Athenaeum Theater hosts Drag Queens of Comedy
and 12-inch platform heels…
These are things you would expect to encounter during an evening with drag queens. Friday night at a packed Athenaeum Theater filled with anticipation only proved these expectations to be true
The ten queens, while certainly crass, did not cross the line to becoming obscene. There wasn't one joke that the audience didn't laugh at. That said, this certainly was a show meant for adults.
The Drag Queens of Comedy provide comic relief
The queens took the stage one by one, except for the San Francisco favorite of Peaches & Heklina. These drag queens couldn't have been more diverse ranging in age from 30 to 70 years old. Alaska 5000 Thunder Fuck, and Willam doing "glam drag" were wearing gorgeous gowns, with hair and make-up impeccable. They epitomized glamour.
Before the performance, William shared his thoughts on drag culture, the difference between glamorous women vs glamorous drag queens and more, which you can read here —“When there is a Willam, there is a Way” – Click to read here.
On the other side you had queens Heklina and Lady Red Couture dressed in what is referred to as rachet drag. Rachet drag apparently is a synonym for looking "busted" or "put together in 20 seconds." Regardless, both hit the mark with their humor. When Lady Red Couture sang in her own voice a parody of her favorite thing, eating fast food, the audience was thoroughly delighted.
Bob the Drag Queen, winner of RuPaul's Drag Races season 8, was a crowd favorite. She is known for her physical comedy and when she mirrored what Michele Obama's face must have looked like during Donald Trump's inauguration, it was hysterical.
Jackie Beat came out in all red, white and blue with flags on her dress and proceeded to do her own rendition of the Christmas classic "You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch" substituting "Mr. Trump." in place of "Mr. Grinch." This parody was well conceived and delivered impeccably. If you are a Trump supporter you may have felt uncomfortable during the scene. There didn't seem to be any at the theater that night, and the crowd clapped and sang along.
There was plenty of lip syncing coming from a crowd favorite and longtime drag queen, Coco Peru. Lady Bunny, the senior of the group, who also has a vast following, added another show stealing performance.. Her drag is pure camp. She comes onstage with a dildo hanging beneath her skirt as if she had forgotten to tuck. From there she went into a dance and lip syncing frenzy touching on every subject from drag to political satire. She received plenty of applause for her antics.
Many of the queens’ jokes were poking fun of each other from their wigs, makeup, weight, and outfits. Since several of the queens were on RuPaul's Drag Races television show, some jokes poked fun of other contestants. If you weren't familiar with the show you may have felt lost, but the crowd on this night seemed to follow right along. Their tremendous laughter was proof that they are devout followers of RuPaul's show. In fact, the crowd went crazy every time RuPaul's name was mentioned and the queens affectionately refer to her as the "mother of all drag."
As if ten strong performers weren't enough, the show left you wanting more. They turned the current political climate into something we all could laugh about --and don't forget the heels!
Photos courtesy of Drag Queens of Comedy except where otherwise indicated.
Note: Read an in-depth interview with Drag Queen Willam - "Review: Where there’s a Willam There’s a Way " ,
About the Author:
Steven Braun, Volunteer Engagement Committee Leader and Volunteer Trainer at Center on Halsted was born and raised suburbanite, now 30 years Chicago urbanite. Steve is a real estate entrepreneur and germane to these pages, also a member of, advocate for, and friend to the LGBTQ Community. When not volunteering, writing, or at the gym, Steve can be found watching "House Hunters."