A blast from the past is coming to Cat’s Cradle on Friday night, as drag queens from around the Triangle will travel to perform the eclectic hits of Cher, Whitney Houston and more in the icon edition of “Drag Queens Are Coming” show.
Queen Naomi Dix is coming back as the host of the show, making this the third performance of “Drag Queens Are Coming” at the venue. Sold-out audiences previously filled the space in both February and June.
When asked what to expect Friday night, returning performer Stormie Daie was quick to laugh.
“Is it too basic to say tits and ass?” she said. “I love a leotard, so sue me.”
Daie said she develops her act and performs based on the most important parts of her identity – being Black and Southern. The audiences in Chapel Hill and Durham, where she normally performs, have largely been supportive, but she said managing the public perception of drag queens in North Carolina can pose a challenge.
“I have very limited drag experience outside of North Carolina," she said. "I will say that personally, I think one of the things is that discrimination is not very surprising."
For Daie, “Drag Queens Are Coming” is all about giving the audience numbers authentic to who she is as both a person and a performer.
“The South has a very specific image of drag – girls with their faces done for the gods – that’s what we think of when we think of the pageant, southern lady appeal,” she said. “We’re starting to see queens pop up who are different from the norm and breaking out. And I’m hoping that not only am I a part of that, but that I do a good job as maybe a front-runner.”
Another queen performing in the show, Margaret Snatcher, said she loves the diversity and opportunity for growth that comes with being in the North Carolina drag community.
“I think overall, Margaret Snatcher just being a friendly, welcoming queen is what I try to bring to the stage,” she said. “And throwing in a split every now and then. I try not to do it too much, but it’s definitely a crowd-pleaser.”
In addition to Daie and Snatcher, the performers of “Drag Queens Are Coming” include Ben Ether, Dustin Reams, ASA and DJ Yammy.
Jessica Calland, a UNC junior who will be attending the event, said with UNC’s campus being so liberal, she thinks drag supports a progressive mindset. She is looking forward to meeting new people at the show and enjoying the iconic performances.
“I personally am really excited,” Calland said. “Drag in and of itself is crazy, fun and loud, which is definitely the kind of event I enjoy.”
The queens for Friday’s show are already gearing up for a rowdy crowd, according to Snatcher, who said she is anticipating the potential for the future of drag in Chapel Hill.
Daie said she hopes the future is one that embraces break-out performers who display genuine joy in what they do.
“What I love to see, what gets me going, is people living at their truest, most energetic, most 100 percent,” she said. “That’s what I want to give. I want people to see me performing and think, ‘That was a Stormie Daie number. She did that.’ That’s what I want people to get from me. I want people to know who I am.”