Haven's annual drag show draws standing-room-only crowd
How many drag queens does it take to fill Trabant? At the Haven Fall Drag Show, only five. Drag queens Manila Luzon, Shangela Laquifa Wadley, Selena Dela Luna, Anita Man and Phoenix Rising were met with a cheering crowd of students and faculty on Friday night.
The divas, featured on RuPaul’s Drag Race series, danced the night away to “Thriller,” “Evacuate the Dance Floor” and multiple Beyoncé hits, all while draped in glamorous satin robes and sequin-clad leotards. The dance acts the divas performed were constantly interrupted by cheers of applause.
All glamour aside, the humor was fantastic, as expected by Haven President Jeremy Mathis.
“My favorite part is definitely the comedic aspect,” Mathis says. “I love a good lip synch, I love a good performance, but I much enjoy a queen that can make an audience laugh.”
Raunchy humor and puns had audience members laughing with Manila Luzon, star of the show and self-proclaimed “Asian Glamasaurus” causing the entire room to erupt in laughter over a questionable reference to the shape of the microphone she was holding.
At one point, Wadley, the host of the show, made her way to a group of front-row seated, modestly-dressed faculty members.
“Oh, I’m going to lay across all three of your laps tonight,’ she says.
Wadley also shared an impromptu story about her own personal Beyoncé concert adventure, which consisted of elbowing Make-A-Wish kids out of the way in a unrelenting quest for a towel used by Queen B herself.
This was not the only time the host had Beyoncé on the brain. Wadley had been impersonating Beyoncé all night. She closed the show with a fierce rendition of Halo that had everyone in the crowd on their feet, including junior Chris Johnson.
“It was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen,” Johnson says.
Smoke, glitter and bright lights filled the Trabant multipurpose room on Friday night, but also something even more important––confidence. Students wore cat ears and light-up seashell bras. Lap dances were welcomed.
“The confidence of the drag queens soaks into you,” junior Abbi Cressman says. “I wanted to get up on the stage and start dancing.”
Cressman may have her chance next fall, as Haven predicts the show will be a success for many years to come. Last year, there was audience participation in the form of students getting up on stage and impersonating the drag queens’ routines.
Haven’s major programming coordinator Maggie Hussar had been working hard to prepare for this show, and it all paid off with a sold out show with an additional need for extra seats.
The turnout may allow for new additions for this coming spring semester show or even next fall’s show due to the profit received.
In the words of host Shangela Laquifa Wadley on Friday night, “Halleloo!”