Lights, cameras, drag! On Sunday the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox in downtown Spokane switched up its usual shows of symphony orchestras and musical productions to introduce a new type of entertainment: drag.

While drag originated from men playing female roles in theater, it has now turned into a well-respected form of art. This revolution has taken the world by storm and has changed the norms of stereotypical gender roles.

Following season 11 of the famous TV show, "RuPaul's Drag Race," seven queens from various seasons of the show loaded buses and began their Werq the World Tour. RuPaul Andre Charles, the host of "RuPaul's Drag Race," is a large reason why drag has changed  and exploded across the globe. 

Out of 63 live shows ranging from the United States, to Asia, Europe and Australia, Spokane’s Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox made it on the list as one of the stops.

This is the first time the production has come to Spokane, but after a full theater and hundreds of happy fans, organizers promised this wouldn’t be the last time.

The Fox was the perfect venue for this event, complete with high ceilings and stellar acoustics. The 1,600-seat venue was almost fully booked and provided the audience with a show they will never forget.

According to booking manager Michael Smith, the reason the Werq the World Tour 2019  decided to come this year  is mostly thanks to the fact that two of the queens are from Spokane.

Demonstrating progressive changes in Spokane and positive attitudes toward differences, this event was new, but drag was accepted wholly by the Fox Theater and Spokane residents alike.

The audience was full of diverse people of all ages, genders and orientations. There was no trouble filling the theater and spirits were high all night as the queens danced and lip synced the night away.

The performers were Kim Chi from season eight, host Asia O’Hara from season 10, Kameron Michaels from season 10, Yvie Oddly winner of season 11, Vanessa Vanjie from season 10 and 11, Naomi Smalls from season eight and Plastique Tiara from season 11.

The queens had a variety of beautiful costumes and makeup, and above all, extraordinary talent. Each queen had their own looks to match their personality. The audio-visuals were spectacular, complete with a custom light show for each queen to match. Everything was planned perfectly, and the show went on without a hitch. 

Each season, the world tour has  new costumes, makeup, hair and performances. In the U.S. alone, they drive across the country doing shows and never miss a beat. With 46 shows in North America alone, the queens have delivered perfect shows each time according to reviews.

There was a particularly magical moment halfway through the event where they brought up three locals on stage to compete in a “two-minute improv drag." Contestants had two minutes to put together their best drag, complete with outfit, makeup and lip sync battle. 

The winner was 10th grader Rico who hopes to, “One day do drag himself." 

This is one example of the progressive changes we have seen in Eastern Washington. Hopefully, this freedom continues to grow within the youth.

Taylor Bentley is a photographer. Follow her on Instagram: @taylorbentleyy.

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