By Rachel Rosenberg
Drag is finally getting its long-deserved moment in the mainstream spotlight. A incredibly creative art form, many queens have to be skilled in fashion, makeup artistry, lipsyncing, comedy and branding. The reality television series RuPaul’s Drag Race has introduced 140 queens to audiences over 11 seasons, and as the show has grown in popularity, there has been a wider variety of queens playing with the traditional camp vs. pageant drag queen form. Thorgy Thor is a brilliant example of this mix; a classically trained musician who spoke yearningly about performing in drag with an orchestra (“thorchestra”) during her time on the show.
Thorgy, who appeared on Season 8 of Drag Race and in All-Stars 3, spent many years studying violin, viola and cello. The Brooklyn-based performer’s dream of performing with a “thorchestra” has since come true many times over, as she has played alongside many orchestras/quartets in Canada and the U.S. Having never performed in Vancouver before, now it’s our turn. Thorgy will be performing a special, one-night-only show with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra on June 25th at 8 PM. Billed as a mix of “song, dance, and hilarious shenanigans”, the night will also include mixed media, banter, visual art, audience participation and costume changes.
This event was created through a collaboration between Thorgy and Symphony Nova Scotia conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, the artist in residence and community ambassador for Symphony NS. The Vancouver-based performance will be different than any other they’ve done before and, according to Alex Clark, the VSO’s assistant librarian artistic associate, this will be “more Vancouver” with “bits of [the city] incorporated that you won’t catch anywhere else“. The performance will have two very special local guest stars: soprano Isabella Halladay and drag superhero Joan-E. Clark promises that the show will have plenty of surprises.
Clark quoted a conversation he had with Bartholomew-Poyser: “Come because you love music or drag, and leave with an appreciation for both.” A sentiment that is even more meaningful when you realize that the event is happening at the same time as the Queer Arts Festival and the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
You can get tickets at the VSO’s site.
Rachel Rosenberg is a writer and library technician who is a proud member of the LGBTQ2+ community. She writes for Book Riot and can be found on Twitter @LibraryRachelR
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