WEEKEND: Kings, queens pulling out stops at Drag Off
By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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At 8 p.m. sharp, the horror-themed competition will begin: women dressed as men, aka drag kings, and men dressed as women, those proud drag queens, are expected to go all-out for $500 worth of prizes.
Eleven contestants, at last count, will sing, dance, lip-synch and answer questions posed by Salmonella, the mistress of ceremonies.
The field is just about evenly divided between the sexes, “which is going to be fantastic,” said Salmonella, who when not in drag is known as Peninsula College student and Port Angeles resident Wayne King.
The Drag Off is open to patrons age 16 and older, while advance tickets are $12 at www.BrownPaperTickets.com. Admission at the door Saturday will be $15, while The Loom, the bar adjacent to Studio Bob, will have food and drink available for purchase.
“This is an opportunity to expand your horizons,” said Salmonella, who began performing as a drag queen about a year ago soon after moving here.
Drag is “an opportunity to be a completely different person” from the one the public sees, Salmonella added. As a drag queen and emcee, “I just want to have fun with my audience. I like to laugh with people.
“And sometimes, I’m a little bit bawdy.”
Saturday night’s contestants will go before a panel including Peninsula College drama professor Lara Starcevich, sculptor Gray Lucier and Port Angeles Arts Council President Amy McIntyre.
These judges will assess the kings’ and queens’ overall looks, talents and responses to on-stage questioning from Salmonella.
The audience will have the opportunity to pick their favorites too, Alle Stage manager Sarah Tucker added. The prizes will come in the form of Motives makeup and other gifts.
Drag — a term that mashes up “dressed as a girl” — has been made famous by entertainers such as Dame Edna and RuPaul, while drag kings of yesteryear — female performers who appeared as nattily attired and coiffed men — include Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn.
“There’s really been a change in the way drag performance is received in the United States,” said Salmonella, who grew up in Bradenton, Fla., and lived in Fort Collins, Colo., before setting out “for parts unknown” on the North Olympic Peninsula.
Drag queens used to perform mainly in gay bars, but nowadays they’re coming out to other venues, Salmonella noted.
Information about the Drag Off and other events at Studio Bob can be found on the Alle Stage page on Facebook or by emailing Tucker at email@example.com.
More about Salmonella’s background and performances awaits at www.about.me/salmonella.
Last modified: October 17. 2013 7:37PM