Drag queens bring hosiery, heels and hilarity
Solomons brunch show brings drag queen style to Southern Maryland
The process to get ready for the show is no easy task. There are nylons to put on, then the dress, the heels, the makeup, and of course, the wig. And then finally, as the music starts, Victoria Bohmore steps out from behind the curtain and waves to her adoring fans to kick off the Solomons Drag Brunch, held Oct. 20 at the Holiday Inn Marina & Conference Center.
“My mom had never been to a drag brunch and today is her birthday, so I decided to bring her here,” said Melissa Puffenbarger, who lives in La Plata and works for the U.S. Navy. “I liked it. It was very energetic and fun and entertaining.”
“My daughter and I like having fun together,” said Hollywood resident Kathy Bossenberger, referring to daughter Allison Samo. “I thought it was great. The best part was the tall, skinny [drag queen]. There were some parts that were a little over the top for me, but overall we had a good time.”
The show featured drag performers Bohmore, Jordin Jamison, Onyx D. Pearl, Kr ystal Nova and Sabrina Sommers. Male entertainer D’Moj stepped in as a late replacement for a sixth performer, and did spot-on impressions of nerd Pee Wee Herman and fitness guru Richard Simmons.
The performers strolled and strutted around the crowd lip-syncing to popular dance songs, and interacted with the energetic and boisterous sold-out audience of 360.
“I’m very pleased with how it went,” said Bohmore, 39, who lives in La Plata and works with the Charles County Department of Social Services. “For lack of a better word, [the people who are here are] kind of like, ‘Let’s go to a freak show and see what happens,’ but it was a great show and a great turnout.”
“The audience was amazing,” said Sommers, a hairdresser from Randallstown. These shows “just bring together all walks of life. It’s nice because you don’t get a lot of love in the world, especially in the times we live in today, and to get the love and the respect that these people — straight, gay, whatever — give us and make us feel welcome.”
Nova followed Bohmore, dressed in a huge black boa that could help contain an oil spill and a green, black and white form-fitting dress loaded with tassels. Jamison was up next in a huge 1980s-style blonde wig and gold lame bodysuit.
“About nine years ago I got a lot of attention one year at Halloween dressed as a drag queen at a club in D.C.,” said Nova, who lives in Columbia and helps train people with disabilities to find employment. “The crowd feeds off your energy so you don’t really have to be a big-time show person, but if you look like you’re enjoying yourself, everyone else will too. The secret is to learn how to do makeup well and just have fun. The hardest part is putting all the garments on and cinching everything together.”
During the brunch show, the crowd eagerly tucked $1 bills into the hands — and waistbands — of the performers.
Bohmore — which is a stage name for the drag queen — like the other drag performers at the brunch, prefers not to publicize his actual name. Emceeing Saturday’s event as drag persona Bohmore, the performer grew up in St. Mary’s County and graduated from Leonardtown High School. About 20 years ago, he started bartending at The Hippo in Baltimore and found his part-time career path when he dressed in drag for the bar’s annual employee show.
“I really got into it,” said Bohmore, wearing a black cocktail dress with huge silver earrings. “A number of my
coworkers said, ‘You look like you’re really getting into it and you have a knack for it. You should try it.’”
He returned to school and was a drag queen as a side gig, but in 2016 he won a regional competition and then placed 11th at the national All-American Goddess Pageant. He is also the current reigning Miss Rowan Tree, a bar in Baltimore. Bohmore, who currently
performs a few shows a year, including the monthly Annapolis Pride brunch, in addition to his day job, said the hardest part of his side job is not having eyebrows.
“I’ve shaved mine off for 10 years now because I hated gluing them down,” he said, adding it takes him 30 minutes to prepare for a show and 90 minutes for a pageant.
Bossenberger and Samo were seated with several friends, all of whom house their horses at Begin Again Farm in Leonardtown, and the women roared with laughter throughout
Later, Puffenbarger’s mother, Melinda Bingham of La Plata, posed for photos with Nova, who is in a black outfit and a Cleopatra-style neck plate.
One woman put her dollar bill in her teeth, where it was retrieved by Jamison, who wore a black-and-white checkered outfit with large wings for the number.
Pearl got into the upcoming Halloween spirit when she stepped out on the floor looking like an extra in Tim Burton’s “A Nightmare Before Christmas.” Sommers wrapped
up the event as she pranced around the floor in a tan and rose-colored bodysuit.
Though there were casualties — a breastplate snapped — the show went off without barely a hitch, and guests clamored for selfies following the event.
“My father told me I had a lot of talent bottled up inside and that I should probably be a drag performer because I would probably be really good at it,” said Sommers, who has been performing for 25 years. “The next week we went shopping and that was pretty much it. It was terrifying
[the first time I performed] because you don’t know how the crowd will perceive you, but I had a good time. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t still be doing it.”
The next show will be a drag pageant from 8 p.m. to about midnight Saturday, Feb. 16, also at the Holiday Inn. Doors open at 7 p.m. Early bird tickets are $30 to $35 through Monday, Dec. 31.
Go to www.eventbrite. com/e/miss-gay-southern-maryland-america-tickets-51596616870.
Victoria Bohmore sings to the crowd during the Oct. 20 drag brunch.
Melissa Puffenbarger of La Plata, left, takes a photo of her mother, Melinda Bingham, and performer Krystal Nova during the Oct. 20 drag brunch.
Sabrina Sommers works the crowd during the Oct. 20 drag brunch.
Performers Krystal Nova, left, Sabrina Summers, Jordin Jamison, Onyx B. Pearl, D’Moj and Victoria Bohmore entertained the crowd at the Oct. 20 drag brunch.