R Place in Seattle concluded its “30th Year Anniversary” celebration last Saturday. The evening affair, organized by DJ FLow, was packed with an amazing line-up of drag performances headlined by Manila Luzon! R Place’s all star Lashes cast – Robbie Turner, Ladie Chablis, and La Saveona Hunt was in full force. The show also included performances by reigning Miss UTOPIA – Atasha Manila, and one of Seattle’s top drag entertainer – Minerva Markos. The exceptional Aleksa Manila, Atasha Manila’s drag mother, along with her beau, joined the audience … tipping, hooting, and all that fun stuff.
Tangent Time: In retrospect, the event could’ve easily been mistaken as a Philippine gala. Ha! There where so many peeps of Philippine descent at the event that the only thing missing were some lumpia, pancit, and karaoke … it would’ve been enough to call it a Philippine Fiesta! Hel-lo!
When you attend a lot of drag shows, at some point the performances start to become familiar. It would still bet great to watch but I find it more exciting if they’re not predictable. Drag queens who like to stay ahead of their game are those queens who keep trying new things – they don’t have to succeed all the time, but spicing things up are so much better than routine. Don’t you think? To me the night was all about this … “spicing things up”. Here’s why …
No More Expectations
Seasoned queen, Ladie Chablis, opened the show. And I thought … ok, I’ve seen this. But wait .. she was just warming up! Just when I thought I knew what her performances where gonna be … BAM! … she came on stage in a gorgeous evening dress, and then … KAPOW! … she wore an elaborate showgirl outfit, one I haven’t seen before, complete with a very lush feathery headdress! It was amazing. She stepped it up!
I’ve given up predicting where La Saveona Hunt is going to enter the stage. It’s just not possible! I felt like a meerkat on the lookout for a predator. “Where is it? Front, back, … the ceiling?” She is still doing it … trying new things. Great power dancer but with a twist! It is so much fun to see her … diversify.
Atasha Manila was a whirlwind. She did a couple of amazing extreme performances. For her first number, she wore an ethnic/Tina Turner-inspired outfit (that’s the best way I could describe it :P). High energy performance with an added bonus, wig flipping. Then she glammed it all up in her second performance with a very edgy sassy look. It was funny to watch DJ Flow hand over the microphone to Atasha after her first performance while she was still catching her breath, “You want me to talk?” she asked, panting heavily. lol
I first saw Minerva Markos performed live at Neighbours Nightclub a few weeks ago and I thought she’s top notch. Her look is well put together. Kind of like “The Craft” (1996) meets Sidney Prescott (“Scream”) meets “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” meets Drag Race … -ish? She comes across as coy but her performances are fierce. You know what they say about silent types? They’re fierce performers lol #NotMalicious. Anyway, it’s great to see her perform solo. She’ll be a great addition to R Place shows.
Robbie Turner (pause) LOL Bahahahahaha Hahahahahahaha (applause) (applause). Done. That’s it. Seriously, she’s a hoot! Great Off Off Broadway-ish numbers, laugh-out-loud stand-up, great (use of audience) audience interaction, and fine outfit with a sickening mug to match. What more can one ask for? So I’ve been told she just had a sold out solo show … good for her! I’m telling you … she’s funny and she didn’t even have to read so many people of diversity except Christians, lesbians, and straight people. Its playing safe but hey … Bianca Del Rio may have to change writers. (disclaimer: I didn’t mean that Bianca, kinda).
Tangent time: Trend alert: Tutu dresses. LOL I’m borrowing those words … hey, they took “RuView”. So I’ve observed that queens are starting to wear outfits that resembles a tutu or really short puffy skirt. I don’t know the technical fashion term for it but that’s how it looks like to me. I’ve noticed Pandora Boxx, La Saveona Hunt, Atasha Manila, Robbie Turner, Minerva Markos, and others do it. Is it because of the warm weather or are they running out of fabric or want to economize or simply want to be able to run better just in case they’re being chased by the paparazzi? Its cute.
I last saw Manila Luzon perform in RuPaul’s Drag Race – Battle of The Seasons in Vancouver a few weeks ago. Her performances in that event where cooky and gimmicky. It worked for me. I was expecting to see similar performances, I was wrong. She was so glammed up. She didn’t sing any of her singles, but she made great song choices for her three lip sync performances. Her first outfit looked like a glammed up tribute to Tweaker (her character in “Queens in Space”… Google it). She did a Madonna “Material Girl” look. And for her third performance, and the night’s finale, she wore a very cute … tropical pond (or aquarium?) inspired dress … complete with fresh water fishes pinned to her dress’ neckline … goldfish, guppies, and what have you. And to top it off … she wore a pineapple ring! I like it how she doesn’t look like a cardboard cutout during meet and greet, unlike others (whom I will not mention).
It was a great night! There where drag queens on people’s shoulders, cooch sniff offers, drag queens on platforms, … fresh shticks… great vibe … great show! Well done R Place … and DJ Floyd. Keep up the good work and more power!
Check out the event photos …