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Event Review: Yeehaw! Drag goes country

Western’s The Royal Gambit Drag Club puts on its second show at the Underground Coffeehouse

Sage Valentine strikes a pose while clutching tips from the audience in their hand. Valentine was the opening entertainer for the Wild West Drag Show at Underground Coffeehouse in Bellingham, Wash., on Nov. 18, 2022. // Photo by Olivia Carda

Editor’s note: The Front’s city life editor, Sol Vandeman, is vice president of The Royal Gambit Drag Club. Vandeman did not play a role in editing this story.

Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood and Hannah Montana blared over the speakers of the Underground Coffeehouse as The Royal Gambit drag performers lip-synced and strutted their way across the stage.  

For their second show, Western’s Royal Gambit Drag Club put on their cowboy hats, boots and plaid attire for A Wild West Drag Show that took place on the night of Nov. 18. 

Drag performer Divine Intervention, or out of drag, second-year Maeve Bolling, talked about how this show was more stressful than the first one.

The Royal Gambit’s first show, The Monster Mash: A Devilish Night of Drag, was held on Oct. 29 and had nine entertainers. 

“The second show definitely felt a bit different because of Thanksgiving break and dead week. We had to have it earlier in the month than we normally would host it,” Bolling said. 


Divine Intervention holds their fan in front of them at the end of their performance in Bellingham, Wash., on Nov. 18, 2022. Their friend V made most of this costume. // Photo by Olivia Carda

Despite the holiday break coming up, drag entertainers were greeted once again by a packed audience. 

The now larger cast of performers fed off of the crowd’s vibrant energy as audience members threw tips at the entertainers. The sound of cheers and clapping could be heard down the hall of the Viking Union.

When Bolling was asked about their favorite part of being a performer, one of the things they said was they, “love interacting with the crowd.”

Adele Delignette is a student at Western and a first time attendee of the Royal Gambit Drag shows. She was thrilled to support the entertainer Lil Miss Creature who sang “Cowboys are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other” by Willie Nelson.

“[The show] is amazing; it’s so good. I came here to watch my roommate, and he’s about to go next, and I am so excited,” Delignette said.

Looking around in the audience, there were friends, partners and roommates, all there to support the drag performers. As the show came to an end, they showered the entertainers with praise. 

Seniors Izzy Degrasse and Chloe Reed, who are co-presidents of the Lavender Menaces Club, an LGBTQ+ club on campus specifically for non-binary and queer students, attended the event. 

Although it wasn’t their first Royal Gambit Drag event, Reed talked about how it’s important that LGBTQ+ clubs on campus support and celebrate each other. 

“It feels like we’re supporting another club that is in the same realm and seeing queer joy in the community,” Reed said. 

To support the Royal Gambit Drag Club and find out about future shows, follow them on Instagram.

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