PHOTOS: Impulse’s Down to Float 2 party

The second annual Down to Float 2 party took place Saturday, with hundreds of guests cheering on a performance by AB Soto, a fashion show (including a boy-dragged Alyssa Edwards) and beats from DJ Brandon Moses. If you attended, I hope you said hi! If you didn’t, this is what you missed.

 

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Drag Star Divas brings in big bucks for Orlando victims

Drag Stars Diva Logo

Drag Star Divas for Orlando, a show held Sunday night, July 17, at The Rose Room in S4, raised $8,500 in about two hours to benefit the victims of the June 12 mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

The event featured more than 30 performers, including Rose Room regulars, RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni, Mr. Gay USofA winner and even Alyssa Edwards’ Beyond Belief dance team.

Below are photos taken by Dallas Voice’s Chad Mantooth, and even a brief video snippet of a performance by Kennedy Davenport. Watch for more photos in the Scene section of the Friday, July 22 issue of Dallas Voice.

—  Tammye Nash

Dallas drag stars gather to show we are #OrlandoStrong

Cassie_SparkleThe events in Dallas over the past few days have led many to use the hashtag #DallasStrong. But most of us still haven’t forgot about the massacre last month at Pulse Nightclub — the largest mass murder shooting in modern U.S. history. And despite our own tragedy, Dallas’ LGBT community is still focused on helping out those 100 victims. So on Sunday, a special event called Drag Star Divas for Orlando will gather more than a dozen of the top drag entertainers in North Texas — among them RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants Alyssa Edwards and Kennedy Davenport, pageant champion Asia O’Hara, Dallas Voice columnist Cassie Nova and many more: Krystal Summers, Lalya LaRue, Edna Jean Robinson, Jenna Skyy, Valerie Lohr, Kelexis Davenport, Raquel Blake, Kandy Cayne, Plastique Tiara and Athena O’Hara.

The extravaganza will be at the Rose Room from 6–9:30 p.m. and all proceeds will benefit the LGBT Center of Central Florida. A $5 entrance donation is requested, but give as much as you can to let Orlando know we’re there for them. You can RSVP here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Happy birthday Alyssa!

AlyssaOut North Texas cover girl and RuPaul’s Drag Race/reality TV star Alyssa Edwards is celebrating her birthday this month, and you can join in the fun by heading to The Brick, 2525 Wycliff Ave., on Saturday night when Dannee Phann Productions presents “One Night in Bangkok: Alyssa’s Birthday.”

The party will feature — in addition to Alyssa, of course — Bible Girl, Gia Gunn, Laganja Estranja, Nicole O’Hara Munro, Unshante DeFoxx, Raquel Blake, “G”Licious G and Jada Fox.

Doors open at 9 p.m., the show starts at midnight and there will be a meet-and-greet photo shoot after the show.

Tickets are $125 for a VIP table for three, $10 general admission for those age 21 and up and $25 general admission for those ages 18-25. Reserving a table for three — without the VIP placement and perks — is $25. Buy your tickets in advance here.

And while you are at the Brick, be sure to pick up a copy of the 2016 Out North Texas, with Alyssa on the cover, and read our interview with her on Page 6.

And by the way, Happy birthday Alyssa, from your friends here at Dallas Voice and Out North Texas! We love you!

—  Tammye Nash

WATCH: Bianca del Rio at The Brick Saturday

IMG_8896She didn’t go on til nearly 1 a.m. and her set lasted just half an hour, but Drag Race winner Bianca del Rio nailed her comedy set at The Brick last night, with help from fellow Drag Racer Alyssa Edwards and others. She brought a number of locals onstage with her (including Dallas Voice contributor and goofy fangirl Chaka Cumberbatch) but her quick wit was what sold the set. (You can download and watch a brief clip below.)

Also on hand was Dallas designer Rey Ortiz (whom we profiled recently here) who presented del Rio with his “tip” — a custom-designed dress.
BiancaBrick

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

And the winner of ‘Drag Race’ is ….

BiancaDelRio…. Bianca Del Rio!

Yes, it was easy as A, B, C on the RuPaul’s Drag Race 90-minute finale Monday, when insult comic and quick-wit queen B bested A (Adore Delano, perky and charismatic) and C (Courtney Act, Aussie songbird and costume hoarder) for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar.

It was a popular choice, with even Courtney screaming in support for Bianca, who early on established herself with a smarmy turn of phrase and a way to deflect genuine ire. Indeed, all three were frontrunners almost from the start. Bianca gets the $100k prize money, the fame and the gifts.

But she wasn’t the only winner. Endlessly upbeat Ben de la Creme took the Miss Congeniality prize — also not a shocker.

The show opened with an elaborate production number, with all the queens dancing to Ru’s single “Sissy That Walk,” this season’s theme song. And Dallasite Alyssa Edwards appeared in the audience as the drag mother of contestant Laganja Estranja.

Congrats to all the girls!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

‘Drag Race’ returns & the 1st out is …

Season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race revved up last night, with 14 new queens competing on what is, for my money, the best competition show on TV. And was it just me, or have the girls upped their game?

Think about it: On Project Runway, professional designers are given a decent budget and days to do nothing but design a gown for a fit model to walk in; on America’s Next Top Model, girls just have to walk and chew gum at the same time. Both skills are legit — but the girls on Drag Race do all those things, and they have to lip-sync and do their own makeup and … well, it takes talent, grrl.

And these 14 seem to have it. Among the contestants were Texan Alyssa Edwards, pictured, who made it to the middle-ground in the first outing (neither in the top nor bottom). Honestly, she was lucky not to be in the bottom, as her red carpet look seemed scattered. Still, with one of her nemeses also on the show (that’s a story that will surely develop), she made an impact.

Also making an impact: Alaska, the partner of last year’s winner, Sharon Needles. As with Sharon, the queens underestimated Alaska’s creativity because her style of drag is more shock than illusion. But her Saran Wrap mermaid gown was astounding.

Still, it was the wonderfully named Penny Tration who got booted first off the 90-minute extended season premiere. Penny Tration was already known to viewers — she was the queen voted onto the show through an online poll last summer … in other words, the fan favorite. But no one can say she didn’t deserve to go: During her lip sync for her life, Penny forgot the words and looked awkward and surprised to have to perform.

We’re hooked. Again.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones