The Daily Gamecock

13th annual Birdcage lights up ballroom

Creed Week promotes tolerance, sexual health with annual drag show

The 13th annual Birdcage drag show provided a night of glamorously opulent entertainment in the Russell House ballroom Tuesday night. Part of Carolina Creed Week, the event, a partnership between the BGLSA, Carolina Productions and PT’s Cabaret, featured a theme of Gods and Goddesses, but it was popular FOX television series “Glee” that stole the show. Songs from the “Glee” soundtracks accompanied performances from the reigning Miss Gaymecock Bambi La Blank and former Miss South Carolina Gay Pride winners Patti O’Furniture and Kiki Deville, a USC alumna.

Drag queen Samantha Hunter served as the emcee for the event. The show was lively and interactive, and Hunter didn’t think twice about sitting on the laps of audience members or walking down the aisle with them in a mock wedding ceremony.

Hunter, who performed to Keyshia Cole’s “I Remember” wore a pewter, sequined, animal print jumpsuit with a bob a la Mary J. Blige. She confided to the audience that in her day job as a man, she works at an agency in which she tests students for HIV. She encouraged students to get tested and practice safe sex.

“Don’t be silly, cover your willy,” O’Furniture said, echoing Hunter’s sentiments.

The production wasn’t all education, though.

A number of students stood and made their way to the runway to award performers with dollar bills. It was Carla Cox who came out in a black, shimmering, full-length gown with who won the first dollar of the night by performing Pink’s “Raise Your Glass.”

“I chose to do this professionally, so I make a living off of this,” Cox said during the question-and-answer session after the show. “This is my only job.”

Cox wasn’t the only performer to excite the crowd, though. Lady La Poodle followed her in a black ruffled dress, which she shed to reveal a white, laced jumpsuit bringing many audience members to their feet. Her high-energy dancing to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” proved that a drag show is about more than just the make-up.

Deville performed to a mix of Nicki Minaj tracks like “Moment 4 Life” and “Bottoms Up” and leapt from the stage, landing in a split on the floor to a round of applause. “When I’m in drag, I always try to be a lady, but that does not mean I want to be a woman. When I’m in drag I feel like it’s entertainment,” she said.

Deville said that she got her start in drag after seeing The Birdcage at USC a few years ago.

“This is the first year that we were able to actually keep everyone till the end,” said BGLSA President Tyler Murphy. “Usually we have a problem with retention, but this year we didn’t.”

The official after party was held at PT’s Cabaret and featured another drag performance at midnight.

“I think it’s really good that this is a part of Creed Week because in the creed it talks about diversity,” said Student Body Vice President Katie Thompson. “I’ve been able to meet so many diverse people that are outside of my little circle.”