By Zack Downing, Staff Writer
The art of men performing in drag has been around since the dawn of theater, but it’s only been in the last 50 years or so that it’s picked up such widespread popularity.
UMass Dartmouth has been celebrating drag culture in the most flamboyant way possible, by putting on drag shows every year since 2012.
The performances hosted by UMass Dartmouth have their own flavor; the performers are all either alumni or current students at the university, who go out and put on a show for their fellow classmates.
Their identities will remain a secret, but most of the drag queens that performed this year were actually RAs in disguise.
The audience for this year’s 6th Annual Drag Show, which took place October 5, was no small, niche group.
The crowd that came out filled the whole auditorium, amounting to around 400 people.
If you’ve been to other events that take place in the auditorium, you know that filling it is a rare feat.
The night’s hosts were two lovely drag queens named Complete Destruction and Jacqueline DiMera, alumni from past years at UMass Dartmouth.
They exchanged hilarious banter at the beginning and in between songs, banter that was both improvised and smooth.
The way drag performances work is that the queens come out and lip sync to a song, making their expressions and gestures as entertaining and glamorous as physically possible. That’s exactly what happened at the UMass Dartmouth Drag Show.
Complete Destruction opened the show with “What About Me?” from The Addams Family, wearing an appropriately dark costume.
Complete Destruction and Jacqueline DiMera performed several songs throughout the night, changing costume before each one.
The most memorable ones were Complete Destruction’s rendition of a Marilyn Manson hit, complete with accurate makeup and eye shadow, and Jacqueline DiMera’s ballad about, well, about loving big cock.
As for the student performers, the lead was a drag queen named Gurl Luck performing “Answer My Text” by PWR BTTM, with an extraordinarily bombastic series of dance moves.
Next up was Stephanie Aside, one of the crowd favorites, with her wild performance of “Sorry Not Sorry” by Demi Lovato.
Dancing around the stage flaunting her blonde curly wig, she was not one to be trifled with.
The next queen, dubbed Miss Boobylicious, stepped it up a notch by including an inflatable guitar with his rendition of Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend.”
While flamboyant performing and riotous dance moves were the norm, not all the drag queens merely lip synced to their songs.
A modest drag queen named Tess Tosterone came out and sang “Top of the World” by The Carpenters with her own voice.
The show may have been about drag queens, but a version of “The Squip Song” from Be More Chill was performed by a drag king named Doubel Troubel.
In a night of silly images and gender twisting, a woman dressed as a man was unexpected, but they stole the show nonetheless.
Speaking of gender twisting, one of pop culture’s biggest trans friendly products was featured that night: 20 Cent Fiction’s cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Part of the cast came out and gave the audience a little sneak peek at the Halloween show, singing “Time Warp” and “Sweet Transvestite” behind the props they’ll use for the actual performance.
Before Complete Destruction and Jacqueline DiMera signed off, all the queens came back out at the end to sing and dance to “Applause” by Lady Gaga, one of the idols of the drag world.
If you are one of the few to have missed the 6th Annual Drag Show at UMass Dartmouth, there is a drag show every fall courtesy of the Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality.
And, if you’re interested in The Rocky Horror Picture Show performance, you can go down to the auditorium on October 27, 28, 29, and 31. Each show is at 8 p.m., except the 28, which is a special midnight showing.