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Rainbow Alliance 'drag show' set for Oak Harbor

It took weeks of choreography, and a search for the right dress, but Clifford Rose says he’s ready to give his best Shakira rendition this Saturday.

“My act is ‘Objection Tango.’ If you didn’t like it by her, you’ll like it by me,” he said confidently.

Rose is one of several Skagit Valley College students organizing, and performing in, the campus’s first drag show. It’s co-sponsored by the Rainbow Alliance and the Asian Pacific Islander Club.

As possibly the first show of its kind in the city of Oak Harbor, the students are excited to expose the community to a new culture; and keep it lighthearted.

“I hope people say ‘That was one of the most fun things I’ve done in Oak Harbor’,” Rainbow Alliance adviser Barbara Moburg said.

Saturday’s show will feature both professional drag kings (women dressed as men) and drag queens (men dressed as women) performing to songs of their choosing. The content ranges from a roller skate skit to covers of Lady Gaga songs.

Though the club expects to make the show an annual tradition, finding funds and talent for this year’s event was harder than imagined. Rose said the students were turned down by several drag queen organizations in Seattle and Everett who perceived the city as “too conservative.”

“That really bothered me. I think we can be an open-minded community,” he said.

The clubs finally located a group in Bellingham, The Evergreen Empire, who agreed to perform the show for free. Several students decided to do a skit of their own to support the acts.

Moburg pointed out that the event isn’t exclusively about the drag community, or any one community in particular.

“Part of our mission is to educate the public about diversity and celebrate all different kinds of people,” Moburg said.

For audience members, there will be a “drag auction,” in which people enter their name in a ballot for a chance to get a drag makeover by local salons and stylists during the show. Afterwards, they can compete for prizes on the runway and the audience will vote for their favorite.

Money from the ticket sales, auction and raffles will go towards scholarships at the Whidbey Island branch of Skagit Valley College.

tickets

The show: “Drag, Divas and Dancing.”

Admission: Advance: $8 students, $10 public; at the door, $10 students, $12 public.

Ticket Sales: SVC Business Office; 679-5353.

Where: Best Western Harbor Plaza located at 33175 Highway 20 in Oak Harbor.

When: Saturday, May 8, beginning at 7 p.m.

Contact: Barbara Moburg; barbara.moburg@skagit.edu.

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