Drag show image 1
Drag queen Dixxxie Licious hosted MU’s Drag Show over May Day weekend and performed two numbers herself.
Photo by Manchester Activities Council

Annual Drag Show Lights Up May Day Weekend

Chloe Leckrone

Manchester’s annual May Day drag show, organized by multiple student organizations, took place in the PERC on Saturday, May 8.

The theme of the show this year was “Light Up the Night,” and the PERC gymnasium was decorated with colorful lights, a disco ball, and glow sticks for attendees to accessorize themselves with, along with the stage and runway.

Former Manchester student and professional drag queen Dixxxie Licious was the host for the evening and gave the opening and closing performances to “It’s Raining Men” and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” respectively. When she was not dancing and lip-syncing, she traveled around the room, masked, to interact with the audience and give commentary on the other performers.

The rest of the lineup consisted of three more professional drag queens, two student drag queens, one student drag king, singer Maegan Pollonais, and the Spartanettes dance team. Normally, the audience would be able to go up to the stage and tip their performers. Because of COVID restrictions, this year students were encouraged to donate go to GLSEN, an LGBT organization that works to end discrimination in schools. Over the course of the night, $135 was raised.

One of the event’s organizers, Andy Vance, who ran tech for the show in 2019 and again this year, was elated with how the show went. “I talked to Dixxxie, the MC, to see afterwards how she felt about the show and she said this was the best setup they’ve ever had at MU, technology wise and professionally,” Vance said. “That made me very inspired and happy.”

Vance’s favorite performance of the night was her friend Travis Riggs’ performance of “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” by Lil Nas X. “Travis and I actually grew up together in high school in our theatre program and I remember him in our first makeshift Drag Show there, and it’s amazing to see his growth into an outgoing performer here at MU,” Vance said. “I’m so proud of him and all the other performers who strut their stuff at our ‘Light Up the Night’ USG Drag Show!”

Last spring, with USG in need of assistance in planning, Artists Anonymous and Theatre Society gladly stepped in to help. Of course, the show’s planning had to be paused after Manchester’s sudden close due to COVID-19. However, with campus slowly returning to some sort of normalcy, the show was able to go on this year with help from USG, Artists Anonymous, Theatre Society and Student Involvement.

The anticipation for the event this year, after not having it since 2019, was high. Vance is glad that students who had not yet experienced the drag show finally had the opportunity to. “My first time experiencing it I just fell in love with it,” Vance said. “Everyone there was so accepting; you just kind of forgot about everything you hear in the world. You realize you’re coming to this event to support people who love, plus people you don’t know but you end up loving.”

Hopes are that the successful show marks USG’s comeback after some time being dormant. “With USG coming back into the reins with everything, it’s kind of giving them that push to say, ‘Hey, we’re here if you need us,’” Vance said.