Powder & Pooff!! The Art of the Drag
Aug 23, 2019 11:35AM
By Don Kindred
by Donia Moore
If you have never seen a Drag Queen show, this is the one you want to experience. Funny and talented, the performers are very family-oriented and charming, and of course, Adele’s at the San Clemente Inn has great food and yummy desserts to enjoy during the Saturday night shows.
Drag Queens are not a modern phenomenon. In the theater world, female impersonation has existed for centuries–but not out of any desire to expand what it means to be a woman. Most women were not allowed to perform on stage before the 18th century, but that didn’t mean that playwrights stopped creating female characters. From Japanese Kabuki performances to the dramas of ancient Greece, men have been dressing in women’s garb long before the term “drag” ever existed. Some people believe that the term DRAG was actually an acronym for Dress Resembling a Girl’s.
In the latter half of the 19th century, the men who played female roles would often note that the long, heavy skirts they wore would drag across the stage floor. The term “stuck” and “drag” soon became both an adjective and a noun describing men who wore women’s clothing.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, drag performances remained mostly underground. In theater, men who performed as women were doing so simply to fill the role. In drag performances, men dressed in “drag” to emulate and caricature famous women, usually for comedic effect. Traveling vaudeville acts featured many female impersonators whose comedic performances earned them some fame within the burgeoning scene.
With the advent of famous Drag Queen RuPaul, (and yes – Disney’s Ursula from The Little Mermaid, patterned after Drag Queen Divine) drag has gone mainstream. The entertainment industry has opened up for these talented performers, most of whom say they “dress up for fun.”
There is not generally much money in it for the performers, but as a creative outlet, the sky’s the limit. Especially if you can manage the six inch high heels that many wear. As a woman, suffering through three inch heels is a difficult enough stunt. Even in younger days, there’s no way I or most of my girlfriends would have attempted to strut our stuff in six inch heels, yet many drag performers do it beautifully and routinely.
At Adele’s Powder and Pooff! Drag Queen Show, the audience is as involved with the performers as the performers are with the audience. Quite often clientele include families and young teens. This creative show is not only funny, it is also very enlightening.
The hostess of the show is Tamantha Taintawoman. Witty and educated on stage, (she attended an Ivy League college), Tamantha keeps the show on track. Behind the scenes, she’s responsible for hiring the Queens and making sure that their personas and performances are in keeping with Adele’s audiences. Tamantha also performs at least four songs a night, often with four costume changes. She often sings songs from some of her favorite celebrities, like Liza Minelli, Bittany Spears, Madonna, Whitney Houston, as well as other not-so-famous entertainers.
How Did She Get Here?
Tamantha has been performing in drag since 2010. Her first gig was at Hamburger Mary’s in West Hollywood. It takes her about a year to perfect her act, participating in Drag Queen competitions. She is always working to improve her looks and performances. She became a guest celebrity at Adele’s and will celebrate her fifth anniversary as the show’s Hostess there in November.
“I feel Adele’s has allowed me to develop more confidence to take more risks with my performances. I usually have a friend in the audience record them. Then I study them to try to improve.”
She is usually accompanied by at least four other Queens, each with her own persona and costumes. Most recently, they included Volta Charge, Safeara Nightshade, Aubrey Summers, and Amanda Takehometomother.
Feeling the love
All ages are welcome at this family and straight male friendly show. The love that these Queens feel for their female counterparts is reflected from the audience back to the performers. The performers are all men, but some identify as trans-women. Tamantha highlights that they are here to have a good time and make people laugh. And that they do! They are over the top glamorous performers who gently poke fun at the stereotypes of women that have been promoted by men for years, through their beautiful costumes, amazing make-up and talented dancing. The vamps, the sweet girls, the dumb blondes, the gold diggers – they are all there, helping us to laugh at our selves.
Few of the performers have any formal training in dance, acting, or singing yet they all have a dedication to their craft. It can take them over two and half hours to put on their makeup and dress in their costumes. Many drive from Los Angeles or West Hollywood to be part of the act.
Adele’s shows are popular because San Clementeans have been so welcoming and Adele has been so hospitable, often providing meals and snacks for the performers following the show.
Make reservations for dinner and get a premium seat for the show. Or you can walk in and take your chances. Restaurant Waitress Jana is delightful. The servers are friendly and accommodating. The food is good, the show is fun and the drinks are strong. And the chocolate cake is out of this world! The nominal cover charge is well worth it. Got a special party or celebration coming up? Shots are offered for special occasions and everybody wants to take pictures. This is the place you want to be for entertainment and fun.
The shows happen most Saturday nights, beginning at 7:30 pm with Tamantha’s introduction. Performances begin at 8 pm sharp and finish around 9:30 pm. Check the Powder and Poof!! Facebook group for details, or call Adele’s at 949-481-1222 to find out what is happening on a specific Saturday. You can also make reservations online at www.adeles.biz.