Broadway may still be dark, but theater stars are turning on the (virtual) lights for a good cause.
The worlds of politics and drag have collided over the past few years. RuPaul’s Drag Race now ends every episode with queens carrying signs urging viewers to register to vote, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren had a booth at last year’s RuPaul’s DragCon NYC. Earlier this year, bestselling author and speaker Jackie Huba also founded Drag Out the Vote, a movement enlisting drag queen ambassadors to help people register to vote.
Drag Out the Vote has now unveiled a new voter initiative: Divas for Democracy: United We Slay, a digital variety show bringing together some of the biggest names in theater and drag. The election extravaganza will be hosted by Entertainment Tonight’s Keltie Knight and RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Nina West.
“One in five LGBTQIA+ people is not registered to vote, and 100 million people did not vote in the 2016 election. We must fix this,” Huba said in a statement. “We are excited to bring together the worlds of Broadway and Drag to inspire voters to sashay their way to the polls or their mailboxes.”
The drag legends who will be sashaying onto your screens are Alaska, Bob the Drag Queen, Jinkx Monsoon, Jujubee, Alyssa Edwards, Valentina, Peppermint, Cynthia Lee Fontaine, Shuga Cain, and Honey Davenport, along with Drag Out The Vote National Co-chairs Brita Filter, Marti Gould Cummings, and Pixie Aventura.
The list of Broadway performers slated to appear include Tony Award winners Stephanie J. Block (The Cher Show), Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon), Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon), and Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone), along with Broadway favorites Alex Newell (Once on This Island), Shoshana Bean (Waitress), Eden Espinosa (Wicked), Tony nominee Jenn Collela (Come From Away), Chilina Kennedy (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Keala Settle (The Greatest Showman, Waitress), Tamika Lawrence (Come From Away, If/Then), Lady J, and the legendary three-time Tony recipient Chita Rivera.
Other celebrity guests include Cyndi Lauper, RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Michelle Visage, Harvey Fierstein (Hairspray), James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin, Hamilton), two-time Tony nominee Andrew Rannells (The Boys In the Band), Bianca Del Rio, Shangela, Cheyenne Jackson, Mila Jam, and Allison Janney.
“It’s a thrill to watch these super talents from two very different conventions of theatre collaborate at a time when actually being together is impossible. And they’re all such fans of each other! For the Broadway divas, it is the highest honor to be worthy of a drag performance; and the queens know just how high the bar is,” said Divas for Democracy co-directors Josh Rhodes and Lee Wilkins. “This show is a passionate reminder for the LGBTQIA+ community and our theatre-loving allies that voting matters. Our aim is to entertain and laugh the audience straight to the polls.”
Divas for Democracy streams exclusively on StageIt Sunday, October 18 at 8pm ET. Tickets are “donate what you can” with a minimum $5 donation and a “tipping” option for additional donations. All proceeds benefit Drag Out The Vote’s get-out-the-vote efforts in 2020 and beyond.