By Matthew Bramlett |Arts & Entertainment Editor|
Heaping helpings of sequins and sass were dished out Wednesday night during Ooh La La, the Pride Center’s annual drag show.
Five world-class queens strutted their stuff along the catwalk as hundreds of excited students looked on.
“It feels so fucking great to be back in San Bernardino,” the show’s main emcee, Morgan McMichaels, said to a cheering crowd.
The show is an annual event put on by the Pride Center to showcase the campy, gender-bending performance art that has become more popular in recent years. Even at CSUSB, the turnout for this year’s show was noticeably higher than before.
The night began with a few acts from CSUSB. Iva Fetish, CSUSB’s resident drag superstar, hosted the event.
Several drag queens (and also a few drag kings) proudly strutted their stuff. A three-piece boy band impressively sang a Jackson 5 song, much to the delight of the crowd.
When the clock struck eight and after a few “testicle difficulties,” the main attraction began.
Local acts Morgan McMichaels, Miss Mayhem and Raven, as well as Atlanta’s Sonique and New York’s Pandora Boxx lit up the catwalk at the SMSU Events Center, which for a few hours was turned into the hottest spot in town.
Miss Mayhem enchanted the audience as Princess Tiana from Disney’s “Princess and the Frog.” She looked positively majestic as she sashayed down the long catwalk in her flowing gown.
Morgan McMichaels brought a little humor in the mix as Bon Qui Qui, Anjelah Johnson’s famous character from “MadTV.” Morgan pranced around the room to Kelis’ “Milkshake” in a believable fast-food uniform, complete with a paper hat, food tray and a full set of extremely tacky yellow fingernail extensions.
When one of the nails began to fall off, Morgan proudly showed it to the crowd and proclaimed, “See this? San Bernardino.”
Raven wowed the crowd with three sultry performances, one of which hearkened back to the classic science fiction film Metropolis. She robotically shuffled down the catwalk while brandishing an icy glare that would strike fear into anyone would dare cross her.
The show was appropriately raunchy and campy, with the perfect amount of sleaze. Often, the performers would sit on laps of unsuspecting audience members during their performances.
Morgan, in a move that generated the loudest response from the crowd, commandeered a scooter from one of the audience members and zipped around the perimeter of the room during her third and final performance.
Pandora Boxx, considered the “comedy queen” of the group, kept the night hilarious with her country-themed performances that were sprinkled with obscenity. Her song “Eat Shit and Die” was a hysterical success.
Sonique, arguably the most athletic of the group, dazzled the room as Nicki Minaj in a fabulous rendition of “Super Bass.” Later, after the audience gave her twenty bucks, Sonique wowed the crowd by doing several back flips (in heels) and landing in a perfect split.
The show was a rousing success, and there wasn’t a single person in the audience who wasn’t completely enthralled. With all that went down this year, one can only imagine the beautiful debauchery that is sure to happen next year.