OSWEGO, NY – The Lakeside Winterguard hosted the ‘Cancer is a Drag Show’ at the American Foundry in Oswego.
The Foundry has been the place for the Lakeside’s fundraiser drag shows in Oswego for about three years, but Tuesday’s show was a little different.
“All the raffle money gets donated to Relay for Life, plus the tips from the performers,” said the evening’s host Macy Parade. “The full amount is going to Relay for Life.”
Over the course of the night seven drag queens and one drag king performed for the crowd. Each began on stage and then milled around the room collecting tips from fans.
“There’s a wide variety of different themes people are going with,” said Macy “Personally I’m doing a spiritual of theme.”
Macy opened the show with “Jesus Take the Wheel” by Carrie Underwood and “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson. Both were appropriate choices for the spirit of the night and the Kelly Clarkson song especially got people on their feet and in the mood for a night of entertainment.
Since this was a fundraiser and not a usual Foundry drag show there were a lot of patrons who’d never been to a drag show before.
This was the case for Stephanie Smith, Bethany Donie, and Elain Schroeder. Smith had run into Macy in town the night before and the girls decided to check out the show.
“I love it, love it!” said Smith.
“Amazing, and they’re doing it for a good cause,” said Donie.
“I think they’re awesome,” said Schroeder. “They’re so confident and comfortable with who they are.”
Just before intermission Macy called on members of the audience who’ve fought or are still fighting cancer to come up onstage.
These ladies then got a turn in the spotlight and danced for dollars themselves.
Mary Jean Walker who helped run the event said she knew survivors would be called up, but was surprised they had to dance, too.
“We were the top earners!” she laughed.
“Usually the first half of the show is pretty tame, and after intermission we take the training wheels off,” said Macy.
“We’re about to start our third season of the shows. We do a different theme each time,” Macy continued.
The next show will be August 27 at the Foundry in Oswego, and the theme is “The Hot Girls of Burlesque.”
And for anyone planning to attend their first drag show, Macy has this advice to offer, “Get your dollar bills ready!”