Friday, January 31, 2014

DRAG HISTORY WRAP WITH.........


My favorite Queen of all........Lady Bunny..... is drag royalty. What a better way to end drag history and the week with some laughs. And if your a regular around this joint, you'll know Lady Bunny is my hands down favorite queen!!!! To me, she is a legend of my generation of drag and to me she is the perfect definition of what a drag queen should be. If someone had to declare a queen of all drag queens, Bunny would be up there! Blame it longevity. Blame it on the wigs. Blame it on her organizational skills, or her outspoken activist tendancies. Maybe it’s because she’s a world-class DJ. But no doubt… She is a queen on top!Bunny circulates in all circles, DJing at skanky downtown clubs or a glamorous Fashion Week shindig, hobnobbing with uber-celebs, or with taxi drivers on the West Side Highway. The Lady gets around; she’s a legend.  Bunny was raised in Chattanooga and first "up in drag" professionally in Atlanta’s fertile bar scene with friends Flloyd, Lahoma Van Zandt and RuPaul" back in the day. She hit NYC in the late 80s and the rest is, well… herstory!
I came across the entertaining interview with New Now Next with Bunny for a Q&A to get her take on National Drag History Month, and she had much to say. (The dear does go on…).


What does National Drag History Month mean to you personally?
It means that I can dust off my oldest dresses and wigs and wear the raggedy-ass f**kers proudly. Instead of just dusting them off and wearing them as I normally do. Now I have an excuse. I’m being "historical" as opposed to just plain busted.
How do you plan to celebrate?
 
Well, this recession makes elaborate parties a little tough, but maybe I’ll see if I can get my fellow lodgers to chip in so that we can get the cable turned on at the homeless shelter and watch LOGO while slurping our gruel!



Can you tell us about what you recall about seeing drag for the first time? When was it? Who was it?
Yes, I’ll never forget it. It was Lypsinka‘s first farewell performance in 1982! Actually, it was at Chattanooga, Tennessee’s Go-Go Club where all of the resident dragoons had subtitles like Adrian Sanchez, "The Look and Feel of Real", Tasha Khan, "Chattanooga’s Own Bubbling Brown Sugar" and Candy Carrington, "The Illusion of Confusion". I thought they were goddesses–I’d never seen anyone wearing sequins and false eyelashes before! Unlike many queens I know, my mom wasn’t a glamorpuss who inspired me with her high fashion wardrobe. We’re talking Keds with pantyhose, okay? Though in later years, I did manage to coax her into wearing one of my wigs!


What drag queen has had the most influence on you and your career?
As a teen I hung out with college students who turned me onto Divine in John Water’s films. I thought she was so brilliant that I never re-watched any of her films because I didn’t want to be tempted to copy her and recite, as my friends would, the lines from her films. And that was before I even knew that I was going to have a career dressing up! (Now I rip other queens off freely.)
In high school I was mesmerized by disco’s high priestess Sylvester, not only for his sensational music, but because I once read an interview in which he said that he’d wear any article of clothing which appealed to him, be it male or female. And then in college I gagged when I found the Female Impersonator’s Handbook by Pudgy Roberts in a thrift store. It contained oodles of pictures of the queens from the 60′s like Ricky Renee. Their bouffants, heavy lashes and liquid liner had a lasting effect on my own look.


Who do you think is or was the fiercest drag queen ever?
As far as traditional lip-synch goes, NYC’s H.R.H. Princess Diandra is electrifying, once and If you ever get her onto the stage. She’s kinda like the Grace Jones of the drag world in that respect. With stand-up, Jackie Beat is untouchable. Seattle’s Dina Martina is also a very demented new frontrunner.
The vocal impressions award goes to Jimmy James, though he no longer does them in full drag. But I’m such a huge fan of drag that so many come to mind: Lypsinka, John Cameron Mitchell as Hedwig, RuPaul, Charles Pierce, Atlanta’s Lily White and Charlie Brown, Divine, Flip Wilson, Jamie Foxx as Wanda on In Living Color. And these are just the ones whose names you’d recognize. Or categorize as full-on drag. The androgynous things like Boy George and Leigh Bowery certainly deserve a mention too.


