Successful ‘Drop Dead Drag Pageant’ goes on at the Lakeshore Drive-In

Friday night’s event was held outside the Adler Planetarium. The Halloween-themed drag show was a pageant parody that featured headliners from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” “Dragula” and “Chicago Local Drag Superstars.”

SHARE Successful ‘Drop Dead Drag Pageant’ goes on at the Lakeshore Drive-In
Denali Foxx performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Denali Foxx performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Chicago natives and drag queens Miss Toto and The Vixen were eager to hit the stage Friday night for the first time since February.

Many performers, like the pair, were doing digital drag shows after the coronavirus pandemic shut down nearly all large in-person performance, but that can’t compare to in-person shows.

Friday night offered a chance for them, and several other local drag queens, to put on a show for eager fans.

“I’m like Tinker Bell; the louder you all clap and scream, the better I am going to do and the more crazy sh-- I’ll do on stage,” Miss Toto told the Sun-Times before taking to the stage.

“I miss that aspect because the digital drag you put all your work and effort into a show, but you are looking in the comments to see if people are enjoying it versus that instant gratification [from performing on stage].”

The Drop Dead Drag Pageant, presented by CircuitMOM, was held outside the Adler Planetarium. The Halloween-themed drag show was a pageant parody that featured headliners from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” “Dragula” and “Chicago Local Drag Superstars.”

Miss Toto performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Miss Toto performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

The Vixen said they all were “itching to get back on stage” after months of digital drag shows.

“I think every kid that wants to be a performer lives for the lights,” The Vixen said. “To be able to look out at a sea of people, no matter how big that sea is, just really is the dream and to get back to that is everything.”

Fans jumped out of their cars and danced along to the loud music when The Vixen hit the stage; others cuddled in blankets sitting under their rear hatchback door of their vehicles. One group brought out a cheese plater and wine.

Throughout the evening, there were messages supporting social justice movements like Black Lives Matter, and performers urged fans to vote in this fall’s presidential election. A slide show of the names of people killed at the hands of police played intermittently, and civil rights icon John Lewis and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg were remembered.

Sheeza Woman’s performance included a video montage of President Donald Trump’s crude language while putting the spotlight on climate change.

Other performers included Denali Foxx, Jaida Essence Hall, Biqtch Puddin, CircuitMOM and Landon Cider.

Manny Ramos is a corps member in Report for America, a not-for-profit journalism program that aims to bolster Sun-Times coverage of issues affecting Chicago’s South and West sides.

The Vixen performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

The Vixen performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Jaida Essence Hall, winner of the twelfth season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Jaida Essence Hall, winner of the 12th season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Jaida Essence Hall, winner of the twelfth season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Jaida Essence Hall performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Sheeza Woman performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Sheeza Woman performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Sheeza Woman performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Sheeza Woman performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Detox Icunt performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Detox Icunt performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Detox Icunt performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Detox Icunt performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Miss Toto performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Miss Toto performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

The Vixen performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

The Vixen performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Landon Cider performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Landon Cider performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Biqtch Puddin performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Biqtch Puddin performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Jaida Essence Hall, winner of the twelfth season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Jaida Essence Hall, winner of the twelfth season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

CircuitMOM performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

CircuitMOM performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Detox Icunt performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Detox Icunt performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Landon Cider performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Landon Cider performs onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Darby Lynn Cartwright (left) and Aunty Chan perform onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Darby Lynn Cartwright (left) and Aunty Chan perform onstage during the Drop Dead Drag Pageant presented by CircuitMOM Productions at the LakeShore Drive-In near the Adler Planetarium, Friday night, Oct. 16, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

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