Drag kings and queens dazzle audience at GSA drag show

Jason Hersey/Sun Star Reporter
April 9, 2013

Sass and pazzaz were found in many of the queens on Friday night as seen in Ms. Euphoria at UAF during the Gay-Straight Alliance Drag Show. April 5, 2013. Adam Taylor/Sun Star

Sass and pazzaz were found in many of the queens on Friday night as seen in Ms. Euphoria at UAF during the Gay-Straight Alliance Drag Show. April 5, 2013. Adam Taylor/Sun Star

Drag queens, kings, lap dances and plenty of audience screams and laughter were heard and seen at the Wood Center’s Ballroom where the Gay-Straight Alliance organized a drag show, giving half its proceeds to the Interior AIDS Association.

All evening many audience members encouraged performers by throwing crumpled dollar bills, cat calling and occasionally getting on stage to shove money down clothing or to straddle dancing performers at Friday night’s event, which was open to the public.

All drag performances were a lip-synched song and dance except for two performances by the belly dance troupe Tundra Caravan. The belly dancers with their jingling, golden hip scarves, bare midriffs and elegant black and sparkling attire were the only performers of the evening not dressed in drag.

Drag queen Ms. Euphoria, or English student Eran Eads, set the bar for the queens’ performances prowling through the aisles, lip-synching the Scissor Sisters’ song “Let’s Have a Kiki” in a short black dress and black wig. Ms. Euphoria seduced audience members with lap dances amidst whistles and cheers while they shoved money down the performer’s dress, a trend the queens continued throughout the night.

For many drag performers, it was their first or second public stage appearance, according to Emcee Meghan Packee. Audience member Natura Richardson, who received the evening’s first lap dance from Ms. Euphoria, said afterward that there doesn’t seem to be much of an avenue for drag performances in Fairbanks and that UAF is a safe place to perform.

Packee frequently announced the next performer to stage, though no one was ready to perform. Packee would then resort to telling corny jokes stalling for time. At one point, Ms. Euphoria emerged from backstage and pulled audience members on stage for an impromptu dance party with music by DJ Pika. The move delighted the crowd, which was beginning to heckle and groan at Packee’s jokes.

Joel Keeney who derived his DJ name from a furry, northern lagamorph akin to rabbits and hares, said afterward “this show needs a stage manager.” Keeney provided the sound track for the evening sporting a tight, black dress, a blonde wig and deep blue lip and eye make-up. “[I] was going for the blue and gold,” Keeney said.

Kings’ performances by Bruno, Jack Jones and Hunter McFly drew audience members from their seats to drop tips on stage or occasionally shove a bill down a King’s pants. Drag queen Kazumi wore traditional Japanese garb and performed seductive dances complete with karate chop moves, with two kings playing air guitar and drums for backup. Queens Ms. Sapphire, first time performer Ms. Isabella, and Ms. Euphoria frequently left the stage to work the crowd from the audience. Most acts concluded with performers gathering up the scattered bills thrown from the crowd during actors’ sexual tauntings, stripping or wild dancing.

After the show, audience members lingered asking to get their photos taken with the kings and queens and congratulating their performances.

Between photos and interviews, Eads spoke of why he continues to participate in the drag shows. “[It’s] because I’m gay and Fairbanks doesn’t do enough of them,” Eads said. “Straight people should be doing it too.”

Time lapse video by Adam Taylor/Sun Star

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