Drag Show fabulously celebrates inclusion, creativity at U.
The diversity and inclusivity in which Rutgers University prides itself with was fabulously showcased Thursday night at Demarest Hall’s "Spring Drag Show," where students came out to perform and show support for the LGBTQIA community.
Aidan Cushing, a resident of Demarest Hall and organizer for the event, said the tight-knit and supportive community of Demarest is what makes the Hall a perfect location for the show.
“For as long as I can remember, Demarest has been this amazing bastion for people looking for a home,” said the School of Arts and Sciences sophomore. “Demarest Hall is like one big family, so its insane sense of community is what makes shows like this happen.”
As one of the biggest events Demarest hosts twice a year, the show always attracts a large crowd, with last year’s show bringing in more than 200 people. This time around, the crowd was as vibrant as ever, as both the audience and performers came prepared with high energy and enthusiasm.
“While we do all we can to make the show happen, the real soul of the show comes from the people there,” Cushing said. “The show is a magical night, and that’s not something we’re going to let go of.”
And the magical night was filled with dancing, laughter, good music and good fashion, making the show a highlight of many students’ nights.
“I’d never been to a drag show before, and only attended because I have a friend performing,” said Amanda Ramos, a School of Arts and Sciences senior. “It’s great that Rutgers has a diverse enough community to put on such a show, and I’m surprised at how much I’m enjoying it.”
Other than the flashing strobe lights blaring in multicolor, the room was dim, which set the tone for an extravagant night.
Almost every performer in the show was affiliated with the Rutgers community, which made the show feel tailored students, showcasing the talent and pride of the University.
The host, who went by the name Carolina, took the stage to introduce the show as well as perform a few Lana Del Rey-inspired routines.
Drag queen Shakira took the stage shortly after with a dance number as well as some stand-up comedy, and wowed the crowd in a light-up, bubble wrap dress.
Coco Cristal stole the show with a Beyonce-inspired number, where she danced and sang to some of Queen Bey’s biggest hits, such as “Love On Top” and “Single Ladies.”
Exemplifying its true status as a welcoming, inclusive community, the show was not strictly limited to drag performances. Several performers simply staged their own acts to songs like the fan favorite “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” by Panic! At the Disco and “Fireflies” by Owl City without the classic drag hair and makeup.
Will Wood and the Tapeworms headlined, and as lively and theatrical as the performance was, it was especially impressive because he is a one-man show.
The perfectly eccentric frontman Will Wood belted out several original songs all while playing the keyboard with both hands and occasionally the heel of his foot.
“This show is a ringing of the bell curve, a celebration of the fringe-class fabulous that seeks to bring the outsiders in,” said Wood when asked what performing in the show meant to him. “Nothing shines light on a subject like a spotlight.”
Overall, the drag show was a success, without a dull moment — even the intermission was a dance party.
As intended, the show gave students a space to express themselves and spread positivity, and was just another event that proved that a school as large as Rutgers can still be close knit.