Wed 10/30 @ 9:30PM
In the spotlight of Cleveland’s drag scene for the past three years, Anhedonia Delight is equal parts conceptual, sexy and campy.
Her art is highly conceptual with comedy, spoken word, horror, cosplay, shock, burlesque and stilt-walking incorporated into performances seen monthly at Delight’s GlamGore Grog Shop shows.
However, the next such event, which takes place October 30 at the Coventry rock club, is decidedly an All Hallows’ Eve affair. “Frights in Tights” features Kit Alexander, Betty Whatsherfce and creep (from Columbus’ Cult of Controversy), Clinica Dee and guest star Ursula Major (from the Boulet Brothers’ “Dragula”).
CoolCleveland talked to Delight about her show, her act and the Northeast Ohio drag scene.
Tell us about your creation, GlamGore.
GlamGore is a monthly drag show series that’s always on the last Thursday of every month — except for this coming show on October 30, which is All Hallows’ Eve. The two-hour show has about five entertainers, drag queens, queens. Every performer has two performances each. I create, market, host and perform in the show, which has been going since June of this year.
What led you to create your own monthly show?
I started it because I’ve been performing in Cleveland for three years consistently, and I was kind of tired of getting the same bookings for $25, working in kind of crappy dressing rooms, crappy basements, crappy stages, crappy audiences. What I mean about crappy is it was subpar — not substantial, not really good for the morale of performers in Cleveland. I was tired of that, and I wanted to also showcase a variety of drag, a variety that wasn’t normally celebrated or showcased on many stages. I wanted to create something that was celebrating punk rock drag, horror drag, filthy [drag] but also glamour [drag]. I wanted it to be something that turned people on their heads and offered something different to the city. Up until a couple of years ago, everything was very homogenized. I was getting bored with what I was seeing. I’ve been reinventing myself and just wanted to add something different, a little flavor to what people thought drag was or what it could be.
So while GlamGore always has its own style, we’re guessing “Frights in Tights” will be upping the scary ante bit?
Yeah, I’m really excited, the Halloween show is going to require a lot more time and energy. The performances that we have are very avant-garde. It’s kind of like if you brought in a tattoo parlor and Warped Tour and threw them on stage and then added music in the background.
Finally, on a national level drag has gone mainstream of late. How does Cleveland fit into the mix?
We’re way behind. This is just my opinion. Mainstream drag is a lot of what we see from the post-RuPaul’s Drag Race fandom and celebrity status. That’s not a clear picture of what drag is. It’s a great representation of where it can go, but in the local scene in Cleveland there are only a handful of us that really produce, market and continuously put on successful shows each month. We all know each other in the community, so we all work with each other. We try our best to bring in fresh talent to make it interesting and exciting. We’re always finding new venues. Mine is the Grog Shop. That’s my residency, so to speak. When I say Cleveland is behind, it’s not so much the performers, it’s more the audience’s palette, if that makes sense. I’m not trying to sound like I’m making fun of them, but the audiences have this expectation if we’re not glamour and pageant-beautiful, then everything else is kind of dismissed or not as interesting. That’s why GlamGore is one of like the black sheep kind of shows that everyone is starting to know. A lot of my audience members are post-punk, people in their 30s and 40s who show up. We also have young students, tatted-up people and Grog Shop locals. But then you also have people who never heard of GlamGore and want to stop in. They’re like, “Whoa, I never saw this before.” And I’m like, “I’m glad you came out to see the show.”