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April 27, 2016

It's DragCon Time Again—And RuPaul's The Keynoter

LOS ANGELES—After the stunning success of the first RuPaul's DragCon, the convention is once again returning to L.A., thanks to RuPaul's partnership with the Worlds of Wonder Productions crew, Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey (of Inside Deep Throat documentary fame)—and it's way bigger than before. According to the show's website, "RuPaul’s DragCon provides a platform for fans—of all ages and backgrounds—to meet and interact with world-renowned celebrities and icons in a friendly and accessible environment.  The convention will feature over 100 vendors and exhibitors, panel discussions, screenings, autographs, and photo opportunities." The promoters expect "tens of thousands" of fans to attend, and if last year's crowds are any indication, it'll probably be in the high tens. Fans of the various seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race will find plenty of their favorite contestants on hand, including Transgender Erotica Awards hostess Jujubee, plus there will be appearances by cast members from the FUSION TV series Lady of AsiaSF as well as the U.K. feature film Dressed As A Girl. On the more mainstream side, musicians Henry Rollins, Debbie Gibson and The Supremes co-founder Mary Wilson are scheduled to attend, as well as mainstream director Gregg Araki (Mysterious Skin; The Doom Generation) and Jawbreaker director Darren Stein, who'll also appear on a panel with star Rebecca Gayheart to discuss that film. Also on hand will be top comedienne Judy Tenuta, Samantha Newark (of 2015's Jem and the Holograms), and Big Bang Theory's (and ST:TNG's) Wil Wheaton will appear on at least one panel. Several adult performers will also be making appearances, including last year fave TS Madison, as well as other trans actresses like Love Connie and Venus D'Lite. Some of this year's panels will include BioQueens: Women Who Love Drag; Golden Girls Forever; Legendary! Ladies of the '80s; Geeks and Glamazons: Gender Bending in Comics; Drag Is Punk; and Size Queens: Big Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. RuPaul fans may also want to catch the "Opening Night Spectacular" on Friday, May 6, at the Belasco Theater, 1050 S. Hill St. in L.A.. Performers at that show will be a selection of former Drag Race contestants including Katya, Trixie Mattel, Gia Gunn, Lady Bunny, Jessica Wilde, Jujubee, Kennedy Davenport and more. But according to Randy Barbato, "The biggest surprise from last year’s DragCon was how much of a family event this is. Whether your family is San Francisco’s legendary drag queens, Sisters for Perpetual Indulgence, or you’re a tween girl superfan visiting with your Mom & Dad, there’s something for everybody at RuPaul’s DragCon." So we're guessing that that means that mom, dad and the kids should just jump in the car and head down to the Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St. in L.A. on May 7-8 for a mind-bending/enlightening (take your choice) experience. Admission is $50 for the weekend, or $30 per day. Tickets can be purchased here.

 
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