By Will Owen on August 1, 2013
Washington is fortunate to have an outstanding drag scene with performers at several of the area’s gay clubs. The Howard Theatre’s “Drag Salute to the Divas” bolsters this performance art to the level of a full-scale stage production.
“I’m elevating the drag community here to take it to the next level at the Howard Theatre,” Shi-Queeta-Lee, local celebrity drag queen and director of “Salute,” says. “It’s a venue that gives much more space and opportunity to flaunt our talent — much more stage production, with background dancers. It gives us a chance to have props and dancers and make a bigger production.”
The Howard has hosted seven of the “Drag Salute to the Divas” shows, and they have all sold out. The upcoming performance on Monday night is the one-year anniversary show, and is a mash-up musical of “Steel Magnolias” and “Waiting to Exhale.”
Desiree Samira by email at
“Steel Magnolias vs. Waiting to Exhale” is the perfect presentation of Shi-Queeta-Lee’s favorite movies performed on one stage by Washington, DC’s top Drag performers for one night only.
Revolving around Truvy’s Beauty Parlor in a small parish in modern-day Louisiana, Steel Magnolias is the story of a close-knit circle of friends whose lives come together there.
Waiting to Exhale is based on the best selling novel by Terry McMillan. The story follows the lives of four African-American women as they try to deal with their lives. Friendship becomes the strongest bond between these women as men, careers, and families take them in different directions. Often light-hearted, this movie speaks about some of the problems and struggles the modern women face in today’s world.
Earnest Winbourne August 2012
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By Erin Durkin on February 7, 2013
A Drag Valentine Salute comes to the Howard Theatre (620 T St., NW) Monday night at8 p.m.
The show was created and directed by cast member Shi Queeta-Lee, who has been featured on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” ABC’s “Ugly Betty” and reality shows “Drag City: DC” and “R&B Divas.” The show is a revue of legendary performers Rihanna, Adele and Whitney Houston with the best female impersonators in the area.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the show. For more information, visit thehowardtheatre.com.
Carol Simons March 2012
Built in 1910, the Howard Theater in Washington, DC, was one of the few places where black female impersonators could make their mark in a traveling show called “The Jewel Box Revue.” Just last April, the theater re-opened and in the same tradition, evoked it’s historic past with the first drag show since 1960, with Shi-Queeta Lee’s “Salute the the Divas.” The performances were spectacular and the show played to a sold out crowd, one of only a few since the theater reopened. Watch now as NoMoreDownLow, takes a look at this historic moment that could well become a regular event in the Nations Capitol.