I’m still processing the spectacle of last Saturday night, when legendary drag queen Lady Bunny came to St. John’s.
Though I’ve never watched “Ru Paul’s Drag Race,” or even attended a drag queen show in St. John’s, which boasts a blossoming drag scene, even I was familiar with Lady Bunny’s legacy.
She’s the founder of Wigstock, an annual drag queen festival with a 30-year run, was one of the New York City “Club Kids” and has appeared in a number of films, including 1995’s “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar” – my introduction to the famous drag queen.
When I heard newly formed promotion company Tongue In Chic was bringing this renowned American celebrity to Club One on Oct. 20, I figured there was no better opportunity to take in what the drag scene has to offer – and I can’t believe I’ve waited so long.
Local drag queens were delighted to share the stage with Lady Bunny, as they competed for the title of “Queen of the Night,” to be crowned by Lady Bunny herself, who shared the judge's panel with local drag queen Irma Gerd and comedienne Mary Walsh.
Though 12 queens entered the competition, only five would vie for the coveted title.
Roxie Cotton, Eda Kumquat, Sheayla Heights, Amanita 95 and Rose Nylons were put through a series of cut-throat contests, showcasing their lip-syncing, dancing and, for one particular queen, singing abilities. The contestants were also graded on audience interaction and engagement, as well as their costumes, make-up and hair.
As the queens continued competing, I was surprised by how quickly I became invested in the show. When it seemed like my favourite queen, Sheayla Heights, was going to be eliminated, I felt simultaneously anxious and vicious.
After a gruelling battle, the queens retired to don their final outfits, leaving the stage to the true “Queen of the Night,” Lady Bunny.
Though the entire show was X-rated, Lady Bunny really laid it on thick.
Nearly all of her hilarious quotes from the evening, if I were to write them, would result in a slew of angry letters to the editor.
A true show-woman, Lady Bunny was surely workin’ up a sweat, though it wasn’t visible, her massive wig, enormous eyelashes and heavy contouring demanding attention and respect.
Lady Bunny performed a number of hilariously witty parodies, with lascivious lyrics that could make Hugh Hefner blush.
One of my personal favourite moments from the set was, while singing about chicken nuggets, Lady Bunny tossed nuggets out into the crowd, and accidentally hit a girl in the face with a rogue nug.
Though she was laughing – along with the crowd and the victim of the fast-food frontal assault – Lady Bunny was a true professional, continuing her performance but adding a heartfelt, “B*tch, I’m so sorry,” in between verses.
The evening culminated in the crowning of the “Queen of the Night.”
With a series of magnificent performances, Eda Kumquat took home the crown, with Sheayla Heights as the runner-up. Don’t worry, Sheayla – you’re the queen of my heart, next to Lady Bunny, of course.