Quarantine is a (virtual) drag: Seattle drag queens, kings, and nonbinary performers take to digital platforms

One Likethenumber

One Likethenumber

Since venues that host long-standing drag shows like R Place, Queer/Bar, and Kremwerk + Timbre Room Complex have temporarily shuttered their doors due to COVID-19, Seattle’s drag performers are quickly mastering a new tool of the trade: online performance.

Drag queen Betty Wetter hosts bingo via Zoom, for example, and Queer/Bar maintains its Sunday Drag Brunch at noon on Twitch. Drag Queens, Kings, and nonbinary peformers are now learning video editing, camera skills, or increased competence with platforms like Vimeo or Twitch.

“That’s the thing about all this, drag is great because it’s a consolidation of a bunch of mediums put together. You have to be good at a bunch of things, but none of those things [before] were video making. So all these queens are now having to learn a bunch of skills they didn’t have,” said One, a Colombian-born, Seattle-based drag performer.

With a background in fine art and performance, One is known for their artsy, conceptual drag looks: their avant-garde makeup and garments designed and constructed themselves. One is couture-inspired, but eschews the typical polish that comes with it for the freedom of clown and camp. Case in point, they are the current Miss Bacon Strip, a drag show known for “it’s mostly campy, gross, Divine-type drag.” Continue reading

Drag drama around Hill with Seattle University censorship, Queer/Bar’s Turner on ‘personal leave’ — UPDATE

The Spectator cover photo. Now everybody has seen it.

There’s a backlash at Seattle University over how its Jesuit leaders reacted to the school’s annual drag show making front page news in the campus paper. Meanwhile, one of Capitol Hill’s highest profile drag queens is also making news.

At the 12th Ave Seattle U campus, The Spectator was forced to report on itself this week after copies of the student newspaper featuring a colorful but definitely safe for school work photo from the drag event started mysteriously disappearing. That mystery was later solved with a letter from an angry English professor, the paper reports:

“I was offended by a recent edition of The Spectator, whose cover contained what I considered an inappropriate risqué photograph. A few days after the publication of that edition, I took the liberty of removing the few remaining copies of the paper from newsstands in Bellarmine lobby, the Library, and Pigott. Students and faculty had already picked up most of the copies, but I was concerned about the arrival of new students and their families for Accepted Students Decision Day. I deeply regret this action and have no further comments.”

University president Father Stephen Sundborg is facing criticism for his response to the photograph — and the censorship. Continue reading

Julia’s shifts to theater-first concept on Broadway after considering downtown move

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)


(Image: Le Faux Show)

Over the past few months, the owners of Julia’s on Broadway spent hours discussing what Julia’s could gain — or lose — by leaving Capitol Hill.

The “queen of the brunch drag show” opened just 14 years ago at the corner of Broadway and E Thomas, but the neighborhood that inspired the bar / restaurant / performance space rapidly changed.

So much so that owners Karsten Betd and Eladio Preciado began to think if Julia’s was going to continue to draw a straighter, out-of-town crowd, why not go all in and move downtown?

“With the gay area not being here like it was back in the day, Julia’s changed to a majority of business (being) straight people,” said recently hired manager Michael Sullivan.

Ultimately, the owners decided to stay and invest their resources into remodeling their Broadway space. Now, Betd said he wants to focus on drawing those downtown tourists up the Hill for Julia’s shows. Continue reading

Still fighting, Atomic Cosmetics gets another Capitol Hill boost with Le Faux at Julia’s benefit

10306626_10152421857083045_1060809227391893202_n (2)The community of Atomic Cosmetics supporters continues to rally to boost the unique E Pike retailer and manufacturer beset by financial difficulties after its owner said a business loan fell through.

Sunday night, an all-star cast of drag performers lead by host Kristie Champagne will hold a benefit edition of Le Faux at Julia’s to raise money to help keep the Atomic’s Capitol Hill shop open:

This is the mother of all benefits, people! We have the cast of “Le Faux” at Julia’s on Broadway, The One The Only Inga, Waxie Moon, Eddie Van Glam and The’Trojan Original and Kitty Kitty Bang Bang performing, as well as a live auction full of awesome goodies! You don’t want to miss this. Get your tickets today, and help save Atomic Cosmetics / Xerion Skin Science!

Continue reading

Colored by serving burlesque performers and drag queens of Seattle, Dr. Jen’s House of Beauty to open on Capitol Hill

Dr. Jen (Image: Ray Varga via Dr. Jen's House of Beauty)

Dr. Jen (Image: Ray Varga via Dr. Jen’s House of Beauty)

“I have a deep love of sparkly.”

That sparkly love is driving a reinvention underway inside a former E Pike head shop and Internet cafe. Dr. Jen’s House of Beauty should open its doors in its new home for the first time by late June — just as you start to feel a little blue that another Pride has come and gone.

“It has a strange shape inside and it’s a bit of a challenge working with it,” Dr. Jennifer Dietrich tells CHS about the buildout underway to create her new shop and laboratory at 617 E Pike. “I wanted to make it as sparkly as the other place was. And I wanted a really big lab space!”

CHS first made note of the Pike/Pine mad scientist of cosmetology when we visited her pop-up location inside Retail Therapy earlier this year. Dietrich’s Atomic Cosmetics and Xerion Skin Science lines have become super sexy in the skin care and makeup industry. She has her friends to thank, she says.

“I started the whole thing about five or six years ago when I found out all the expensive shit I was buying was really, really toxic,” Dietrich said. Helping backstage with local burlesque and drag performers also opened Dietrich’s eyes.

“I would see these girls — and what they put on their faces — and I was horrified.” Continue reading