So-Cal drag show draws big names

Oct 7, 2008 Full story: www.instantriverside.com 48

"I respect drag, and illusionists, a hundred percent. And I don't have anybody in my show who doesn't look like who they're doing." The drag show will bring the likenesses of Cher, Dolly Parton, Bette Midler, ...

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“Reality is better than truth”

Since: Jun 07

Indianapolis

#1 Oct 7, 2008
God, i miss fun drag shows. Most of them now are just cokeheads wearing wigs and bad make-up, lip-syncing poorly and are personality-free. We had some great ones in this state, like Ruth Dix, Ronee Sommers, and many whose names I no longer remember.

They weren't intense or pretending to be women; they were drag queens and they knew how to work an audience.

“Created Equal”

Since: Feb 08

USA

#2 Oct 8, 2008
Cpetr13 wrote:
God, i miss fun drag shows. Most of them now are just cokeheads wearing wigs and bad make-up, lip-syncing poorly and are personality-free. We had some great ones in this state, like Ruth Dix, Ronee Sommers, and many whose names I no longer remember.
They weren't intense or pretending to be women; they were drag queens and they knew how to work an audience.
You make a great point... there is a not-too-subtle difference between a drag queen and a "female impersonator." Any skinny boy in a dress can lip-sync and dance. But it takes stagecraft, humor, and guts to really work the room.
Ralph

United States

#3 Oct 8, 2008
Cpetr13 wrote:
God, i miss fun drag shows. Most of them now are just cokeheads wearing wigs and bad make-up, lip-syncing poorly and are personality-free. We had some great ones in this state, like Ruth Dix, Ronee Sommers, and many whose names I no longer remember.
They weren't intense or pretending to be women; they were drag queens and they knew how to work an audience.
I wish you won't do this. Now you got me thinking of the 60's and 70's drag queens in St. Louis. Wow, some of that entertainment is lost to history, but since I was involved in the bar scene I knew many of them, and I even took movies. I also have records that they mimed, so I can play them when I show the Super 8mm movies at holiday parties. Many of them are dead now, but we remember them fondly have have a whooping good time remembering. I have often thought of how we could establish an archive for photos, movies, etc. so the younger folks can see them. After I am dead the stuff will probably be thrown in a trash can.
Ralph

United States

#4 Oct 8, 2008
In the first sentence of previous post the word "won't" should be "wouldn't"

“Plays well with others.”

Since: Jun 07

LIVING WELL*THE BEST REVENGE

#5 Oct 8, 2008
My favorite was Tasha Wallis in Atlanta in the early 80's....just beautiful. She was from Hawaii. And I got to see Diamond Lil one time in 1975. First time in a gay bar and that is who I saw....16 and went right in. The Sweet Gum Head...what a name for a bar.

“Reality is better than truth”

Since: Jun 07

Indianapolis

#6 Oct 8, 2008
There are gay archives in many cities; your precious memories don't have to be tossed out in the trash.
Ralph wrote:
<quoted text>
I wish you won't do this. Now you got me thinking of the 60's and 70's drag queens in St. Louis. Wow, some of that entertainment is lost to history, but since I was involved in the bar scene I knew many of them, and I even took movies. I also have records that they mimed, so I can play them when I show the Super 8mm movies at holiday parties. Many of them are dead now, but we remember them fondly have have a whooping good time remembering. I have often thought of how we could establish an archive for photos, movies, etc. so the younger folks can see them. After I am dead the stuff will probably be thrown in a trash can.

“God hates me!”

Since: May 07

West Texas, USA

#7 Oct 8, 2008
ScottyMatic wrote:
<quoted text>
You make a great point... there is a not-too-subtle difference between a drag queen and a "female impersonator." Any skinny boy in a dress can lip-sync and dance. But it takes stagecraft, humor, and guts to really work the room.
Very true. I remember my first "official" drag show I went to in San Diego (uggg cant remember the name of the place, was on 5th ave and this was in 1998) and absolutely fell in love with the whole thing and have a been a fan since. The MC was amazing and really worked the room (there were only like 15 of us) like it was the most important show in the world.

Now most shows are just guys that like to dress and dance... and that is fine. But I miss those who took it from a hobby (sorry, cant think of a better word, no disrespect intended) to an art form.

BTW, has anyone notice this: the guys that I met that did drag show routinely always were polar opposites in personality when in drag and out. I found it fascinating.
Ralph

Saint Louis, MO

#8 Oct 9, 2008
Cpetr13 wrote:
There are gay archives in many cities; your precious memories don't have to be tossed out in the trash.
<quoted text>
Well, I was hoping for one here in St. Louis, but I may google "gay archives" today, and see if there are any in the midwest that might want to accept the donation. Thanks for the input.

