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Best in Drag Show — the electric annual drag show pageant that serves as a benefit for Aid for AIDS, a program of Alliance for Housing and Healing — returns to the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles on Oct. 8.
Set to take a seat at the judge’s table Sunday night are actors Dylan McDermott, Selma Blair, Leslie Grossman, Maggie Q and Holland Taylor, along with Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry. Six drag queens will be duking it out for the crown. The contestants are (drag names first, real names in parenthesis): Miss Florida Lexi Pro (Antonio Martinez), Miss Louisiana Joan Crawfish (Ricardo Ferrise), Miss New York Anita Tony (Joshua Skidmore), Miss Pennsylvania Soanna Quilt (Joey Gyondla), Miss Texas Dawn Renae Glamzi (Peter Korth) and Miss Washington Rachel Profiling (Chuck Jones).
Someone not yet confirmed to attend is Kathy Griffin. The comedian, who had been a beloved fixture and devoted supporter of the event in years past, typically makes an appearance onstage for a short comedy set. However, she has been embroiled in controversy after posing for photographer Tyler Shields holding a faux- bloodied severed head meant to look like Donald Trump. She later discussed the fallout with journalist Yashar Ali for The Cut. It is known that she’s prepping for an international tour that begins later this month in Australia.
Originally founded in 1989 by Alexis Pittman with a small group of friends in his West Hollywood living room, Best in Drag Show, or commonly referred to as BIDS, was then called Battle for the Tiara. The current version of the show has run since 2003 and has raked in more than $6 million to support the work of Alliance for Housing and Healing’s flagship initiative, Aid for AIDS.
This year’s creative team for the event includes show director and producer Jeffrey Drew and master of ceremonies Patrick Rush. Sponsors include Mark R. Honzel, M.D. and Klean Treatment Centers, along with Craig Fisse and Michael Patrick King, Orpheum Theatre, Gilead Sciences, Barbara Jacobs, Kraut Law Group, Skechers and LA Care.
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