On Stage

Queen Quest

Who will wear the crown?


What: Skagit Valley Rainbow Alliance Drag Show

When: 7 pm Sat., Apr. 21

Where: Lincoln Theatre, 712 S. First St., Mount Vernon

Cost: $13.50-$16.50

Info: http://www.lincolntheatre.org

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Queen Elizabeth didn’t have to compete with Princess Margaret to become the Head of the British Commonwealth, but if she had needed to go up against her younger sibling, it’s likely the rivalry for the crown wouldn’t have included talent segments based on the sisters’ singing, dancing and comedic abilities.

That most definitely won’t be the case at 7pm Sat., April 21, when Skagit Valley College’s Rainbow Alliance presents its annual Drag Show at Mount Vernon’s historic Lincoln Theatre.

For the sixth year, the Rainbow Alliance—a campus-based club where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning students, faculty, staff, community and allies can meet in a safe and welcoming environment—will wrangle some of the most talented drag queens from around the region to the storied stage for a competition that will see one canny contestant reign supreme.

It’s fitting that Vivienne Duchanne (pronounced doo-cane) will lead the evening’s fundraising festivities. As the winner of last year’s show, she’s a shoo-in for emceeing the event and making sure no insurrections arise.

Duchanne—the stage name of Whidbey Island resident Tyler O’Dell—is no stranger to the stage. A former Whidbey Playhouse regular who honed her diva act at various Seattle clubs, she can be seen on the second Tuesday of every month at Oak Harbor’s Off the Hook lounge and restaurant as part of a “Queens of the Island” performance, and every week at Bellingham’s Rumors Cabaret, where she teams up with DJ Shortstack to lead “Talent Show Wednesdays.”

Contestants for the Saturday night soiree include Autumn Rayne, Schoen Wood, Kateyna, Connor Hardwell, Ivanna Dickerson, and Jak Daniels, and Duchanne will step away from her hosting duties to join Gina Touche as a guest performer. Judges Anji Viola, Donald Miller and the perennially popular Betty Desire will make sure the performances are up to snuff, and promise to bring the royal treatment to the night’s festivities.

Although the event is a lighthearted way to raise funds for the Rainbow Alliance, don’t forget that the club exists as a way for members to feel accepted not only for who they love, but also for who they are.

“I got picked on in high school and during my younger years,” O’Dell told the Whidbey News Times in a recent interview while referencing coming out of the closet at the age of 15. “Now I’m flamboyant; I’m myself.”

That assurance will come in handy this weekend, when layers of foundation and lipstick are applied, sequined dresses are squeezed into, stilettos are donned and Duchenne and the other divas do their level best to entertain the masses—and, along the way, crown a new queen.

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