Rust Belt drags in some familiar faces

Staff report


Rust Belt Theater Company will present the 10th annual “Fundraising is a Drag” show at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Calvin Center, 755 Mahoning Ave.

This year’s event will have a “drag pageant” theme. Local bartenders, athletes, business professionals and stage personalities will be given drag makeovers and vie against each other for the title of Rust Belt’s Next Top Drag Queen.

Contestants will include Jacob Harver, Terri MacSkimming, Joe Kale, P.J. Shmerchansky, Nicholas Forgac, Katelyn Bowden and more.

Cast members from Rust Belt’s annual holiday production of “How The Drag Queen Stole Christmas” also will be on hand. Kage Kraven, Jacqueline St. Porcupine and Buff Melendrez Starr will serve as pageant judges.

The show, as always, will be hosted by notorious drag diva, and star of “Drag Queen,” Starlett O’Hara.

To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the event, a special limited edition “Fundraising is a Drag” art print has been created by pop artist Chris Yambar. It features a painted photo image of Robert Joki in the persona of Starlett O’Hara. Each print will be numbered and signed by both Yambar and Joki.

“Larger than life always gets my attention,” said Yambar. “Who Robert is and what the Rust Belt Theater contributes to area youth with regard to training and experience in the dramatic arena is brilliantly giant.”

Proceeds from the Yambar print sales will benefit the RBTC Studio for Young Actors, which provides workshops, performance opportunities and productions of locally written musicals for area students, free of charge.

“Fundraising is a Drag” will include a complimentary wine and cheese reception each night. Tickets are $15 ($10 for students/seniors). For reservations, call or text 330-507-2358.

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