Friday, April 24thsaw Phoenix Fan Fusion host its very first drag show. For some this might seem as a shocking move, but I daresay that for most people this was a welcome addition to the annual Memorial Day Weekend geek event here in Phoenix.
As we reported in our Press Release, and as we covered in our latest podcast episode 222 where we spoke with Brandon Rhea from Square Egg Entertainment, this event was proposed by someone outside of the LGBTQ+ community, so it’s no wonder it was eagerly accepted and staged for the Fan Fusion crowd.
Our hostess was the local Drag Queen legend Barbra Seville and if anyone had any doubt about the type of show that was going to be put on, Barbra immediately put all of those fears to rest.
Coming out in feathery clothing that covered her from her neck all the way down she immediately started singing “I’ve Never Been To Me” made famous again as the opening song from Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. The key line in that song is “I’ve been to paradise,” which was a hint as to where this was going to go, and yes I was right for she removed her feather frock and revealed herself to be none other than Wonder Woman!
The list of drag performers, both Queens and Kings, are too numerous to mention, but I will say that each and every one of them was absolutely amazing! Phoenix Fan Fusion did an incredible job in gathering some of the best talent out there making for what was one of the best Drag Shows I have ever seen!
The headliner for this event was Phi Phi O’Hara who had two numbers. She first came out as Rita Repulsa from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers and she was spectacular, but her coup de grace came at the end of the evening when she came out as Bellatrix Lastrange from the Harry Potter series, and Phi Phi showed the audience why she was good enough to be on RuPaul’s Drag Race. This performance was downright terrifying! She nailed not only the movements of Helena Bonham Carter, but also the facial ticks employed when bringing Bellatrix to the screen. It was a moment that had the audience on their feet cheering. Sadly, due to contractual reasons, we were not allowed to take any pictures of Phi Phi while she was performing. However, if you’re curious as to the various stage performances Phi Phi has done you can see them on Instagram.
I don’t know how long of a time these performers had prior to this event, but each of their performances were so strong that one would think they have been doing these specific acts in those costumes for years. Again, that speaks to the quality of the talent of this evening.
Lastly, what was most telling about this event was the audience reaction. While there was a healthy representation in the audience from the LGBTQ+ community, there were plenty of people who were not, yet they were there to support this event, and by the volume of their cheers and applause, it’s guaranteed that they were also very happily entertained.
Thanks to Square Egg Entertainment and Phoenix Fan Fusion for putting on this event. It is my deepest hope that we will see more of these drag shows at geek cons, both here in Phoenix, as well as all over the world!