Glossy nails, never-seen-twice wigs, sequined costumes and five-inch heels were the order of the day in the Tabler Arts Center Black Box Theatre Thursday, April 19 and Friday, April 20. That’s right, the queens had arrived in a flurry of tight dresses and, on occasion, leotards.
Stony Brook’s LGBTA hosted the Drag Show providing a silver tinsel stage door for kings and queens regal enough to brave their peers in a two-night drag show extravaganza. Each act incorporated dance, music and a little bit of raunch to appeal to the full-house audience both nights.
It was the fifth annual Drag Show for the LGBTA and the event has attracted crowds since its inauguration, with some professional and amateur performers coming back year after year.
The performers weren’t just Stony Brook students. Justin Diaz, aka Sasha a 24-year-old professional queen who performs in clubs around Long Island, was out in full regalia and sashayed her way through two Beyoncé numbers.
According to Mike Kastner, a sophomore a cinema and cultural studies major, Sasha was the star of the show.
“She was definitely my favorite, it was so much fun,” said Kastner.
Judging by the eruption when Sasha came out on stage, the audience agrees.
“A lot of work goes into a performance and it is very expensive,” said Sasha as she pushed long honey blond curls from a heavily made up face.
Sasha’s outfit reflected the same panache: a metallic grey, lizard skin leotard that left little to the imagination, coupled with skin color stockings and little grey booties.
But for Diaz, the effort is worth it.
“I like making entertainment for people,” she said. “Some people, when they go to a concert, it’s such an adrenaline rush.”
Other performers were somewhat less experienced, making their first drag outing at the show.
One such group of performers were David Morris, a Stony Brook alumnus, Melissa Katz, a senior psychology major and Christian Castro, a senior.
The trio danced and lip-synced their way through the song “The Boys” from Korean band SNSD (Girl’s Generation), but practiced for six to eight weeks before hand.
Morris said “it was really nerve-racking,” due to their technical routine, but the bootie shorts and black wigs did little to alleviate those fears.
Also out in force was the Long Island Association for AIDS Care, who were present both nights to provide on site HIV testing to hand out protection – “We’ve got extra large in here,” was the cry of LIAAC representative, to which one vocal member of the audience responded “right over here.”
Many of the audience members this reporter spoke to had been returning every year of their tenure at Stony Brook, saying that it was a fun show. They showed their approval by shouting, whooping and cheering on each act, most were coming out to have a gay old time in the TAC.