The Waldo Theatre will soon welcome Curbside Queens as they celebrate the art of drag with the people of Maine. The Portland-based group will bring their fiercely funny and fabulous touring show to The Waldo on Saturday, July 29 at 8:00PM.
Wait. What is it? Why is it?
Backstory: Drag began out of necessity. When Shakespearean theatre was new in the late 16th century the stage wasn’t just a place of entertainment. It had strong links to the church and with that came rules that only men could tread the boards. If the play featured a few female roles, then it was up to a couple of the men in the cast to dress as members of the opposite sex .The word ‘drag’ comes from the dresses men wore to play female characters that would drag along the floor.
Actors playing female parts because there were no actresses around isn’t exactly in the spirit of what we call drag today - but it was a start. It became a way for men to express a different side of themselves, over-exaggerating feminine looks, style and body language to create a persona.
As RuPaul says, there is more to drag than impersonating a woman: “I don't dress like a woman; I dress like a drag queen!”
Drag is a fascinating, complex world packed with surprises and social history and a whole lot of fun.
In 2017, Time magazine named RuPaul as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. If that doesn’t spill the T, what does?
Enter The Waldo Theatre, a gutsy little venue in Waldoboro, Maine. You might call it Little Radio City, which has been a nickname over the years, but I prefer the “Little Theatre that Could ( and did.) What did it do? It came back from near ruin with lights blazing and full houses. It rose up from rubble and like a Phoenix flies high. And now The Waldo Theatre brings to Midcoast Maine the first professional drag show seen here on Saturday, July 29 at 8:00PM.
Oh ,we have had amateur drag shows around here before. I recall several years of “ Guys in Gowns” that featured everyone from Bank Presidents to Police officers and Fishermen, The local beauty salons made a killing on hair dos and false nails and eyelashes. While some were markedly “interesting” others were so fab that until the wigs came off even neighbors did not know who they were. Money was raised for charity and the only concern was who was the prettiest.
You know what was absent? Any controversy at all, and that is how it should be. If folks want to object, they can start with Shakespeare and Milton Berle, Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman and so many other icons. This is vaudeville , folks, and like old vaudeville- meant for adults.
Let’s all welcome The Curbside Queens! This Portland based crew was born out of the early days of the pandemic lockdown 2020, at a time when community morale and engagement was hitting a low. Cherry Lemonade and GiGi Gabor floated the idea of driveway shows, utilizing Gigi’s SUV and a boombox, as a way to celebrate during a pride month devastated by a global pandemic. What was originally thought to be a fun thing for 2 or 3 weekends quickly turned into 19 weeks, 8000 miles, and 88 shows all across Maine.
The Queens (and Kings) will bring their joy and laughter to what is bound to be a fun and fabulous evening of celebration. Show up.
Creative wardrobe is encouraged for audience members too – since everyone deserves the right to “dress to express”. This performance is suggested for everyone age 16 and up.
Visit www.waldotheatre.org for information about tickets, parking, and more upcoming events.