Drag performers welcome DNC to Philly

Brittany Lynn, founder of Philly Drag Mafia, performs at a block party to celebrate the start of the DNC. Photo: Paige Cooperstein, Philadelphia Gay News

Before getting on stage Monday at a block party for the Democratic National Convention, Philly Drag Mafia performers chatted about a Melania Trump impression featured on Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” last week.

They thought Laura Benanti, a Tony-award winning actress, nailed her parody of Melania’s cribbed speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. At one point, Benanti as Melania says she was born and raised in West Philadelphia, nodding both to the host city of the Democratic convention and the famous theme song to the television show, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

Ian Morrison, founder of Philly Drag Mafia, said he told the block party performers that they didn’t have to do anything political. But, Morrison will be doing his own Melania send-up when he performs as Brittany Lynn Thursday at 9 p.m. at Tabu, 200 S. 12th St.

Meanwhile, he kicked off the midafternoon show at Philly Feast in Old City by singing a rendition of “Fever.”

“I had to sing about the heat,” Morrison said.

It was 97 degrees when he took the stage in a flame red wig and striped dress. Soon after the show began, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney stopped by. Morrison called him over to the stage where they embraced and posed for a quick photo, while he continued singing.


Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney stopped by the Philly Feast block party in Old City. Photo: Paige Cooperstein, Philadelphia Gay News

Other performances from Philly Drag Mafia included Thom Sirkot singing Elton John and Navaya Shay doing a routine to Britney Spears music.

“Philly is the most progressive city,” Morrison said. “We’re very lucky to be in Philadelphia. The city helped us get our rainbow street signs and rainbow crosswalks. Because of my Mummers affiliation, [the city] usually comes to me to get the Drag Mafia involved in events.”

Morrison is a Democrat who plans to vote for Hillary Clinton in November.

“I’m doing my part for Hillary on the lowest level possible,” he joked of the block party performance.

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