Suffolk’s Annual Drag Show Provides a Night of Entertainment
This past Tuesday the Queer Student Union put on their annual Drag Show in the Somerset Cafe. Advertised as “a risque, interactive, musical extravaganza that is not for the faint of heart,” the show celebrated people of all color, gender, and sexual orientation in a safe environment. The dining-style setup allowed students to snack on free chips, salsa, and candy while being entertained by local drag queens and kings. Students who were not comfortable interacting with the performers were able to sit by the walls and still enjoy the show. Unfortunately, the show started about 30 minutes later than scheduled due to technical difficulties, but the wait was worth it. After all, more time means more glamour!
The performance was hosted by Kris Knievel, with additional performances by Mizery, Jacqueline, Karisma, and drag king T-Sparks. Each entertainer performed two to four songs; they lip-synched primarily to popular songs, as well as well-known songs with a bit of a twist. Each and every drag queen and king was unique and added their own signature flair to the show, making it a diverse and exciting experience.
First up was Kris Knievel, a respected drag queen and regular host at Jacque’s Cabaret in Boston. Dressed in fantastic sparkly dresses, Knievel quickly became a crowd favorite. In fact, she had every student laughing from the start thanks to her rendition of Frozen’s Let It Go, complete with Idina Menzel and fart noises. Another popular performance was Knievel’s dirty rendition of We Found Love by Rihanna.
Crystal, also a drag queen at Jacque’s Cabaret, performed next. As a Suffolk Law School alum, she was quickly promoted to a crowd favorite. Not only did Crystal perform a fun version of Hollaback Girl, but also power ballads by Whitney Houston and other famous singers. In one touching moment, Crystal stripped off her wig and costume to celebrate being yourself in honor of gender pride and transgender rights. This is always an important message, any time of the year.
Next was Mr. Gay Pride of Boston, T-Sparks (also known as Tyler). Each of T-Sparks’ songs were clearly important to him, as he performed some fancy footwork and showed off his colorful, glitter-covered beard. His first jacket even celebrated transgender pride, displaying the symbol for transgender in bright pink and purple. T-Sparks also performed a moving rendition of Pink’s iconic song, What About Us to draw attention to queer pride and ballot question three. All in all, T-Sparks was a fun addition to the show.
Fan-favorite Mizery was next! Not only did Mizery have some fierce dancing skills, but also a penchant for handmade rip-off costumes which made for a fun tempo change in her performances. During one song, Mizery even dropped into an impressive split. After each song, Mizery then chatted with students in the audience, poking fun at their majors and Mizery herself. The second time Mizery strutted onto the stage, she got a well-deserved standing ovation.
The final performer was Suffolk student and aspiring drag queen Jacqueline. She brought a dance background to her performance, which was a nice change from the rest of the show. However, it was clear that she was not as experienced as the other performers; it was a bit nerve-wracking to see her trip almost constantly over her high heeled boots. Even so, Jacqueline has certainly received respect and recognition from her fellow Suffolk students thanks to this performance.
Throughout the show the entertainers stressed the importance of voting “yes” on question 3 of the upcoming Massachusetts ballot. Question 3 addresses the repeal of a 2016 bill prohibiting gender identity discrimination in public facilities such as restaurants, hotels, public transportation, and bathrooms. A “no” vote would repeal this bill – allowing gender discrimination – while a “yes” vote would keep the bill in place. Both the Queer Student Union and drag show entertainers implored the audience to vote “yes” on question 3 in support of transgender rights.
By the end of the show, students had heard dirty renditions of their favorite songs, laughed as their peers were playfully seduced by drag queens, and cheered for talented entertainers. It was certainly a fun night for anyone, and a wonderful Suffolk tradition. At the end of the show, Crystal mentioned that she had been performing at Suffolk for over 17 years; hopefully, the annual show goes on long after this, as well.