Drag queens and kings had everyone at the Wilshire Theatre cheering and clapping along with their performances during the Ethnic Studies Summit’s 3rd Annual Drag Show on Saturday, Oct. 14.
Vander Von Odd opened off the show theatrically dancing and lip-syncing to Judy Garland’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow“.
Second up on stage was the first time drag performer Sapphire. Sapphire’s performance of Lady Gaga’s “Monster” was more upbeat and hyped up the crowd.
King McQueen, FC’s ethnic studies professor Arnetta Smith, took her performance to another level by using it as a tool to speak out against social injustice.
McQueen appeared on stage dressed in a black hoodie while Michael Jackson’s “They Don’t Care About Us” played. McQueen’s face was painted white and her eyes were painted black, giving it a deathly look. Behind her, portraits of black females were being projected, all of whom were shot by police.
After the heartfelt performance, McQueen explained that it was a way of paying tribute to females since many of the news outlets center their lens on male oppression and their experiences but fail to report on females who are losing their lives for the same reason.
“I’m not gonna lie,” said audience member Jocelyn Gonzalez, “her performance made me cry.”
The atmosphere shifted gears as Cemora Valentino Devine popped up in a Missy Elliot-inspired black inflatable body suit. She had the crowd cheering as she gracefully performed Elliot’s “The Rain.”
The crowd showed their love towards Valentino and her performance by requesting an encore.
Valentino came back and gave the crowd what they wanted, this time with technical difficulties. As Valentino was performing, the song cut off and she was left singing to Beyonce’s “End of Time.” Everyone clapped to the beat and chanted “say you’ll never let me go” with her as she pulled some dance moves that served full Beyonce vibes.
The crowd was living for it.
Her attire was very Queen Bey; a black corset with a blinged out bra paired up with black spandex like capris with flashy rhinestones and extra vibrant platforms.
Valentino then spoke about how important it is to be passionate about what one does instead of just doing it for the aesthetic.
“We have to find that part of your soul that speaks out to why you’re doing this. You can make money being pretty but that only lasts for so long.”
Next up was Kevin Rivera, who planned the event, performing as his drag persona Erendirani.
A loud “YAS” was heard amongst the crowd as Erendirani danced and lip-synced “Bodak Yellow” by Cardi B played. The crowd cheered loudly for Erendirani while she danced and lip synced to the number one hit on the Billboard Top 100 chart.
Ammo S. gave an 80’s feel with his lip sync performance to Gregg Allman’s “I’m No Angel.”
He later shared how he discovered the world of drag four years ago. Drag kings don’t have as much visibility as drag queens do.
The crowd was left with their mouth opened with Epicence’s very first drag performance.
It was certainly out of the ordinary; the performer incorporated props like silly string and some kind of colored liquid which came out of her mouth while she was busting some dance moves.
Jaws dropped as Epicence unexpectedly started performing shirtless, revealing red and blue colored x shaped tape on the performer’s chest.
To wrap up the show, The Queen Bee and Foxi Roxi performed a dance to “Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa. They coordinated their attire and their moves for their free-style number.
To conclude the show, Vander Von Odd called out all the drag kings and queens up on stage for a final bow as the energetic crowd applauded.