The art of female impersonating has come into the pop culture lexicon most recently thanks to RuPaul’s Drag Race, a reality show that pitches drag queens in challenges that have them sewing their own costumes, styling their own wigs and applying their own makeup, doing choreography, impersonating celebrities, and lip-syncing “for their lives.” But the drag community has a storied history in the Twin Cities. While Minneapolis is home to better-known drag venues like the Gay 90s, St. Paul has its very own little drag wonderland in the form of the Town House. The cozy bar and cabaret hosts drag shows every Thursday and Sunday with a rotating cast of characters. Curated by local drag diva Esme Rodriguez, “Sequin Sundays” is more of a variety show than anything. We chatted with the performer to get the scoop on the weekly series.
So, what exactly are “Sequin Sundays”?
It is a hybrid drag/live cabaret/singing/dancing production that aims to build and unite community by creating a space for like-minded individuals – gay, straight, and queer. We often have theme nights (like the burlesque and jazz night earlier this month) as well as amazing musicians.
What’s planned for tomorrow’s show?
Davina Sowers of Davina and The Vagabonds is performing tomorrow night. Davina is quite unique and the mission of our cabaret is to feature people who might not have been traditionally thought to do a show such as ours.
What makes “Sequin Sundays” different from regular drag shows?
A lot of shows are geared toward one audience or another – burlesque, drag, music, etc. But I am a show director who is interested in creating cultural productions that intersect various populations and also work to bring social justice.
Next week’s “Sequin Sundays” will feature Lyle Lovesit’s Country-Fried Birthday Party, featuring country-fied performances from the drag king (who was Mr. Drag King Wisconsin in 2010) as well as Martina Marraccino, Gabrielle Deveaux, Sasha Rodgers, Paulie Graff, Rich Kidd, and Brie Jordan the “Country Queen.” You can also see Rodriguez tonight in DRAG-N-DANCE, a drag show and dance party happening at the Town House every third Saturday, also featuring performances from Martina, Gabrielle, Sasha and drag king Suave. “Sequin Sundays” has a $2 cover and Saturdays have a $3 cover. The Town House is located at 1415 University Avenue West in St. Paul. Shows begin at 9:30 p.m.