A Cancer Benefit With Drag Queens
Me and Joey Arias
"You heard that Whitney Houston died, right?" said emcee Judy Gold at "Encore for Hope," the American Cancer Society benefit last night at Club Providence.
She was actually going there. And to set up a joke, God bless her.
"No, let me not bring down the mood," added Judy. "Let's talk about cancer!"
And she did, saying, "Everyone's finding tumors these days -- and it's always the size of a fruit. A lemon, a grapefruit, Richard Simmons ..."
And then we got down to serious business -- drag-queen "boyfriend/girlfriends" Manila Luzon and Sahara Davenport urging the crowd to cough up some more cash to buy wigs for people with cancer.
And they promised they wouldn't use them for their acts!
Also on the bill:
Eight members of the New York Gay Men's Chorus (full group pictured below) singing "I've Got the Music in Me" and "Firework"
Powerful-voiced Tituss Burgess riffing on "My Funny Valentine"
TV's Thomas Roberts chanting "Less cancer, more birthdays!"
Drag star Sherry Vine, who responded to the applause for her first number with, "Thanks for the warm hand on my opening!"
And headliner Joey Arias rocking out with the Ben Allison trio.
A woman in the crowd complained to me that none of the proceeds were going to LGBT organizations, but I presume gays can benefit from American Cancer Society services since they involve all people with cancer.
Drag queens, help me out here.