Audience Cheers as Drag Queens and Students Perform at the Rainbow Variety Show


The LGBT Resource Center held the Rainbow Variety Show in the EMU Student Center this Wednesday night from 8-10 p.m., hosted by local drag queens Chanel Hunter and Jadein Black, who also host at Necto Nightclub on Friday nights in Ann Arbor. For this talent show they served as  announcers for the students and comic relief between performances, as well as their own drag performances. The theatre was bustling with students filling nearly every seat. 

The show opened with Miss Chanel Hunter wearing a sequined green leotard performing song and dance, followed by Miss Jadein Black in a dazzling golden ensemble. They left the stage and walked amongst the crowd, teasing and hugging audience members. Both queens put work into their opening performances, getting the crowd pumped for the first act. 

First up was Yucer, a student at EMU, who put on a song for the audience which they really seemed to enjoy. They sang their heart out and the audience rewarded with many claps and cheers. Second up was Lance, who recited a few of his poems including “Soft Boy,” “Queer Prom 2017,” and “Shower???” 

The crowd snapped enthusiastically at the relatable, funny, and heart-touching words. When asked how he felt the show went, Lance responded, “I really feel like the audience got what I was going for in my poems. Plus the show overall was awesome in my opinion.”

After Lance’s original poetry, Veo came on stage for a dance performance to Michael Jackson. The moves were edgy and close to scandalous. The crowd responded excitedly, oohing, gasping, and clapping when Veo flipped on stage. Veo finished the performance and took a bow to the audience cheering. 

Chanel returned to the stage for another enticing drag performance, in yet another green leotard, this time with black sequins, frays, and shoulder-pads - a bold look. She gave another upbeat performance, coming out to the crowd, walking up and down the theatre stairs to mingle with the audience. Jadein Black followed in a rainbow leotard, perfectly fitting the theme, lip-syncing to “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes. She had the crowd singing and clapping along with her. 

After their performances the show took a small pause for the crowd to murmur and wonder what could be next. A screen lowered and the LGBT Resource center displayed a video about LGBT awareness, expression, and support. One student in the video said, “Representation is important because it helps you find a community and it helps you feel like you don’t have to go through this alone.” The audience members clapped and shouted out at many of the comments they could relate to. 

After the video Mary Larkin and coordinators of the event came onstage to chat with the audience about LGBT awareness. They offered out t-shirts to anyone who could answer some quick trivia questions on LGBT topics. Larkin also enthused about EPIC, Eastern Pride and Identity Coalition, an LGBT community that students can join. 

After the brief session where the audience got to meet everyone from behind the stage, Orion was up next for a singing performance. When asked how they felt about performing and how the show went, Orion responded, “I think the show went really well! I was really nervous and my hands were shaking so much. But I really felt the performance, I had so much fun!” 

Tori followed soon after, reciting poems to the audience. Tori had a very friendly demeanor which the crowd really took to. Her poems of choice were “The Girl, The Sun, and Her Skin,” and “A Letter to my 18 Year Old Self.” The crowd snapped, oohed, and aahed at Tori’s poems, receiving them well. The poems she wrote were very heartfelt and emotionally charged, which the audience seemed to appreciate very much. Lastly the Evergreens Acapella group performed two songs, which the crowd also very much enjoyed, giving a big clap afterward.

Jadein and Chanel closed the evening with two more drag performances, getting the crowd to stand and dance along to a bittersweet close. There were many sad sighs and exclamations of “aw” when they announced that the show was at its end but many were happy to find out there will be more shows and they can catch Chanel and Jadein at Necto Nightclub every Friday night. The night was a huge success and the audience loved the student performers, often shouting their names. All of the cast stood for a final group photograph and then remained after the show for photos with fans from the audience. 

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