Delray Drag Queens Celebrate Halloween at Arts Garage | County Grind | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Delray Drag Queens Celebrate Halloween at Arts Garage

First of all, let me say that Divas in Art: Spooktacular 2

was a great show. It was comprised of performances by three drag queens: Ricky Rollick, Melissa St.

John, and Roxi DeVine. Singing along with them was Lissen Ellington -- an

actual woman! This isn't the only time this drag show deviated from the norm -- and drag shows definitely have norms -- as I will soon explain.

Drag shows are known for their flash, glam, and keeping the

sequin industry in business. The Arts Garage in Delray Beach was decorated in wildfire colors that set the mood for fantastic performances.

The energy for the shows is always

high, with the audience anticipating one fabulous act after the other. And if

Divas in Art had just one more drag queen in their midst, that energy could've

been great.

The show consisted of a great performance

followed by what seemed like an eternity of awkward conversation with the

audience while the next Diva finished getting ready to perform. Some of the

breaks were funny; Roxie DeVine had a hilarious story about "coming out" to one

of her coworkers who was a huge fan of her alter ego.

But the meat of a drag show are the performances, and they didn't

disappoint. Starting the night right was Ricki Rollick's hilarious opening

number. She looked like Liza Minnelli and had the best trembling lower lip that

I've ever seen.

Melissa St. John, who managed to make a spectacular entrance

every time, had a wardrobe I'm not ashamed to admit that I envied. A highlight was watching her perform Ruth Brown's "If I Can't Sell It, I'll Keep Sittin' On It." Girlfriend had a fierce attitude.

Another highlight

was Lissen singing the True Blood

theme song "Bad Things" dressed as Snow White's evil queen trying to seduce the

audience with her juicy, juicy apple. A break from traditional drag time twofold, she sang with her own

voice, and it was powerful.

Now, if you're a drag queen and you want sing -- in your own

voice, instead of lip-syncing -- your voice better be amazing. And for Roxie

DeVine, who decided to sing most of her songs, that just wasn't the case. It

was only through a backstage fluke that she ended up lip-syncing "I am what I

am" by Linda Eder and when not having to concentrate on her vocals, she gave

such a funny and entertaining performance that I wondered why she bothered

singing at all. The only song I would've kept in her singing repertoire was Stardust

(sung by greats like Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra) which she sang


One of the best parts about the show was the Arts Garage,

itself. It has a bring your own anything policy and strong sense of community between

the audience, performers, and show runners -- who are beyond kind. At intermission, a quick walk to the House of Siam landed me a fast and delicious to-go dinner that I brought back to eat onsite. The walls are

lined with amazing pieces of art, and the audience was decked out in costumes

for the contest later in the evening. My personal favorite was the Clinton

administration, complete with Bill, who looked oddly appropriate at a drag

show, Hilary, Monica, and a sexy Secret Service Agent.

While Divas in Art wasn't flawless, it was a really great time. As for the Arts Garage, I'd go back for any event

they hosted, and they host everything. 


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Tana Velen

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