‘Drive ’N Drag’ brings biggest stars from hit series to Chicago live show

The drive-in theaterlike event at Soldier Field’s South parking lot showcases queens from various seasons of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

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Yvie Oddly was crowned the winner of Season 11 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” thanks in part to signature looks such as this. | Photo courtesy of VH1

Yvie Oddly was crowned the winner of Season 11 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” thanks in part to signature looks such as this

Courtesy of VH1

Chicago, start your engines!

Some of the biggest names from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” are on the road this summer for a special drive-in live tour where fans — socially distanced in comfort of their cars — will be able to see their favorite drag queens.

“Drive ’N Drag,” hosted by Voss Events, plays Soldier Field’s South parking lot Aug. 7-9. The show will feature the top three queens from Season 12 of the hit TV series — Jaida Essence Hall, Gigi Goode and Crystal Method — plus Plastique Tiara, Yvie Oddly and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo. While the show won’t be quite as intimate as a drag show at Hydrate Nightclub or Roscoe’s Tavern, the queens have some big surprises up their sleeves for drag show veterans and first-timers alike.

“This is not just a drive-in theater,” says Brandon Voss, founder of Voss Events and the driving force behind Drive ’N Drag. “Depending on the city, we’ve kept capacity between 300-400 cars per show. We could have piled 1,000 cars into a parking lot, but then the cars in the back wouldn’t be able to see anything.”

Plastique Tiara Edwards performs onstage in July during Drive ‘N Drag at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

Plastique Tiara Edwards performs onstage in July during Drive ‘N Drag at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

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People will also be able to get dinner from fancy food trucks and buy merchandise from their favorite queens’ lines.

“Some shows, like Chicago, will have tailgating areas next to the cars, where people can hang out and put out lawn chairs before the show,” Voss said. Wherever fans park, they will be able to see the show thanks to an impressive stage, giant LED screens, and arena-style lighting.

Fans aren’t the only ones who are excited for a drag show. It’s been months since the queens of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” have been able to perform in front of a live audience, and many of them are ecstatic to get back onstage.

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‘DRIVE ’N DRAG’

When: 7 p.m. Aug. 7-9

Where: Soldier Field, South Parking Lot, 1410 Museum Campus Drive

Tickets: $69-$139 per car/two passengers; additional passenger, $25

Info: www.electrostub.com

“I miss having a connection to people,” Plastique Tiara said. “Digital shows are fun, but nothing is more glamorous than being onstage in the bright lights.” Tiara was a contestant on Season 11 of the show and quickly became a fan favorite for her highly cohesive looks and bubbly personality.

Cast and crew will be taking precautions throughout the tour, but Tiara isn’t easily phased.

“ We were in Asia when the pandemic began,” she said. “While we were literally in Korea, we were getting notifications on our phone [about COVID in the States], so if we got through that, we can get through anything!”

Season 11’s winner, Yvie Oddly, has taken the time to recharge and rest during quarantine. “I’ve been feeding my soul, body, and mind”, she said, “and really making sure I take care of me first.”

Oddly’s avant-garde style, incredible flexibility, and lip-synching prowess helped her earn the crown, but her vulnerability throughout “RuPaul’s Drag Race proved she’s not just putting on a show. Being a Black performer in 2020 has given Oddly the chance to be political in her artwork as well.

“With the current Black Lives Matter movement, people are actually opening their eyes and learning to reflect. I’ve never felt more seen, and despite everything, that’s a beautiful thing.” Now that she’s able to tour again, Oddly is looking forward to sharing her passion however she can, even if it’s in a parking lot.

“It’s a break from reality, a fun little something for our fans, and I’m so glad I get to taste that again.”

Vanessa Vanjie Mateo performs onstage last month during Drive ‘N Drag at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. She will be part of the tour’s lineup this weekend in Chicago.

Vanessa Vanjie Mateo performs onstage last month during Drive ‘N Drag at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. She will be part of the tour’s lineup this weekend in Chicago.

Getty

. The queens will be doing two shows a night at Soldier Field. . Although they couldn’t reveal much about what fans can expect, both Plastique Tiara and Yvie Oddly hinted at some big surprises. “We’re pulling out all the stops!” Tiara said excitedly. “I literally can’t wait.”

Kate Scott is a local freelance writer.

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