dr.a.g.: A dazzling visual tribute to the entertaining art form
As Vancouver's Pride Week partying revs into high gear, take a note of who's hosting or emceeing the events you're at. More often than not, you'll find the entertaining heartbeat of the community, drag queens, center stage. With all the glitz and glam, song and dance, and the razor-sharp wit, their visual brilliance can sometimes be too easily taken for granted.
The 160-page coffee table book dr.a.g. (created to bootkthefilm and Tectum Publishers, produced by Vancouver actor Christopher Logan), with text in English, French, Italian, and Dutch, gives readers the chance to reflect upon and appreciate some of the most exemplary practitioners of the art form. dr.a.g is a visually dazzling, lovingly presented photo collection of drag queens from across North America and Europe.
The title draws its name from a term used in the burgeoning days of theatre when men played both male and female roles, and a male actor either dressed as a girl (dr.a.g.) or dressed as a boy (dr.a.b.).
Tina Turner, Cher, Madonna, Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli, Marilyn Monroe, Annie Lennox, Judy Garland, Julie Andrews, Josephine Baker, Marlene Dietrich, Anna May Wong, Joan Rivers, Lucille Ball—all the iconic women are there, in loving and stunning tribute. (You'd be hardpressed to distinguish some of them—Eddie Edwards' Barbra Streisand in particular—from the real deal.)
Some of the biggest names in the industry, from Chad Michaels, Eddie Edwards, and Lady Bunny to Randy Roberts, Kenneth Blake, and Jackie Beat, all show off their stuff.
What's more, there are several familiar faces from the Vancouver scene, including Jaylene Tyme, Miss Cotton, Raye Sunshine, Guy Labrecque, and Vegas Van Cartier (all photographed by Nicholas Jang). Christopher Peterson from Toronto and Mado from Montreal round out the Canadian mix.
But it's not just about replication and imitation. The outrageous future-punk style of Glitz Glam of San Diego and Krystal Something-Something of Brooklyn take the art form to its most innovative, experimental, avant-garde extremes.
All the performers and photographers donated their efforts to the book, which was created to raise funds for independent film productions.
If you're looking for a Pride-related gift to give this week, dr.a.g. might just be the answer.