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Boys will be girls

Popular drag show performers return with new show
SHOW TIME: Christopher Hunte a.k.a. Symone Says returns to Powell River with fellow performer Mina Mercury for the Boys Will Be Girls drag show this Saturday night at Carlson Community Club.

When professional drag show performer Christopher Hunte did his first show in Powell River in July during Powell River Pride celebrations, he says he was blown away by the warm reception he and his fellow performers received.

Hunte, who goes by the stage name Symone Says, returns this Saturday night for a new show entitled Boys Will Be Girls, sponsored by Powell River Pride and Iguana’s Mexican Grill, and is anticipating the same welcoming response.

“July was my first time in Powell River and I didn’t expect the people to be as friendly and loving as they were,” says Hunte. “I thought I might be up against people thinking, ‘Who are these drag queens, and what are drag queens really all about?’ but everyone was wonderful.”

Bringing a Las Vegas-style show to town that focuses on impersonations of female singers, Hunte and fellow Vancouver-based performer Mina Mercury highlight the music they listened to growing up, bringing a special attachment to the songs they perform.

“Fortunately, I only impersonate the people that I love,” says Hunte, whose repertoire includes Tina Turner and Diana Ross.

Hunte says he has spent countless hours memorizing songs and perfecting the accompanying choreography and Symone Says is a character that celebrates empowerment and flamboyance.

“A lot of performers I know are meek and mild, and then you put them onstage as a character and they command the room, and it’s a sense of empowerment,” says Hunte. “I’m fortunate that as Christopher I feel empowered, and as Symone I feel equally empowered. I just push the envelope a little more because I’m the one with the microphone.”

Hunte began performing in drag shows more than 20 years ago. In that time he has watched the scene change dramatically due to the popularity of drag shows in popular culture and online.

“It’s easier for queens to learn how to do makeup now,” he laughs. “Yes, these queens look great and, yes, they’ve learned how to apply makeup, but they haven’t learned how to command a room and perform to different crowds.”

As for Saturday’s show, Hunte says he hopes everyone comes with an open mind and leaves with a smile on their face.

“It’s going to be a lot of audience interaction and lot of impersonations and comedy,” he says. “At the end of the night, everyone will be so happy that they came.”

Boys Will Be Girls Drag Show
When: Saturday, March 5
Where: Carlson Community Club (downstairs)
Price: $13 at door
Info: 604.223.3807

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