What advice would you give for a young, emerging drag queen who’s a little afraid about putting on that wig and stepping out on that stage?Give in to your worst fears and your stage fright and hide yourself away so that crusty old pigs like me don’t have any fresh competition! You will fail. You will fail. You will fail! And then they’ll all laugh at you! It’s definitely not worth the risk, sister girl.
 


Why is drag important?
Ask my landlord!
 
There are some powerful cultural and political slogans and quotes out there. "We shall overcome." "Yes, we can." "Remember the Alamo!" What should be the motto or battle cry for National Drag History Month?
“Yes we can-can?” “Remember the lyrics, Ho?” Or maybe just the time-tested “Break a Nail!” Or how about in the immortal words of St. Louis’s Petrina Marie (R.I.P.): "Listen fag, you paid to see me. I would NEVER pay to see YOU!" Of course now that January is Drag History Month and February is Black History Month, I’d love to catch Rupaul as the clock strikes midnight on January 31st and tell her "You’re a black drag: face it, bitch–YOU ARE HISTORY!



And here is a tyical interview, just so you know how funny and entertaining the Bun Bun can be.
 

 
God, I love this Queen. Now that was a Drag History Month...where is my cock-a-tail!?!?!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

IT'S RAINING MEN

 
 How can anyone not love one of the original Weather Girls, Martha Wash, and the fabulous RuPaul together!!!!! Can you even imagine singing with a weather girl??????
 

 
Lately some raining men might be a welcome relief to the cold and snow, and just how fabulous is Ru's wig!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

ANOTHER DRAG LEGEND.......

 
 
Danny La Rue........ With his dazzling coiffures, extravagant costumes, immaculate make-up, fitted eyelashes, blonde peek-a-boo wig and high heels, La Rue — tall and handsome — brought an air of the most amiable and poised self-mockery to clubs, cabarets, variety halls and summer shows for nearly 40 years, and was at a time billed the most famous drag queen in the world at one time! Danny is one of my favorite queens to follow- talk about talent!
 
 
 
  La Rue was an Irish-born British entertainer known for his singing and drag impersonations. He served in the Royal Navy as a young man following his father's footsteps, and even had a brief career delivering groceries, but he became known for his skill as a female impersonator (or "comic in a frock" as he preferred to be called) in the United Kingdom and was featured in theatre productions, and in film, television and records.
 
 
Among his celebrity impersonations were Elizabeth Taylor, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich and Margaret Thatcher. At one point he had his own nightclub in Hanover Square, and also performed on London's West End. In the 1960s he was among Britain's highest-paid entertainers. In 1982 he played Dolly Levi in the musical Hello, Dolly!. He also has the distinction of being the only man to take over a woman's role in the West End theatre when he replaced Avis Bunnage in Oh, What a Lovely War! and he was until his death still a regular performer in traditional Christmas pantomime shows in Britain. In 1968 his version of "On Mother Kelly's Doorstep" reached number 33 in the UK singles chart; La Rue later adopted the song as his theme tune.
 
He appeared in Every Day's a Holiday, The Frankie Howard Show, Our Miss Fred, Twiggs, Decidedly Dusty, Entertainment Express, Blackpool Bonanza and the BBC's Play of the Month in a production of Charley's Aunt (1969). He made a guest appearance in the Mr. Bean episode Mr. Bean in Room 426 in 1993. He most recently appeared in Hello Danny a biographical show performed at Benidorm Palace, which opened in Spain in  November  2007. The part of the young La Rue was played by Jerry Lane, who also co-created and directed. La Rue appeared at the start of the show and then in an interview on stage in part of the second half. He also performed a number of songs. This show proved to be La Rue's final major public appearance.
 
La Rue suffered a mild stroke in January 2006 whilst in Spain on holiday after his final Pantomime and all of his planned performances were cancelled. He had been suffering from prostate cancer for many years unbeknown to his fans. He had several subsequent strokes and developed cancer of the throat. He died in his home shortly before midnight on  May 31 2009 at the age of 81, his companion, Annie Galbraith, was with him at his home in when he died. La Rue was laid to rest with his partner, Jack Hanson, who were a couple for 40 years.
 
