The world premiere of Spice Queens, a new and exciting drag queen Spice Girls impersonation show, took place right here in Windsor, Ontario, at Rockstar Music Hall this past Friday (Feb. 15). Event manager and show promoter Lawrence Lavender, owner of Lavender Promotions, brought the show to Windsor featuring Toronto based queens Baby Bel Bel as Ginger Spice, Priyanka Love as Scary Spice, Lucy Flawless as Sporty Spice, Imarra Arrami as Posh Spice, and Juice Boxx as Baby Spice. Eyes on Windsor’s Kevin Blondin talked with Lawrence and Juice Boxx about the show.
Spice Queens was quickly finalized following a photo shoot with photographer David Howe, featuring the five queens in their Spice Girls costumes. The performers had been rehearsing for months with professional choreographer and costumer, Hollywood Jade, in Toronto. Once the photo was published, bookings for the show immediately came in.
“We ended up only having two weeks to whip it all together,” says Juice Boxx (Jo Primeau) a native of Essex, ON, now based in Toronto, who has been performing drag for five years. “We didn’t sleep much, but we did it.” Juice Boxx explained that the group wanted to do a Spice Girls show not only because the group was so iconic in the 1990’s but it would be a fun interactive experience for the audience. “We wanted to have the audience be a part of it, we wanted everybody to be able to sing along, we wanted it to be like a fun amazing experience for people who don’t get to see drag much.”
In addition to thrilling the audience with Spice Girls hits, the Spice Queens threw in some other iconic songs of the times, including the music of Britney Spears and Janet Jackson. The crowd was up on their feet dancing, cheering, and some even tipping the performers while they were on stage.
Growing up in the Windsor Essex area Juice Boxx is surprised that, as she says, this “blue collar” town has been so receptive to drag. “When I come back to do drag and to perform for you guys, you guys love it, you love drag, you guys love to get into the fantasy, you love the music, and to party, and get into it. Its not a deadpan audience, it’s just fun.”
Juice Boxx’s favourite thing about being a drag performer is the ability to be creative. “We get to kind of be whoever we want. I’m Baby Spice tonight, but then on Monday I could be Poison Ivy, or I could be an anime character. I could be really what I want. I can be blonde one day, I can be a brunette one day, I could be really tall one day, I could be really skinny one day. It’s kind of like you can just create your own fantasy and perform for people, helping them escape their reality, and to enjoy their night a little bit more with you.”
“The reception in Windsor has been absolutely phenomenal,” explains Lawrence Lavender. “Windsor responds so well. The crowds are phenomenal, I do these shows in Windsor, London, and Toronto. The Windsor crowd brings as much energy as any city I’ve ever seen, its just great, and the performers absolutely love it.”
Lavender has been bringing regional performers to Windsor for the past few years. Last December he brought A Very Queenie Christmas to Windsor featuring Pandora Boxx and Darienne Lake from iconic drag queen RuPaul’s Drag Race TV show. In March Lavender Promotions is bringing Kim Chi, also from RuPaul’s Drag Race, to Windsor and London, all four shows have already sold out. This June they’ll be bringing another exciting Drag Race peformer, Naomi Smalls, to Windsor and London. The Windsor show will take place at a larger venue this time, at the Capitol Theatre (tickets go on sale on Wed. Feb. 20 at noon and are expected to sell out fast).
For upcoming shows being organized by Lavender Promotions visit http://lavenderpromotions.com
Photos by Kevin Blondin
Kevin Blondin is an aspiring photographer studying public relations at the St. Clair College Mediaplex. He is dedicated to promoting artists, entertainment and events in the Windsor-Detroit area. Kevin has recently launched Sound & City Photography which can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.