Stage & Dance

Are your Sundays a drag?

Chelsea Pearl, whose legal name is Kasandra Sumner, impersonated Macy Gray as she sang I Try.
Chelsea Pearl, whose legal name is Kasandra Sumner, impersonated Macy Gray as she sang I Try.

It was a Las Vegas-style show with drag queens sporting big-haired wigs and glittering costumes, some with peacocklike feathers.

Gene Williams, one of the owners of Natasha's Bistro & Bar, where the event was held, called it a G-rated show for folks who've been to church on Sunday morning.

Chelsea Pearl and Simply the Best, a group of local drag queens, entertained at the Lexington restaurant Sunday, dancing and lip synching to tunes sung originally by Tina Turner, Diana Ross and Lady Gaga.

They call the monthly performances "Are Your Sundays a Drag? ... Well, Ours Are."

The show on this particular Sunday included a special guest, Leah Halston, who came to Lexington to entertain after performing with La Cage aux Folles in Lake Tahoe, Nev.

Halston, who is a flight attendant, sports a Tina Turner wig and dances while doing Proud Mary.

The audience showered Chelsea Pearl, whose legal name is Kasandra Sumner — the "mama" of the group — and her "babies," Stephanie Velour (Steven Thornton), Roxy Love (Justin Greer) and Veronica Love (Jay Parsons), as well as Leah, with bills — ones, fives, tens and twenties, during their performances.

Tips that the group receives from We Are Family, which they perform together at the end of each show, are earmarked for a particular charity. On Sunday that charity was the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Lexington affiliate.

Marc Sumner, producer of the show, said that at least $250 was raised for the breast cancer-fighting charity Sunday and that the group intends to raise more. Several other charities have benefited from the shows.

"You just want to make the audience happy," said Stephanie, who showed her partiality to Beyoncé by performing to three of her songs.

The audience was made up of mostly women, with a few men here and there, and at least one child.

Vicky Bailey and her table of friends came to the show to celebrate Bailey's 53rd birthday.

Chelsea Pearl got the crowd to tell Bailey "Happy Birthday," then got the audience to clap to a different version of the song If You're Happy and You Know It.

Chelsea Pearl's version contained lines such as "If you're gay and you know it, then your fashion sense will show it."

Williams said the monthly shows have been among the most popular at the restaurant, which features a variety of entertainment.

"We were doubtful at first. We didn't think Lexington could handle a Sunday morning drag show," he said.

The idea for the show came from Chelsea Pearl, who performs regularly in a similar show in Virginia.

"It's something to do in the morning — see drag queens and hang out with a few friends. You did bring ones (dollar bills), didn't you?" asked patron Carl Frazier.