Heather Spear, one of the founders of DDD, says she started the event in 1999 with a few friends. She was very much involved in modern dance at the time, and was looking for more opportunities to explore gender performance. There were already some happenings going on, including a drag king show at the Metro, and Foxy Tann was performing an ongoing show at the Gay 90s that featured female impersonators. But the founders of DDD wanted to create a drag show in a theater setting. "We wanted to up the theatrical ante," Spear says. They also wanted to explore all kinds of gender performance, and add different forms of live entertainment, including music to round out the experience.
Back in the late '90s, there was a dearth in performance aimed toward the gay and queer crowd, Spear says. The founders of DDD wanted to give specifically women, but also all men and women--queer and straight--an opportunity to experience an alternative form of entertainment.
Since DDD started, Spear says the Twin Cities has gotten a lot more opportunities for artists to participate in gender performance, as well as chances for audiences to see it. Between Queertopia, the Dirty Queer Show, and the increase women's dance nights around town, including Twilight, Minneapolis is proving to have a thriving queer-friendly arts scene. In addition, there are venues like Patrick's Cabaret and other spaces where queer artists can perform. "One of the great things about Minneapolis is that there are a lot of opportunities for all sorts of arts," Spear says.
There are 18 performers for this weekend's show, including the Glam King, Esme Rodriguez, Switch the Boy Wonder, Aphrodite, Mrs. Smith, Randy Dandy, Anastasia Vierberhausen, Dick Diver, Hank Heat, Sweet Peat, and possibly Foxy Tann, Spear says. There will be lip synching, live singing, film work, modern dance, and every and anything outrageous. Spear herself will be performing as the Gentlemen King along with Sarah Borden, the Glam King.
Dykes Do Drag performs five times a year at the Bryant-Lake Bowl--always the third weekend of the month. People can check the BLB calendar to find out when the next show is coming up. This month's performance takes place on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 10 p.m. Tickets
are $14 in advance, $18 at the door. Friday night there will be a celebration after show that will include a taco bar and dance party.