“Created Equal”

Since: Feb 08

USA

#9 Oct 9, 2008
dante2810 wrote:
<quoted text>
Very true. I remember my first "official" drag show I went to in San Diego (uggg cant remember the name of the place, was on 5th ave and this was in 1998) and absolutely fell in love with the whole thing and have a been a fan since. The MC was amazing and really worked the room (there were only like 15 of us) like it was the most important show in the world.
Now most shows are just guys that like to dress and dance... and that is fine. But I miss those who took it from a hobby (sorry, cant think of a better word, no disrespect intended) to an art form.
BTW, has anyone notice this: the guys that I met that did drag show routinely always were polar opposites in personality when in drag and out. I found it fascinating.
My freshman year in college, the apartment my dad picked-out for me was next door to a drag queen. I didn't know till I saw the individual returning from a show in Nashville in the small hours of a Sunday morning. Later, I befriended him, and met all of his drag queen friends. I used to go with them to Nashville (to an absolute DIVE called The Jungle... maybe it's still there?) Their personalities were very different in and out of costume.

I wrote not long afterward that drag queens, collectively, were not only responsible for taking the initiative in the stonewall riots which changed the entire LGBT landscape in America, but during the 80's and early 90's, they were the single biggest fundraising segment in the fight against AIDS (back when the government was pretending that AIDS didn't exist... remember the Reagan years? Six years of Zero funding for the CDC on AIDS. Unforgiveable.)

Just last year, I did a series of voiceovers for a California charity drag show, and afterward, the producer sent me a video of it. I was impressed that there are still SOME drag performers out there who really know their stuff.

As for me, the one and only time I ever wore a dress was my Highschool Freshman initiation. Boys had to wear a dress, and girls had to wear pajamas... or the seniors would beat the tar out of you.(This was encouraged by the sadistic faculty.) I wore an ugly green frock that my stepmother gave me for the purpose. I wore it over my street clothes, with sneakers. Trust me, you've never seen a LESS ladylike vision.

“Reality is better than truth”

Since: Jun 07

Indianapolis

#11 Oct 9, 2008
I first went to a drag bar in college-- a catholic college, mind you--with some friends from th4e theater dept. It was a little bar called "the Door" (The FAMOUS Door, I might add). And the first drag queen I ever saw was an immense black queen named Jeanetta Williams. Sure, she lip-synced instead of sang, but she put so much joy and passion into her song that as a performer I was inspired more than I ever had been at local theater productions. There were many others as well, and they all had that same love of performing that is so rare to see these days.

As for "Trust me, you've never seen a LESS ladylike vision."--yes, I have, and she is running for vice president.
ScottyMatic wrote:
<quoted text>
My freshman year in college, the apartment my dad picked-out for me was next door to a drag queen. I didn't know till I saw the individual returning from a show in Nashville in the small hours of a Sunday morning. Later, I befriended him, and met all of his drag queen friends. I used to go with them to Nashville (to an absolute DIVE called The Jungle... maybe it's still there?) Their personalities were very different in and out of costume.
I wrote not long afterward that drag queens, collectively, were not only responsible for taking the initiative in the stonewall riots which changed the entire LGBT landscape in America, but during the 80's and early 90's, they were the single biggest fundraising segment in the fight against AIDS (back when the government was pretending that AIDS didn't exist... remember the Reagan years? Six years of Zero funding for the CDC on AIDS. Unforgiveable.)
Just last year, I did a series of voiceovers for a California charity drag show, and afterward, the producer sent me a video of it. I was impressed that there are still SOME drag performers out there who really know their stuff.
As for me, the one and only time I ever wore a dress was my Highschool Freshman initiation. Boys had to wear a dress, and girls had to wear pajamas... or the seniors would beat the tar out of you.(This was encouraged by the sadistic faculty.) I wore an ugly green frock that my stepmother gave me for the purpose. I wore it over my street clothes, with sneakers. Trust me, you've never seen a LESS ladylike vision.

“The Skinhead way of life!”

Since: Oct 08

Ocho Rios, Jamaica!!!

#12 Oct 19, 2008
Man i showed up thinking it was Drag Racing car show man was i shocked!!!

