, inflatable phallus into the audience.
The last acts of the show included Anita Bama Lama Tang Tang on roller skates dressed as a red M&M, who rolled through the audience to the song, “I Want Candy”. Sushi Homewrecker performed a parody of the song “Fever” with the title changed to “Beaver” that bemoaned the lack of female parts and kept the crowd in stitches. Chase McGroin’s impressive dance skills to Adam Lambert’s song “Robot” were followed by Iowa Caucus for the finale. Moving across the stage with the grace of a gazelle wearing sky high boots, Caucus performed to the song “It’s Not Right but It’s OK, and the crowd was on its feet in seconds, screaming their approval. Iowa gave the audience what they came for and ended the show with another signature body slam— another smash hit Drag Show brought to you by QSA.