Back in the day when I did drag it was all about the entrance and huge looks to me.... so this clip gives me chills...... I adore this
 

 
And another show Danny did with model Twiggy singing Two Little Girls From Little Rock
 
Now this is a entertaining queen.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A LITTLE BIT OF LOVE

I told you RuPaul had many songs!!!! Here is another of my favorites. "A Little Bit of Love" is a song and music video performed and produced by RuPaul and released in 1997. This was the second single released from the Foxy Lady album. The song would reach 28 on the Hot Dance Chart and the fun video depicted RuPaul along with talented female impersonator Jazzmun and the FABULOUS ex-drag queen- now beautiful transgendered cabaret performer and actress Candis Cayne as aliens out to conquer the world. Candis went on the star oppsite William Baldwin on the ABC drama Dirty Sexy Money. I so use to shake it to this....
 
 
You go Gurls!!!!!

DRAG TROUPES

First off, I'd like to thank everybody for stopping in always and for your kind and welcomed comments on the Drag History post! It tickles me when you all enjoy them!!!! Today, I am going to talk about some talented Drag Troupes.....nothing new since we read about Sunday's post on the wonderful Jewel Box Revue! These drag troupes not only supply entertainment these days, but many also give back to the communities by providing entertainment, laughs, a fun night out, service and time to charities and raise many funds for various causes and Aids related research and hospice houses. Not only that, but to many, it's also a close knit gay family and a safe haven to be who we are. Some of my favorite troupes.....
 
The Dairy Queens.....
 
 "The Dairy Queens" is a batch of hilarious drag queens based in NYC. The group consists of: MILK, Yoohoo, Skim Burley, Linda Lakes & Juggz. Their drag is gender fuck mixed with some elegant drag but with a twist. The shows are complete hilarity. 
 
 
House of Galore....
 
The House of Galore is the smallest house of ball houses, and closest today to the Jewel Box Revue, as it has only 10 Drag Queens and 1 Drag King. They all have their own style, personality and specialities. But the main key to their success is that they are professional, beautiful, fierce and fabulous, Strong looks, perfectionists but most important they all have a very positive energy. Approachable, Funny, Original. FUN. Most recently they created a beautiful photo spread to speak out about the gay issues facing Russia.
 
 
Sylvia O' Stayformore and Bacon Strip
 
 
Bacon Strip The Big Gay Variety Show! A monthly theater show serving up laughter, costumes, outrageous acts, drag performances, and bacon! Many queens like Jinkx Monsoon have starred here with the help of Seattle's effervescent hostess, Sylvia O Staymore, who is all about helping out new talent. The rest of the gang is.....
 
Ursula Major Sometimes bearded, sometimes hairy, sometimes fishy, sometimes scary. She prides herself on being unpredictable in the way she looks, but always aims to deliver something fantastic.. 

Kenny and James Darling, Burlesque boys who have an affinity for drag queens, pole dancing, 80s classics and squeeze bottles.The chemistry between them is undeniable. When asked about their relationship off stage, they only say, “We never ever leave a show together but we ALWAYS come together!”
 
Cherry Sur Bete is a conceptual artist with a fetish for Drag. As her name suggests (also French for Cherry on Beast) she fuses masculine characteristics with a feminine mystique; obliterating gender stereotypes for a refined personal truth. A master of disguise, chameleon of color.
 

 Other stars of the group are Honey Bucket, Colony, Otter Pop and Ade
 
The House of Balenciaga
 
This legendary house has been serving it now for years,and still going strong with the Ball Room culture.  One of their most notable residents is Mariah Paris Balenciaga.
 
 
 
 And my hat is off to her and any queen who knows Ball Room. Of all aspects of the drag world, this is by far the toughest, most grueling and physically challenging, while staying swank while doing so. The ball houses are also a welcoming port to most young gay fledgings with creating a very close knit family.
 
 
The Supreme Fabulettes
 
The Supreme Fabulettes have been a staple of the drag circuit for years. Known for their insanely tight harmonies, lavish costumes and sky-scraper wigs, the girls are now  back with a brand new show. The Supreme Fabulettes, who perform Glee-style song mash-ups of classic 1960s Motown hits and contemporary songs, continue their meteoric rise with their first ever full length show - The Supreme Fabulettes in Love, Rhythm and Tears. This time however, they've added  a storyline to their usual revue style act, and promise to reveal  the trials and tribulations of the female group over the years. Just what can we expect from their latest offering? Well, whatever it is, you know it'll be fabulous.These three ladies have voices to rival the Garland/ Minnelli family and when the three divas sing together in harmony.... the result is breath-taking!
 
