3:49pm PT by Chris Gardner
Kathy Griffin and Melanie Griffith Confirmed for L.A. Fundraiser Best in Drag Show
Best In Drag Show — the long-running annual fundraiser for Aid For AIDS, a program of Alliance for Healing and Housing — has snagged Kathy Griffin to open this year's show and confirmed a panel of celebrity judges including Melanie Griffith, Kathy Kinney and Rutina Wesley. Additional celebrity judges will be announced soon.
BIDS is scheduled to take place on Oct. 2 at the historic Orpheum Theatre in downtown L.A. The anticipated, well-attended and generally sold-out beauty pageant spoof will feature six contestants competing for the crown this year: Miss District of Columbia Wanda Wumanz (Keith Lamont); Miss Maryland Hannah Belle Lecter (Jay Fink); Miss New Mexico Pokey Hanus (Brian Lexi); Miss New Jersey Halle Pene Pappas (Johnny Glasser); Miss New York Sandy Claus (Jeffrey Ewell); and Miss Tennessee Sheena Turner (Victor Montoya).
BIDS, originally founded in 1989 by Alexis Pittman, is led by director and producer Jeffrey Drew and master of ceremonies Patrick Rush with support from sponsors including Mark Honzel M.D. and KLEAN Treatment Centers. The current version of the show has run since 2003 and raised more than $3 million for the cause.