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Lunch and lashes with the drag queens

WAIPOULI — This luncheon was a drag.

No, really, taken over by drag queens last Sunday at the Sheraton Kaua‘i Coconut Beach Resort’s Sunrise Restaurant, and filled with music, elegant-yet-spicy entertainment and ono cuisine.

“I love this event, ” said Ali Lahip, event director of the resort. “I’m very supportive of the LGBT community. I just moved here, back home from San Francisco. And so we had dragged brunches all the time. I wanted to do this from when it first moved, but timing is everything. And I felt right now is a great time. Everybody’s wanting to do something fun.

Lahip said some of the proceeds went to Malama Pono Health Services.

“We’re helping the community by donating some money to help with AIDS testing and all that good stuff,” Lahip said.

Resort General Manager Chris Machorek said last Sunday’s event was very much a team and collaborative effort with the performers and his staff.

Nearly 100 people attended the each of the shows.

“This is our ability to get our team together, get a bunch of members of our community together and enjoy,” Machorek said. “We’re all about that aloha spirit, and this feels like we are almost close to normal. The performers will all be wearing masks, and everyone is sitting spaced out 6 feet from other groups.”

The performances in-between meals were coordinated by five Kaua‘i drag queens who dazzled the hearts of the community this past Sunday by sharing the message to “just be you.”

The dancers were Cyenna Summers, Kaiyah Passion Summers, Brandy Licious, Luna and Princess Hanalei. Emceeing the event was Chanel Flores, a well-known Kaua‘i musician.

According to Cyenna Summers, this is a once-a-month event, tickets are available in advance from performers, with pickup at Hair Razors Salon in Lihu‘e.

Luna said she has been performing since 2015, and has a cheerleading background.

“So it’s normal for me,” Luna said. “When doing this for the community. It’s such an amazing thing to do, especially now. I’m considered the body queen, so I’ll give you hips and curves.”

Luna had a simple, heart-to-heart message to share with anyone interested in performing in drag: “Just be, you know, just be yourself,” Luna said. “And don’t let anybody you know, think different.”

Brandy Licious agreed with Luna. “I would say pretty much the same thing like that; don’t let others determine who you are.”

Dane Dabis Wai‘ale‘ale, co-owner of Hair Razors Salon, was there to show his support. “Right now, it’s a little hard cuz of COVID,” Wai‘ale‘ale said. “We’re only allowed to have so many people per show. (The show) sells out pretty fast. We’re not allowed to be in a ballroom or any of that.”

Wai‘ale‘ale was grateful on Sunday, and extended his gratitude toward those who showed up and the performers’ partnership with the resort.

“I think it’s been an amazing event,” Wai‘ale‘ale said. “I think the hotel has been amazing for being a partner in the shows, because it is a food end show that it’s definitely a partnership between us and the hotel. I was just really happy by the community embracing the show. It’s just kind of everybody’s talking about it. Everybody is loving it. I think after a year of COVID, people are enjoying having somewhere to be, and somewhere to dress up for.”

w Ticket info: 246-0800

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Stephanie Shinno, education, business, and community reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or sshinno@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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