Windy Breeze is dressed in a zebra-themed costume. She seductively walks onto the stage in six-inch zebra-print heels, black tights, a zebra-print tutu and a black top. Breeze walks and dances as if she was born to perform in heels. She performs to a Ke$ha themed soundtrack and dances fiercely during her five minute spot. The performance was smooth and flawless. The crowd gives her a standing ovation, as she gratefully thanks the audience for such great passion and attendance. This is the UWM Drag Show.
The show was held at the UWM Union Ballroom, which filled to its 800-person capacity limit within moments of the doors opening. Wow. Interesting. Move this element up. That’s a huge audience. However, the remaining guests were not steered away, run on instead they were directed down the hallway into the Fireside Lounge where the show was simulcast.
UW-Milwaukee’s 11th Annual Drag Show raised about $1,800 for Project Q via tips to the performers from generous audience members. The show was free and open to the public.
Project Q is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ally-friendly youth group in the city of Milwaukee. The drag show provided Project Q and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s LGBT group with some recognition and allowed the pursuit of freedom of expression for all the acts involved in the show.
Performances ranged from fast songs with a lot of dancing to slow, ballads with little to no dancing. The outfits that the performers wore were very elaborate. Loads of glitter, sequins and heavy make-up graced the stage with nearly every performance. Each performance was unique and thrilled the record-breaking audience.
The audience was mixed with UWM students, general public, returning guests and first time audience members. Age, sex, and sexual preferences were not an issue and everyone who attended was constantly thanked and praised by the shows emcees Timbra and Isis. The night was an experience that will never be forgotten by first time Drag Show attendee, Hannah Grenke.
“I had so much fun!” Grenke said. “There was such an accepting energy in the air, it gave me confidence and really allowed me to enjoy the show to its fullest.”
Veteran performer Windy Breeze said that she started doing the shows for Milwaukee’s Project Q and keeps returning because she likes to see the energy of the show and it’s growth. She gets her inspiration from all different genres of music.
“I am flexible, I just love to entertain.” Breeze said. “I just like to stay versatile, I feel that different spaces give you a different feel of music to do.”
Breeze is also a performer at LaCage, which is Wisconsin’s largest gay- and -lesbian nightclub. She said that she has gotten people interested in doing drag after they had seen her perform.
The show was scheduled to start at 7:30 but began fashionably late and lasted until almost midnight. The night was filled with a variety of different performers. Some of the performers were brand new, others such as Madame Sparkkl and Lady Gia, giving their farewell performances. A handful of these performers were UW-Milwaukee students, but others like Breeze were returning members from years ago.
The drag show was an exciting night for first-time attendee Marissa Mielke, who described being among the crowd during the acts as surreal.
“I’ll never forget tonight,” Mielke said. “There is no show like a drag show.”