Pandora Boxx is a Dragtastic Good Time!May 26, 2010 No Comments »
To me there is nothing greater than a good drag queen. I love them. My husband says it’s because I love shiny things. Drag queens are so much more than sequins and glitter! There’s a definite artistry to it. A good drag queen is an artist. She’s a performer who throws her heart and soul into every show. She usually makes her own costumes and does her own hair and make-up. She’s well rounded.
Since I love drag queens so much, I’m obviously a huge fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race on Logo. (RuPaul’s Drag Race is currently casting for Season 3! RuPaul’s Drag U premieres on Logo this summer). This season of RuPaul’s Drag Race was filled with many extraordinary queens, my favorite of them being the comically stunning Pandora Boxx. It was a very sad day for me when she was eliminated.
You can imagine my glee when I discovered Pandora would be performing at a local nightclub here in Chicago! I packed up some of my best friends, ordered tickets and headed out for a night that was sure to be fantastic.
The show was slated to start at 10:00 p.m. so, knowing the place would be packed and keeping in mind that drag queens are notoriously late, we arrived around 9:30. Our thoughtfulness paid off and we ended up with “seats” on one of the other stages. The added bonus was that we could stand on the stage and get an even better view of the main stage…even if there was a large support beam kind of in the way.
We socialized, enjoyed some “adult” beverages, and danced a little as we waited for the show to start. As we predicted, things started late…11:15 to be exact, but who’s counting? Things were kicked off with a fierce Lip Sync for Your Life battle among audience members. These men brought it! The winner, named Nathanial, was extremely talented and lip synced better than all the rest. He was our pick from the beginning!
Pandora arrived a little after midnight, looking stunningly beautiful in black with a blonde ringletted wig. She stayed by the bar for about a half hour meeting her fans and taking pictures. After much deliberation I got up the courage to push through the crowd with my friend to ask for a picture. She was very gracious and surprisingly about as tall as me. She’s petite though, with a very slim girlish figure. She was even more gorgeous close up!
I tried to tell her I loved the leopard dress she wore on the runway in one of the episodes of Drag Race but I don’t think she heard me over the pulsing music. We took my picture only to discover that for some reason my camera didn’t work! By the time we realized this Pandora was being swept away to get ready to go on stage. So sadly, I didn’t get my picture.
One of the main complaints the judges, or at least one of them, had on Drag Race was that they didn’t like Pandora’s “style.” Aside from being an incredibly vague comment akin to saying “I don’t like your eye color,” it’s my feeling that the judges just didn’t “get” her style. Pandora is very quirky. She embraces the camp that goes along with the drag world. She takes that camp and turns it into something timeless and her costumes resemble this.
Pandora is one of those “all around” drag queens who makes her own costumes and I love her even more for it. Sewing and costuming in general is hard. Sewing with enough proficiency to take your costume up on stage to perform in is even harder. Pandora does it with ease!
When she finally took the stage, closer to 1:00 a.m., she was wearing the saucy red and black ensemble she wore when she was eliminated from Drag Race. The costume was a simple black tank accented with black beading and red sparkling fabric that had a little bit of fringe to it. Pandora then took that same great red fabric and used it to add a sash, complete with bow, accents to her long black gloves and a tuft of red in her hair. Her skirt was solid black satin and shaped almost in a tutu like manner, with under-layer and an overlay of sassy pleats. Black fishnets and, of course, heels completed the look.
This is what Pandora Boxx is, subtle camp. She came out on stage to loud cheers singing Storm Large’s feminist hit “8 Miles Wide.” Her lip-syncing was flawless, her moves sweet. She floated across the small stage, making sure everyone could see her as she belted out the lyrics.
After the song she talked to the audience for a bit. She was excited to be there and cracked several jokes about her experiences and elimination from Drag Race. For being in front of what had to be 200 people, Pandora was quite at home. She talked to the audience as if you were in a room talking to her one-on-one. Her wit is razor sharp and I think that was something that the producers of Drag Race didn’t show enough of.
She polled the audience asking where all of her gay men were at. The crowd, being about 90% gay men, erupted with thunderous applause. She asked where the women in the audience were and though loud, the response paled in comparison to that of the gay mens’. Finally she asked where all the straight people were and judging from what I heard, about ten of us answered! We were definitely out numbered but what great company we were in!
Her next song was Shana Ferm’s “Thanks for Sticking It” which she performed with equal enthusiasm. When she was finished she excused herself to go and change costumes.
At this point we were all very tired and being a Thursday night (morning) we all had to go to work the next day. So we decided to head out. Pandora’s show was well worth the wait! She is a fantastic performer. Even though she didn’t win RuPaul’s Drag Race, she’s America’s Next Drag Superstar in my book!
For more information about Pandora Boxx and her upcoming performances go to Pandora Boxx.
Drag you later!