The Best in Drag Show 2022 fundraiser crowned a new queen at Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles this past Sunday, October 2nd. The show raised $275,000 benefiting Aid for AIDS, a program of Alliance for Housing and Healing. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the hilarious spoof of a beauty pageant helps prevent homelessness and hunger for men, women, children and families living with HIV/AIDS throughout Los Angeles County.
“If you’re woke, go take nap,” joked hostess Kay Sedia during her opening bit with co-host Patrick Rush. It was a warning to the a live in-person audience that things were going to get dark, bitchy and at times downright nasty–all in the name of having a good time, and getting an evil laugh to raise money for a good cause.
And un-woke evening it was, from fat jokes, to old jokes, to pocking fun at racism, to reenacting that Will Smith slap, and everything in between, the hosts did not pull any punches and took no prisoners, including themselves, which had the audience howling with laughter against their better judgement.
Best in Drag brutally lampoons the Miss America Pageant with unprofessional drag queens stomping on stage freshly plucked and tucked to battle it out for a tiara and a chance to make it rain with dollar bills for charity.
This year included five hopefuls competing for a crown with a swimsuit, talent, evening gown and question and answer. There was Jordan Brodie as Miss Alabama, TwinkR Belle; Ryan O’Connor as Miss Arizona, Mona Dryheat; Thomas Franklin as Miss Louisiana, Tarah Laveau; PJ Nelson as Miss New York, Madison Square-Garden; and Mark Reis as Miss Washington, Patti Bu Rae.
Celebrity hosts included Max Greenfield, Dot Marie Jones, Lisa Ann Walter, Kathy Kinney, Julie Hagerty, and Melanie Griffith.
The show, directed by Jeffrey Drew, featured over-the-top costumes, dance numbers, hilarious comedy banter and there was some talent that took the audience by surprise: Miss New York turned to the audience to reveal a saxophone, which she played to the tune of Madonna’s Vogue, before she did some voguing and ended with a death drop; Miss Louisiana sang live and then pulled out violin to finish her number, Miss California had everyone laughing… at her (not with her) after her vocals fell flat, Miss Arizona sang live and Miss Washington gave an impressive dance number to show everyone she’s still got it at 50+.
“And the crown goes to…”
.llMiss New York, Madison Square Garden!
ABOUT BEST IN DRAG SHOW
Best in Drag Show fundraiser began in 1989 as Battle for the Tiara—a small annual party and AIDS fundraising event created by Alexis Pittman and a small group of friends in a West Hollywood living room. Each year it has grown in size and renown to become a not-to-be-missed event. No longer able to squeeze into a tiny living room, Best in Drag Show now attracts 2,000 people and takes place at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.
The current version of the show has run since 2003 and has raised over $6 million to support the work of Alliance for Housing and Healing’s flagship program, Aid for AIDS. The show is produced by an army of extraordinarily talented volunteers and staff from Alliance for Housing and Healing. This year’s sponsors include Michael Patrick King and Craig Fisse, Kraut Law Group, Microsoft, and Henkel.
Alliance for Housing and Healing sees housing as a structural intervention against the spread of HIV/AIDS and as a platform for healthcare. Alliance is passionate about providing a broad continuum of high-quality care to those living with HIV/AIDS which reinforces residential stability. Whether a group residence with 24/7 care for those who are too ill to live on their own, safe subsidized apartments for individuals and families with a second diagnosis, or emergency financial assistance to pay rent and utility bills for those who are facing eviction and homelessness, Alliance for Housing and Healing is dedicated to improving outcomes for low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles County. For more information, visit www.alliancehh.org.
For more information about Best in Drag Show and to make a donation, visit www.bestindragshow.org