“Reality is better than truth”

Since: Jun 07

Indianapolis

#13 Oct 19, 2008
You have no idea what they wear under those leather jumpsuits...
CLeVeR TDK wrote:
Man i showed up thinking it was Drag Racing car show man was i shocked!!!
Rick

AOL

#14 Feb 21, 2009
Cpetr13 wrote:
God, i miss fun drag shows. Most of them now are just cokeheads wearing wigs and bad make-up, lip-syncing poorly and are personality-free. We had some great ones in this state, like Ruth Dix, Ronee Sommers, and many whose names I no longer remember.
They weren't intense or pretending to be women; they were drag queens and they knew how to work an audience.
I remember some of them like Miss Star La Salle, Audrey Morgan, Adrian Shaw, Tracy Adams, Ricki and Ronee Sommers. Great fun for all would love to know what happened with them.. Thanks Peewee500@aol.com
Rick

AOL

#15 Feb 21, 2009
I miss them all at the famous door. I remember some of them .. Star La Salle, Adrian Shaw, Audry Morgan, Tracy Adams, Rcki and Ronee Summers. They were so much better then. True Stars. Would love to know where they are now..
Thanks.. Peewee500@aol.com

Since: Sep 08

Endicott, NY

#16 Feb 21, 2009
CLeVeR TDK wrote:
Man i showed up thinking it was Drag Racing car show man was i shocked!!!
Haha!! I can imagine it was quite a surprise for you!

“Reality is better than truth”

Since: Jun 07

Indianapolis

#17 Feb 23, 2009
It was tragic that they tore it down; the Door was such a fun bar and had the bet shows. Truth to tell, I'm not sure what happened to most of them.

Ruth Dix--here's a clip:

I think Ruth is still performing

Tracy Adams:
http://www.youtube.com/watch...
I can't find anything on her past the early 90's

Can't find anything on Adrian Shaw or many others. I hope they are still around and going strong, but I fear the worst.

It's a shame that we have all but lost this special form of entertainment in these "politically correct" times.
Rick wrote:
I miss them all at the famous door. I remember some of them .. Star La Salle, Adrian Shaw, Audry Morgan, Tracy Adams, Rcki and Ronee Summers. They were so much better then. True Stars. Would love to know where they are now..
Thanks.. Peewee500@aol.com
Toni Warren

Nashville, TN

#18 Mar 5, 2009
Rick wrote:
I miss them all at the famous door. I remember some of them .. Star La Salle, Adrian Shaw, Audry Morgan, Tracy Adams, Rcki and Ronee Summers. They were so much better then. True Stars. Would love to know where they are now..
Thanks.. Peewee500@aol.com
I worked at The Famous Door with the rest of these gals. My name was Toni Warren, and I miss those days. What fond memories! Unfortunately, some of my sisters are no longer with us, but here's what I know:
Tracy Adams - Passed 1992
Starr LaSalle - Passed 1990s
Audrey Morgan - Passed mid 1980s
Rikki & Ronnie Summers: Alive and doing very well in Indy!
Maxine Allen: Passed
Rosemary Cruz: Sex Reassignment
Sasha D'or: Colorado (still?)
Adrian Shaw: Alive and doing very well in Indy! Certified Professional secretary (male)
Lindy Shaw: Alive and doing very well in Indy!
Toni Warren: Alive and doing very well in Tennessee! Certified Professional Legal Secretary (male)
Tonya Terrell: Alive and doing very well in Indy!
Roxanne Cordova: Passed 1990s
Dee Dee DuBois: Alive and doing well!
Jeanetta Williams: Passed(?)
Ronnie Russell: Indy (?)
I hope this answers your question.

“Reality is better than truth”

Since: Jun 07

Indianapolis

#19 Mar 6, 2009
i miss those days too; you were one of my favorites! In fact, I made quie a few trips up to the stage clutching what mad money I had when you were performing--and it was well worth eating mac and cheese/ramen noodles the rest of the week.

I'm glad so many of the girls are still around and that you are doing well. From your perspective, what happened to drag? When did it go from being fun to being about anorexia and just looking like a woman?

As for Jeanetta Williams, I remember hearing that she had passed on some time ago; I know when she was performing she was already having health problems. A real shame; she was an exuberant performer, and nobody did a helicopter spin like Miss Jeanetta!

Hoping yu have all the happiness and success you can handle!
Toni Warren wrote:
<quoted text>
I worked at The Famous Door with the rest of these gals. My name was Toni Warren, and I miss those days. What fond memories! Unfortunately, some of my sisters are no longer with us, but here's what I know:
Tracy Adams - Passed 1992
Starr LaSalle - Passed 1990s
Audrey Morgan - Passed mid 1980s
Rikki & Ronnie Summers: Alive and doing very well in Indy!
Maxine Allen: Passed
Rosemary Cruz: Sex Reassignment
Sasha D'or: Colorado (still?)
Adrian Shaw: Alive and doing very well in Indy! Certified Professional secretary (male)
Lindy Shaw: Alive and doing very well in Indy!
Toni Warren: Alive and doing very well in Tennessee! Certified Professional Legal Secretary (male)
Tonya Terrell: Alive and doing very well in Indy!
Roxanne Cordova: Passed 1990s
Dee Dee DuBois: Alive and doing well!
Jeanetta Williams: Passed(?)
Ronnie Russell: Indy (?)
I hope this answers your question.
Toni Warren

