Don’t let the Kings deceive you

By Casey Toner

Some will come dressed as cowboys, some as policemen and others as Elvis – all dressed as men.

The Chicago Kings, an all-female drag troupe, will perform at 8:30 p.m. today at the Holmes Student Center’s Duke Ellington Ballroom.

The performance is one of many events held for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Awareness Month.

During their performance, the kings will lip sync to pre-recorded songs, including jazz, country and pop hits, among others. The performances range from comic to moderately serious.

Margie Cook, coordinator of the LGBT Resource Center, said the drag shows are a stylized presentation rather than a serious, accurate representation.

“Drag shows come from an appreciation for style and performance and oftentimes cultural commentary,” Cook said. “Drag is a way for people to utilize modes of expression that are not part of the mainstream cultures.”

Cook said the Kings will be dressed as different personas, with each King wearing an ornate outfit.

In previous drag shows, the performers have worn intricate, embellished and decorative costumes, such as hats with oversized feathers, PRISM office manager Traci Heinz said.

“They’re very funny. It’s very campy, stylized performers,” Cook said. “Many of the performances are kind of over the top.”

Following the show, the Drag Kings will open the floor for a group dance.

PRISM is sponsoring the show. Admission is free.