Spit Curls, Buffed Nails

Rain doesn’t deter Wigstock from energizing the East Village

The crowd exploded when “Supermodel” Ru Paul took the stage. After performing several numbers, she reminisced, “When Wigstock started, we took all this for granted. In today’s political climate, you can’t take a damn thing for granted. So I want you to all go out and vote!”

Lady Bunny, in an adorable black and white number, brought to the stage Boy George to sing a Caribbean-inspired song “Casa,” about his new home in New York City, with rap interludes by guest singer Cazwell.

Later on, downtown host Murray Hill, clad in a blue polka-dotted dress, did a painful rendition of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.” Following that was Milan, with her five dancers, aging queen Ann Woodward singing Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side,” the Dazzle Dancers in naked glittered splendor and Linda Simpson introducing Princess Leandra, who performed a stunning medley of Tina Turner songs. After dealing with some technical difficulties and slipping on a puddle, Leandra kicked off her heels and dug in, to the delight of the crowd.

It was a hard act for former Marilyn Monroe impersonator Jimmy James to follow, though she did nicely with her medley of Cher classics. “Drag is so deeply rooted in gay culture that gays held onto this special art form, and being a part of it is incredible,” said James, who has retired from the world of drag, and performs only on “special occasions,” of which she of course included Wigstock. “I am so lucky to be living in New York City and be asked to do this. I do feel honored.”

“And I like being able to put across a somewhat political message with humor and entertainment, very tongue-in-cheek and no ugly bashing… but in the spirit of inclusiveness,” James continued. “If we can be this absurd and campy in drag and you can accept us, we’re ready to accept you, too.”

With that, the Dazzle Dancers took the stage once again for the final number, a red-white-and-blue glittery rendition of “We’re Coming to America.”

As the crowds dispersed, Lady Bunny took her bows backstage. Asked to reflect upon the days’ events, Bunny said, “Well, there’s a lot of nudity, and it’s pretty racy, but it is the East Village, and we have to stake our claim before the Republicans get here.”

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