Yale’s Dragaret (aka Drag Cabaret) took place this last weekend at the Yale Cabaret on York Street. I got a hard-to-get ticket to the 10pm showing, braved a snow storm to check this event out… and it was totally worth it.
Going into this I had no idea what to expect, other than a good time. I’d never been to the Cabaret before (although I’ll for sure be back) and walked into a basement room of a Yale building with a few tables, a few chairs, and a runway with matching giant LCD screen on the ceiling.
I learned two things I wasn’t expecting. First, they had a celebrity host from RuPaul’s Drag Race season 4, Jiggly Caliente (new album out 3.6.18)! I had no clue there would be a guest host and was shocked it wasn’t in the advertising for the event.
Second, bring those dolls’ bills girl! No one’s stripping (well, not everyone) but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve tips for how they’re workin’ it on stage. The dancing, singing/lip-syncing, the theatrics… they deserve some $$$. Plus most audience members knew the drill had had packed a wad of $1’s in their pockets in anticipation. I felt like a schmuck, cash-less (Im all digital) and it would have been too hard to coordinate everyone’s Venmo accounts.
I should also note that the 10pm show was only including Yale students in the Cabaret. I think the Thursday night even featured drag performers from around New Haven (not exclusive to just Yale).
Here she is, Miss Jiggly Cliente! She was very funny and definitely kept it real with the audience. She came out at the beginning and between each of the performances to introduce the next performer.
I need to apologize to the first few performers, because the images I took of them were so blurry they weren’t really quality enough to share. In the beginning I was timid taking photos because I didn’t know the level of audience participation and didn’t want to end up part of the show. Thankfully the show was totally about their performances and not a ton of audience participation (except for the accepting of cash guests were handing out). Because of my timidness, I didn’t take as many images and super regret it. My sincere apologies to the performers who’s photos I am not able to share here.
People have since asked me, “What kind of performing did they do on stage?” and it totally varied. Some performers actually sang (and tough songs too!) while others lip-synced. Some did dances and sang. There were a couple that felt like interpretive dance, where they were singing and dancing but also telling an abstract story.
The above two girls performed a detailed choreographed dance to a Beyonce song together.
Then the next performer danced and lip-synced to a Taylor Swift song with two backup dancers. It was so hard to chose a favorite at the end of the night because they were all so good and different, but this performance was very memorable and I enjoyed it.
The above two images are Michael Costagliola doing a broadway worthy performance.
There were several impressive song and dance numbers leading up to Jiggly Caliente’s big finish. She did an AMAZING Missy Elliot impersonation. She lip-synced to medley of Missy Elliot songs and danced in a very Missy Elliot way.
After Jiggly Caliente’s medley, the rest of performances came out onto the stage and danced it out. They invited the audience to join them and we had a blast. Since there was a midnight show, the theater needed to empty out so the next audience could roll in. I have to imagine the midnight showing really ended in a longer dance party.
Thank you Yale’s Dragaret for a super fun night! I can’t wait for next years and now know… BRING SINGLES!
Because it was too hard to hear and remember who was which performer, Im going to list their names here and just say they were all fantastic:
Stella Baker, Michael Breslin, Jiggly Caliente, Michal Costagliola, Error Crawford, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, Al Hartley, Courtney Jamison, Rachel Kenney, Ciara McMillian, JJ McGlone, Hudson Oznowicz, Ilia Isorelys Paulino, Jakeem Powell, Riw Rakkulchon, Arturo Soria, Alex Vermillion, and Emma Weinstein.