By Evan Hecht
For The Diamondback
The night started off interesting, to say the least. As I entered the parking lot where Drive ’N Drag — a drive-in drag show — was held, I was met by a crowd of cars: some driven by people leaving from a previous show and others already lined up for the next.
Then, I sat and waited eagerly to see various RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni return to the stage for one of the first times since the shutdown.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, live performances of all kinds have been postponed or forced to go virtual. But, as states begin to reopen, live entertainment is slowly beginning to find its footing once again.
And as various fields of the entertainment industry are working to adapt in the current climate, Drive ‘N Drag has found a way to prove that, despite the current pandemic, the show must go on.
Held by Voss Events — a company best known for hosting drag events across the country, including RuPaul’s Drag Race Live in Las Vegas — the Drive ‘N Drag tour’s lineups include drag queens Yvie Oddly, Aquaria and Naomi Smalls, among others.
At the show I went to — located at New Jersey’s Westfield Garden State Plaza — cars filled the parking lot, where pre-show entertainment included a DJ set, food trucks and even a merchandise stand.
The show started at 10:30 p.m., with a large opening number that included fun performances referencing movies — nodding to the drive-in movie era that the tour mimics — such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Clueless, Maleficent and Beetlejuice.
Drag queens Aquaria, Asia O’Hara, Acid Betty, Kameron Michaels, Monet X Change, Plastique Tiara and Yvie Oddly were all present at the show.
Asia O’Hara hosted the show and performed a song from The Lion King. And of course, Yvie Oddly’s signature acrobatic dance moves owned the stage, with the queen performing to a remix of “Work It” by Marie Davidson.
You didn’t have to stay inside your car the whole time, but anyone who wanted to step outside of their vehicle had to wear a mask, and pretty much everyone I saw complied with the rule.
The night concluded with a final group number featuring various car-inspired songs. Queens took the stage to Christina Aguilera’s version of “Car Wash” and Aretha Franklin’s “Freeway of Love,” closing with Rihanna’s “Shut Up and Drive.” The cast then thanked the crowd and told everyone where to exit as they said goodnight.
All in all, the Drive ‘N Drag experience was extremely fun. As part of a generation that didn’t get the full experience of drive-in movies, seeing that format elevated to show all forms of art was incredible.
Next, the Drive ‘N Drag tour is going to Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle and even Annapolis. It was a great experience, and I think that anyone who can attend, should.