ALBANY — While the Capital District celebrated Pride Month in June, the unashamedly positive vibes did not stop as the Palace Theater welcomed a number of famous drag queens for a night of fabulous ensembles and dazzling lip-syncing numbers on Friday, July 26.
Officially titled “A Midsummer SLAY! With Queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race,” it featured “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” season four winners Monet X Change and Trinity the Tuck, season two contestant Tatianna, and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season eight contestant Derrick Barry. Hosted by Pixie Ventura, it also included three local drag queens: Philly Pina, Amanda Blair and Kashi Golean.
If you do not follow drag queens or RuPaul’s Emmy Award-winning TV show, having some knowledge of American pop culture was a necessary ingredient in enjoying the night’s festivities. The drag queens served quips and jokes about topics like Donald Trump’s presidency and the Capital District’s alleged lack of diversity. They also provided some thought-provoking commentary on the country’s illegal immigration controversy and Trump’s alleged treatment of women, minority groups and fellow politicians.
Throughout the night, the drag queens took turns performing lip-syncing numbers while posing and dancing provocatively with elaborate wigs and glamorous outfits, offering fierce choreography and memorable audience interactions. Music that were performed included Moulin Rouge’s 2001 soundtrack, “Lady Marmalade;” a reenactment of Britney Spears’ 2016 Billboard Music Awards performance; Todrick Hall’s song, “Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels;” Madonna’s “Vogue;” a medley of Mariah Carey hits; Katy Perry’s “Bon Appetit;” Beyonce’s “Grown Woman;” and Jennifer Lopez’s “Ain’t Your Mama.”
Some of the drag queens also strutted down the aisles while the audience cheered and danced along with their raised alcoholic drinks. Others briefly did a Q&A session with the audience, comically answering questions related to how they came up with their drag names and why they chose to perform certain songs.
While the night proved immensely entertaining, it offered positive messages about self-confidence, body image, LGBTQ pride, and minority groups persevering against discrimination, as well as commentary on Trump-era politics, homophobia and immigration. It also related to how drag queens have been increasingly more visible in the entertainment industry in recent years, especially with the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” TV show which has been running since 2009, which gives them a platform to perform and speak on social issues.