 
There are many more troupes, but these are a few of my favorites.

BACK TO MY ROOTS

Another of my favorite RuPaul videos. Back To My Roots followed Super Model and House of Love upon RuPaul's arrival on the scene. The house/dance track is a tribute to black women's hairstyles as well as to the tradition of community often found in urban hair salons.  She also names several of her relatives including her mother Ernestine Charles, who at the time owned a hair salon in Atlanta, Georgia. His mother is played by comedienne LaWanda Page, who worked with Ru on several videos, with voice work or starring parts.  I remember hitting the floor with dancing and runways with this song..... Fun way to start the day....Peace, love, and hair grease!!!!!! Love all the wigs.

  

Monday, January 27, 2014

MEANWHILE..........

late last night,  in another wing, outside  my Social Director Anita Moorecock's door...... 
 
 
when I question her, I sure hope she tells me she was counting sheep to sleep.

MONDAY MOMENTS

HAPPY MONDAY DEARIES.....
 
I swear, where do these weekends go?!? With the frigid temps, I took the time to catch up on sleep, cook and read blogs. I have to get rested for the Lad will be coming for a visit week after next. But in the meantime,  to show I have a sense of humor about the weather.........
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

JEWEL BOX REVUE, SPREADING HISTORIC GLITTER

Jewel Box Revue booklet
 
Hard to believe that drag and impersonation has been around as long as it was. Even in the 20's and 30's some of the most fabulous girls lived and performed! And  toured the country to some surprising little towns. The Jewel Box Revue was a famous drag/female impersonator touring company that began in 1939 and ran well into the 1960s. I believe the show shoe was sometime in late 1968. In 1939, during a time when gay people were viewed as abhorrent subversives and a threat to society, Danny Brown and Doc Benner were lovers.... and longtime producers of the revue, and were said to be pretty tough customers who never backed down from a fight and were known to run a very tight ship. They were hard on their employees but could be brutal to anyone who messed with “their girls.”In a very real sense Danny and Doc are the true godfathers of the modern gay community. Creating America's first gay community was not what Danny and Doc initially had in mind when they created the revue. They felt that Vaudeville had sidelined female impersonation acts into little more than burlesque shows, and both were passionate about reviving drag as an art form. Danny and Doc also intentionally catered the show to a heterosexual audience and tried their best to be viewed as legitimate entertainment by locals and authorities, to stay clear of any legal charges of sexual deviance. But behind the protective spin of publicity, it cannot be denied that the revue fostered one of the first gay-positive communities in America, if not the first. It was a place where "gayness" was accepted before the concept of gay-identity had even been fully conceived. The show became incredibly popular throughout the United States. Stars of the revue such as Mr. Lynne Carter, whose talent and skill as a dancer was legendary, became quite famous and included the Rat Packer and toe-tapper Sammy Davis Jr. as a fan.
 
 
Sammy Davis Jr with Lynne Carter
 
Legendary Charles Pierce with Lynne Cater
 
 The drag revue was most often comprised of “25 Men & One Girl.” The one girl was none other than Miss Storme DeLaviere who served as the sole male impersonator for the revue. Storme would garner iconic status within the LGBT community in 1969 for being one of the first people to fight back against police officers during the raid on the Stonewall Inn. The riots that followed would spark the modern gay-rights movement. Despite government crackdowns against gay performers and female impersonators, the revue successfully toured America and Canada for nearly 30 years. At the height of its popularity the revue headlined at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem to rave reviews.
 
 
 
The show was billed as " 25 Men and 1 Woman," but hundreds of gay entertainers and female impersonators would come to work with the revue over the years, and their influence on the burgeoning gay rights movement still resonates to this very day. It's amazing to see just how glam they were considering the tools we have now, they didn't. Some of the legendary performers.....
 
Bernie Brandell
 
 
Guilda
 
Jean Fredricks
 
Chiki Rhimes
 
George "Titanic" Rodgers
 
Jan Carlove
 
Bruno La Fantastique
 
Pepa Darena
 
Selina Powers
 
Tony del Ray
 
 I've got a hunch that somewhere out there in the cosmos, Danny Brown and Doc Benner couldn't be prouder at how well and far drag and impersonation has went.
 
Danny Brown and Doc Benner
 
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