Nashville, TN

#20 Mar 6, 2009
Cpetr13 wrote:
i miss those days too; you were one of my favorites! In fact, I made quie a few trips up to the stage clutching what mad money I had when you were performing--and it was well worth eating mac and cheese/ramen noodles the rest of the week.
I'm glad so many of the girls are still around and that you are doing well. From your perspective, what happened to drag? When did it go from being fun to being about anorexia and just looking like a woman?
As for Jeanetta Williams, I remember hearing that she had passed on some time ago; I know when she was performing she was already having health problems. A real shame; she was an exuberant performer, and nobody did a helicopter spin like Miss Jeanetta!
Hoping yu have all the happiness and success you can handle!
<quoted text>
I left "the business" in 1984 after doing a three-year stint at Talbott Street and the Club 508 f/k/a Darlo's. I had worked for 14 continuous years by that time, and I needed something more as I felt that gone were the days of four-hour rehearsals to "get it right", truloy entertaining as a female impersonator on a very professional level, and "awing" the audience with beauty and talent. Highly choreographed production numbers, excellence in pantomime, glamorous stage wardrobe and flawless appearances had begun to become a thing of the past during that era, at least in my eyes. The ability to merely walk onto the stage and have the audience relate to your song and that message had been overtaken by performing punk rock and wearing "street clothes" as opposed to message songs and the mere "glitz and glamour" that the business was so well known and respected. I had learned and excelled in secretarial skills throughout high school. I left the business, went to business college to regain shorthand and typing speeds, and became a legal secretary, which I've done consistently since 1986. While I definitely miss those times and my sisters, I'm EXTREMELY happy that I now have insurance, a 401-K, paid parking, and a home! As a personal opinion, too, not everyone can remain to be a physically beautiful female impersonator throughout their entire lives short of having a lot of money, a lot of visits to Dr. 90210, and a lot of stamina. Hail to those who can, for they remain. However, I know I couldn't do "You Plus Me" as I did, but I can still do a mean Joplin "Piece Of My Heart", which was one of my BIGGIES as The Famous Door. So very nice to hear from a Famous Door fan, and thank you for letting us entertain you! I speak for all of us when I say we're glad to have made your life just a little bit happier with your memories of us. As Minnie Pearl always said, "We were jes sa proud to be there!" :)
Please stay in touch! Peace, Toni Warren

“Reality is better than truth”

Since: Jun 07

Indianapolis

#21 Mar 6, 2009
I agree with what you say about the level of performance, which is probably why I rarely go to drag shows anymore, and haven't been going for years. It's funny; I did community theatre for a lot of years, and it's the same way there, which is why I no longer participate; it's all spectacle and so few people who really care about the performance. They no loner know their craft and they don't care to learn; they just go out and emote. But it's not their damned therapy; it's a production and the audience doesn't pay to be your therapist. It's so hollow now, like the drag shows.

And god knows there ain't nothin' wrong with making a living in this world; a little security and regular paychecks can mean a lot. I'm so glad you are happy.
Toni Warren wrote:
<quoted text>
I left "the business" in 1984 after doing a three-year stint at Talbott Street and the Club 508 f/k/a Darlo's. I had worked for 14 continuous years by that time, and I needed something more as I felt that gone were the days of four-hour rehearsals to "get it right", truloy entertaining as a female impersonator on a very professional level, and "awing" the audience with beauty and talent. Highly choreographed production numbers, excellence in pantomime, glamorous stage wardrobe and flawless appearances had begun to become a thing of the past during that era, at least in my eyes. The ability to merely walk onto the stage and have the audience relate to your song and that message had been overtaken by performing punk rock and wearing "street clothes" as opposed to message songs and the mere "glitz and glamour" that the business was so well known and respected. I had learned and excelled in secretarial skills throughout high school. I left the business, went to business college to regain shorthand and typing speeds, and became a legal secretary, which I've done consistently since 1986. While I definitely miss those times and my sisters, I'm EXTREMELY happy that I now have insurance, a 401-K, paid parking, and a home! As a personal opinion, too, not everyone can remain to be a physically beautiful female impersonator throughout their entire lives short of having a lot of money, a lot of visits to Dr. 90210, and a lot of stamina. Hail to those who can, for they remain. However, I know I couldn't do "You Plus Me" as I did, but I can still do a mean Joplin "Piece Of My Heart", which was one of my BIGGIES as The Famous Door. So very nice to hear from a Famous Door fan, and thank you for letting us entertain you! I speak for all of us when I say we're glad to have made your life just a little bit happier with your memories of us. As Minnie Pearl always said, "We were jes sa proud to be there!" :)
Please stay in touch! Peace, Toni Warren

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