Glitter sparkled in the neon lights as the 22nd annual Drag Show took place in the EWU URC Friday.
The queens shook things up with a Burlesque theme this year, rather than the usual “Greek mythology” or “under the sea” themes. Overdramatizing simple actions and more serious works, they prompted lots of laughter from the audience with their ensemble. The queens displayed multiple outfit changes with feathers, pearls, diamonds, fishnets and other classic Burlesque attire.
Many of the queens chose to perform to classic show tunes such as “Roxanne” from Chicago, “I am a good girl” from Burlesque and “Cabaret” from Cabaret. They included iconic dance moves such as the “death drop,” where a person falls flat on their back with one leg bent as if they were dead, which is widely known in the drag community. The queens interacted with the audience in many ways. They made their way offstage and danced through the crowd, as well as asking audience members questions like, “What’s your New Year’s resolution?”
“I loved all of it. I liked how they were in the crowd and interacted with us,” -Alexann Tureman, Student
The queens weren’t the only ones onstage Friday. The show introduced a drag king named Victor as well. Victor stripped down throughout the show and ended up in his underwear at the end of the performance, making the crowd go wild.
The crowd of almost 500 was enthusiastic with cheers and gave cash to the queens as they danced.
Alexandria Tallis, the diversity and community outreach coordinator for Eagle Entertainment, said a lot of student volunteering is what made the Drag Show run as smoothly as it did.
“I have been planning this whole thing since November,” said Tallis. “Every year, we need about 40 student volunteers to run the event. They help with tickets, decorations, lines and stuff like that.
Tallis said she wanted to introduce a new theme to the show this year in hopes the event would get a better turn out.
“[The turnout] really depends on the year,” said Tallis. “Some years it’s really good. Some years it’s pretty mediocre. I wanted to steer away from Greek mythology, so that’s why I chose to go with Burlesque.”
The new theme didn’t exceed attendance from past years, but Tallis said the show raised almost $800 in tips, which Eagle Entertainment is glad for.
While ticket funds go back into Eagle Entertainment’s revenue to host more events on campus, any tips donated at the show go to Odyssey Youth, a local Spokane organization that helps at-risk youth.
All the drag queens are local performers from the surrounding Spokane area. EWU used to bring in queens from all over the nation, but hiring some became too pricey.
“That’s why we really started supporting local drag queens,” said Tallis. “Some of them we’ve had for over eight years, and this year we are bringing in some new performers too.”
Every year, Eagle Entertainment hosts the History of Drag event a few days before the actual Drag Show. This event helps educate students on how drag shows got started and what one can expect when attending a drag show. Tallis strongly encourages first-time students to attend the History of Drag event before going to the actual Drag Show next year.
“It’s really interesting for students to attend and learn about drag and how to properly address the queens,” said Tallis. “For some queens it’s not necessarily a lifestyle; it’s just a character they kind of put on.”