On Monday, Oct. 23 the D.P. Culp University Center Ballroom was transformed as local drag performers took the stage to give some spooky yet hilarious drag performances.
The hostess for the evening was a local drag queen who goes by AnnaTomical and performs regularly at Johnson City’s gay nightclub, New Beginnings. She set the mood for the evening with her quirky sense of humor and Halloween-themed repartee.
“We have a fabulous lineup with some amazing, spooky, bloody nonsense playing for you,” AnnaTomical said. “We’re all old enough to be over cutesy Halloween, but the amount of onesies in this room is truly terrifying.”
AnnaTomical’s promise for “spooky, bloody nonsense” rang true as several of the performances heavily featured the use of fake blood and knives. The evening’s performers included Mr. New Beginnings Austin Rain, Miata Monroe, Sia Cox O’Hara, Xavier Grey, and Ondreah Montrose.
Audience member and ETSU student Matthew Jennings was struck by the variety of the performances during the show.
“I feel like the drag show showed off a lot of talented performers and a variety of forms of drag,” Jennings said.
And while the show featured many seasoned performers, it was definitely a show that could be enjoyed by lifelong drag fans and audience members new to drag.
“It definitely was accessible to everyone, even those who were maybe not familiar with LGBT culture,” Jennings said.
Before the show began, attendees were invited to get food from a generous spread of free pizza, chicken wings and fruit.
Midway through the performance AnnaTomical paused the show to allow the performers to change costumes and to give the audience members a chance to get down on the dance floor. After the dance party, students were invited to participate in a costume contest judged by a panel of drag queens and the audience.
“The costume contest was definitely a major highlight, and the diversity and creativity of costumes on display was just as great as the queens themselves,” Jennings said.
After the winners of the costume contest were announced, the performers took back to the stage to give the audience a final round of gory, Halloween drag. The night ended with a lot of laughter, cheering and applause.