Pride hosts Big Weekend Extravaganza for exposing diversity at Keene State College
Drag queens: a taboo in our culture that is being more and more accepted as it is transformed from stigma to performing art.
Men, women, and transgender people, go on stage to perform dances of an erotic nature to songs matching various sexual personas.
On Thursday, April 12, Keene State College Pride organized it’s Big Weekend Extravaganza, kicking it off with a drag queen show in the Mabel Brown Room.
The show starred Lady Sabrina and her crew of three queens from Club 313 in Manchester, N.H.
However, the show did not start exactly on time. The queens were held back because they were pulled over for a traffic violation.
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However, KSC Pride used the time to host a dance event until the performers arrived.
45 minutes later, people stopped dancing with each other so they could witness the drag dancers on stage.
First on the stage was the crew’s leader, and recruiter, Sabrina. With a tight leather outfit dazzling with sequins and leather boots stomping herself a beat, she commanded the wills of the audience with her seductive prowess.
She crawled, stomped, and grabbed her way through the audience, accepting money from members allowing them to interact with her.
One student, KSC sophomore Joey Lotstein, went on stage and kissed her. He said, “It was definitely an experience, definitely interesting to say the least.”
After the performance, Sabrina had a comedy act in which she called people out on their sexuality, made fun of her fellow queens, and talked about her sexual past.
The next several performers were Tsunami, Bootz Morales, and Joslyn Fox. Each dancer had an accompanying persona with their dances.
Morales commented on her persona saying, “It’s a mixture of sluts and prostitutes, and hookers, someone who would get killed on the corner.”
She went on to say, “I’ve been dancing all my life, it’s always been a part of me.”
Fox said her persona is, “a culmination of divas new and old, living and dead. A little bit of everyone that I love.”
Fox said she was DJing a show she was dancing to and, “I was singing and dancing along with the performances and she [Sabrina] gave me a dress and a wig and put me on stage.”
Throughout the night each dancer had two dances in which they crawled on stage for money handed to them by the audience.
Audience members had their own personal favorite.
One student, junior Laura Hagan, said her favorite dancer was, “Honestly Lady Sabrina, I mean Joslyn is super hot but I think Lady Sabrina just because her comedy is really awesome, plus she’s hilarious.”
KSC sophomore Melanie Berry said, “It was amazing, I love the drag queens.” She went on to say her favorite part of the show was, “Lady Sabrina’s boobs, I love those things.”
KSC Pride Vice President and sophomore Julia Rasku commented on Pride’s work to get the queens to KSC.
She said, “We had them here last semester for our dance and so we just asked them to come again.”
She went on to say, “They were actually requested a lot after the dance. Everyone really liked them, so they wanted them back again, so we provided.”
The night was filled with laughter and comments made by the audience from beginning to end.
There was some adult content during the performance including topless dances, stripping, and strong use of profanities.
However, it seemed that everybody had a good time at the show and was ready for the next one the following night.
As part of KSC Pride’s weekend extravaganza, a weekend of free events held in the Mabel Brown Room of the student center included the all-female gender-bending performance troupe, All the King’s Men.
The performance started out with three performers taking to the stage dressed as elderly women, and one other performer dressed as a nurse.
The trio then continued to mess around with the nurse, tricking her into dancing and other goofy things while lip syncing to songs.
After the sketch, one of the performers walked out onto the stage and proceeded to lecture the audience about modern indecency. The performer invited another performer out to play a song for her to sing to on the guitar. The song played, “If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d’ve Baked a Cake” by Georgia Gibbs, included sexual innuendos that the performer took time to stop and explain in detail to the audience.
The next act showcased two performers dressed up as male greasers, dancing and lip syncing to “Jitterbug.” The two would go around the stage, acting out various comedic poses in which the two inadvertently touched each other in various ways, only to give each other awkward glances and go back to dancing.
Mirroring the previous set up, the next act featured two performers dressed up in 1950s style dresses. The two danced to classic music from that time period, but in the middle the song abruptly changed to a modern hip-hop track where the two comically switched their routine to match.
Another act had another set of two performers interacting with the audience in a fake dance class setting. The instructors took turns teaching the audience members how to pose in sexy and attractive ways.
Other acts included in the show contained a member of the troupe reciting vivid poetry to the audience, addressing sexuality as well as world problems and political commentary.
In one act, the Mabel Brown projection screen was lowered, and a movie clip showed the performers acting out a music video skit involving one member dressed as a man, and his reactions to the other costumes and characters of the troupe.
More still, after one of the song and dance routines, a performer showed up in the back of the room, dressed as a man and making crude gestures and remarks. The performer made her way up to the stage and challenged the audience, asking them what they would like to see. An anonymous voice from the audience said, “Strip” and the performer decided to do just that. The performer started her strip-tease by taking off the male attire, and slowly stripped down to nothing but her underwear.
The rest of the show included a Backstreet Boys impression, and a few more presentations of music video-style stage performances. All of this lead up to a finale of the troupe in a can-can type of routine.
One of the performers, Karin Webb, said, “We really love the school. There is always such an awesome, warm, amazing audience.” Webb continued, saying that the variety show has many different pieces, and that each piece speaks differently to different people. “I’d say that our overall message is just slice of life. It takes a lot of different types to make up the world. Find your joy wherever you’re at.”
Samantha Charland, a KSC student, commented, “I thought the show was very funny. I thought the Backstreet Boys bit was the funniest.”
Another KSC student, Maxx Hunter, stated, “I thought it was very creative, a very unique sense of humor. I haven’t laughed that hard in a while.”
The President of KSC Pride Jason Abisch said, “This is our fourth year having All the King’s Men at Keene State. KSC Pride has always done it as a tradition and we wanted to uphold that.” Abisch also stated that since this is the fourth year this troupe has performed for KSC, Pride will not be having the performers back for a while in order to do something new for next year.
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