All Ages Drag Show features diverse performers

Jamison D. Sanchez performs as the only drag king at the All Ages Drag Show on Oct. 19 at the Ames Public Library. He performed to Panic! At the Disco’s song “The Greatest Show.”

Logan Metzger

People of all ages filled the Ames Public Library for the first drag show of the year.

On Saturday night, the Farwell T. Brown Auditorium of the Ames Public Library quickly filled to standing room only as people packed in to attend the All Ages Drag Show.

This was the fifth All Ages Drag Show put on by the Ames Public Library, who partners with Ames Pride to put on the event twice a year.

Mara Spooner, the MC for the show and vice chair of Ames Pride, said the goal of the event is to educate about gender expression and show how widely it can vary.

“We are proud that we do this twice a year,” Spooner said. “And we are going to keep doing this twice a year.”

Before the show started, Spooner taught the crowd drag show etiquette. This included not touching the performers unless they give consent, tipping them if attendees are comfortable enough and showing support for all the performers no matter how they perform.

Spooner encouraged the attendees to clap and cheer for the performers even if they did not enjoy the performance.

“There is a lot of vulnerability when performing on stage,” Spooner said. “We need to appreciate that vulnerability.”

Kicking off the lineup of eight performers was Jamison D. Sanchez, the only drag king of the evening, who performed to “The Greatest Show” by Panic! At the Disco.

This was Sanchez’s All Ages Drag Show debut, though not his first time performing in Ames.

He strutted onto the stage in glittery black dress shoes, a maroon suit jacket with a white undershirt, a black bowtie and black dress pants.

During his performance, he came down into the crowd and gave a crown to a young boy. The boy tried to return the crown at the end of the performance, but Sanchez said it was a gift.

Up next was Grace, a young drag queen from Ames Middle School, who performed to “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston.

Grace wore white thigh high stockings, black low heels, a black shirt and skirt and a black masquerade mask.

This was Grace’s All Ages Drag Show debut, but she performed confidently and wowed the crowd.

Her performance was filled with many twirls and emotional lip-syncing before she went down into the crowd to continue dancing.

At the end of her performance, Grace addressed the crowd and thanked her family.

The next performer was Baby Havoc, who performed “I Wanna Get a Mohawk (But my Mom Won’t let me get one)” by AFI.

This was Havoc’s All Ages Drag Show debut, according to Spooner.

They performed in black high tops, black pants with turquoise accents and a black shirt and vest, all topped it off with turquoise hair.

Havoc’s performance matched the song by being punk rock, even when they descended into the crowd.

Next up was Ilana Logan, a drag queen who has performed at other shows in Ames previously. She performed “Let it Go” from the “Frozen” soundtrack.

Logan was decked out in a costume reminiscent of Elsa, a character from the Disney movie. Logan wore a light blue jumper wrapped loosely in sheer blue fabric, black heels and a blonde wig.

At one moment during Logan’s performance, she knelt down to accept a dollar from a young girl during her performance and kept lip-syncing.

Logan’s lip-syncing matched the emotional elements of the song. When the lyrics “let it go” were sung during the show, Logan threw a handful of her tips up into the air to mimic snow.

She ended her performance in a death drop, which left the audience stunned.

The next performer was Smokey Moon, another young drag queen, who performed “Prom Queen” by Catie Turner.

Moon came onto the stage in black knee-high heels and a purple dress.

She did something no other performer did and sang the song she was performing along with playing the guitar, rather than lip-syncing.

She entranced the entire audience and received a standing ovation at the end of her performance.

Moon also gave a shoutout at the end of her performance, thanking her friends who came to support her.

Next on the stage was Demolition Deschain, an assigned female at birth performer, who performed “Just a Girl” by No Doubt.

Deschain wore a white dress covered in colorful patterns, pink gloves and cape, sparkly heels and topped it off with a pink feather in her hair.

The majority of her performance was in the crowd, where she did many twirls. She used her cape a lot in her performance, which the crowd cheered for.

The next queen was Lonika LaBelle, a young drag queen who is an All Ages Drag Show veteran and graduate of the Summer 2018 Camp Drag at the Ames Public Library. She performed “Part of Me” by Katy Perry.

LaBelle danced around the stage in silver heels and a black, purple and white mini dress with leopard print on the skirt.

She got the crowd clapping along with the song as she twirled down the aisle before returning to the stage and bending over backward, which earned many cheers from the crowd.

LaBelle ended her performance by dropping into the splits.

The final act of the evening was Jade Knight, a drag queen from Des Moines who performed a mix of three Shania Twain songs.

Knight has performed at four of the five All Ages Drag Shows and at every Pridefest.

For this performance, she wore a short black wig, black thigh-high heels and a sparkly leopard print one-piece with sparkly black tassels.

She started her performance off with a cartwheel before going down into the crowd, where she interacted heavily with attendees and accepted tips.

Knight had two song changes throughout her performance, and on the second one she pulled off her wig to reveal her natural short hair.

At the conclusion of the drag show, Spooner thanked everyone for coming before dismissing all of the parents, because after the all ages part of the show was a part exclusive for teens.

This second part included a round table discussion with the performers and a second performance from all the queens.

The next All Ages Drag Show will take place in the spring of 2020.