Arts & Culture / Mosaic / May 9, 2012

At show, fighting AIDS is not a drag

This year’s “Chicago”-based Drag Show had eight acts, many with returning performers and all of them fabulous.

This year, unlike previous years, Common Ground found a way to integrate donations to a charity into the show. Senior Matthew Becker, the main organizer of the event, said, “In the past we really considered it, but we didn’t really know how to go about doing it or what charity to do. Then we had the idea for this year to do the tipping.”

Donations were accepted before the show. For each dollar given, the audience member was given two Roger Dollars in return. These Roger Dollars could be used to tip each performer, and at the end the performers with the most tips would be crowned king and queen. Becker said the charity, Friends of People with AIDS, was a local organization Common Ground has worked with previously.

The first act doubled as an introduction for the Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Billy Flynn (freshman Paula Castaños). He came onstage and danced and sang along to the “Chicago” song “All I Care About (We Want Billy).” Castaños said she loves performing and wanted to MC after she heard the theme would be “Chicago,” her favorite musical.

Next up was freshman Forrest Linsell performing The Dresden Doll’s “Mandy Goes to Med School.” Linsell said he performed because he had been in drag before and enjoyed it and felt that Knox was a safe place for him to do so again.

Ms. Helena Handbasket (freshman Levi Woodbury) performed the poem “The Wall” by Donald Justice. He said he thought performing would be fun and did, indeed, have a good time.

Fifi Lorenzo (Becker) did a fun strip-tease, in which she removed a shirt, slacks and a tie, to reveal a slinky black dress and fishnets while dancing to Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman.”

After that was a rendition of Professor Umbridge’s Dormitory Rules monologue from “A Very Potter Musical,” performed by junior Cole Atcheson. He said he wanted to perform since his performance of the same character was well-received last year.

Lady 3-D (freshman Dushawn Darling) danced to Beyonce’s “Get Me Bodied.” During her performance, she lost part of her costume — tissues fell from her dress. Hilariously, Lady 3-D plucked the tissues from the stage and wiped her face.

“I kind of figured it was going fall,” Darling said, “so I knew I was just going to pick it up and do a dab to wipe the sweat away. Because part of the song, she was like, ‘A little sweat ain’t never hurt nobody’.”

Darling said he was invited to perform and wanted to since he’s a fan of RuPaul’s “Drag Race.”

Following Darling, Fifi Lorenzo returned for a passionate rendition of Cher’s “Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” as a farewell, since Becker will not be returning to organize and perform next year.

The final act was the Three Merry Murderesses (Helena Handbasket, Fifi Lorenzo and Professor Umbridge) with their rendition of the “Cell Block Tango,” also from “Chicago.”

Once the show was over, the audience waited to hear the results of who had gotten the most tips and would be name this year’s drag show king and queen. Fifi Lorenzo came on stage to thank the audience for their presence. Finally, the winners were announced. It was a tie between Fifi Lorenzo and Lady 3-D. Lady 3-D elected to be crowned Queen, while Fifi Lorenzo was given the King’s crown.

Valerie James


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