Thursdays are a drag at a local cabaret.
Sterling Cabaret and Event Center on Main Street in Greenwood is now home to the county’s first drag show series. “Thursdays are a DRAG” is a monthly family-friendly show with a cast of local drag performers from around central Indiana. The launch of the monthly drag event happens to coincide with the county’s first Pride event today in downtown Greenwood.
Justyn Wilson, of Columbus, started the Greenwood show with fellow drag performers looking for a place to perform a little closer to home. There were no local drag shows in the area, and Wilson had no luck pitching the idea to performance spaces around Columbus.
“I tried multiple places (there), and I’ve had people hang up on me,” Wilson said.
Wilson performs in drag under the stage name Ambre Rose. The first show May 27 at Sterling was a success with nearly 100 people in attendance, and they made pretty good money too, Wilson said.
“A lot of people are really excited that Greenwood finally got something like this. We had a lot of people at the show say they want to come back to show support, and make sure it stays in the area,” Wilson said.
Each performance will take place on the last Thursday of the month with a different theme.
The cabaret comes to life as each performer dazzles the crowds with lip-sync routines to different songs, and colorful costumes to go with the theme, Wilson said.
The first show was red, white and blue, and this month’s show will be Pride themed. June is Pride Month. Performers dress to the theme, and guests are encouraged to as well to potentially win prizes.
The show is meant for those of all ages, so everyone can join in and feel like they have a community where they belong, Wilson said.
“I want to show people of all ages that they can be who they want to be without judgement, and there’s always going to be a community that accepts them without judgement and is going to let them be who they want to be without making them change,” Wilson said.
This last show was Wilson’s third performance as Ambre Rose.
“Growing up, I was always told I wasn’t allowed to be gay. So I always had to hide a part of myself,” Wilson said. “When I found out about drag, I was obsessed with it. Just to let out that side of me that I’ve had to hide for years, and be who I actually am without judgement.”
“Thursdays are a DRAG” will continue its monthly shows for the next year, and Wilson hopes to partner with Sterling Cabaret and Hoosier Brewing Company for more performances this year, including a “Greenwood’s Got Talent” show.
Wilson also started creating a nonprofit LGBTQ entertainment program to bring more shows like this to similar performance venues around the state.
The next “Thursdays are DRAG” show is at 7:30 p.m. June 24. Prices vary for each performance, depending on how many performers are in the show. This month’s show will cost $15.
If you go
Thursdays are a DRAG
What: A monthly family-friendly drag show with themes
When: 7:30 p.m. June 24; doors open at 6 p.m.
Where: Sterling Cabaret and Event Center, 916 E. Main St., Suite 200, Greenwood
This month’s theme: Pride