Drag Queens Take Center Stage During Garage Queens Showdown At Delray’s Arts Garage

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By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor

Twelve drag queens will bring their glitz, glam and fierce personalities to Delray’s Arts Garage this summer as they vie to be donned the Garage Queen.

The first Friday of the month from June 1 through Sept. 7 will be dedicated to the battle of the queens. Each month will have a different theme that the queens will have to come up with a costume and persona for.

The audience will decide which queens make it to the next round through tips until one is given the crown as well as a paid and contracted show at the Arts Garage.

“It’s really exciting,” said Adam Smet, the Director of WOW at the Arts Garage.

Smet is tasked with planning events that WOW visitors and keep them coming back to the performing arts venue for new and innovative programs. Bringing a pageant-style elimination competition to the summer schedule is his idea.

President and CEO of the Arts Garage Marjorie Waldo said Garage Queens is an example of the Arts Garage carrying out its vision of, “Connecting our community to the world through the Arts.”

Specifically she said Garage Queens will showcase the diverse art form of drag.

“Drag in itself is an art form,” Smet said. “It takes a lot and this shines a light that it is an art form.”

Taking the stage every month will be host Gerald Arroyo-Prada better known in the drag community as Ariel.

Ariel will channel her inner RuPaul and host Garage Queens.

“We have an amazing assortment of queens,” she said. “South Florida hasn’t seen anything like this. We have bars and nights here and there, but it will be a lot of fun to see how creative these girls can be.”

Ariel takes her name from her favorite Disney princess, Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Arroyo-Prada worked at Disney previously. Currently, he works for a personal injury law firm during the day and perfects Ariel at night.

Arroyo-Prada has a theater degree from Florida Atlantic University and has hosted the annual Homecoming FAU Drag Show for the past eight years.

Arroyo-Prada began dressing in drag on March 13, 2010. The first public appearance was right after the Johnny Depp version of Alice in Wonderland debuted and Ariel showed up at a West Palm Beach bar as the White Rabbit.

Ever since then, Ariel has been evolving. Ariel has appeared on stage with Katy Perry, for the opening night of the California Dreams Tour in 2011 at UCF’s CFE Sports Arena. She’s performed at the late and legendary, Pulse Night Club and performed with other local drag queens.

“I am definitely excited to see how far this can take us,” she said of the event and its impact on the drag community.

The first show is June 1 at 8 p.m. at Arts Garage, 94 NE 2nd Ave. Shows are also scheduled for July 6, Aug. 3 and Sept. 7 for the Grand Finale. All shows will begin at 8 p.m.

Tickets cost $15 for general admission, $20 for a reserved table and $25 for a premium table.

You can BYOWhatever (Food and drinks, including alcohol). For more information, visit artsgarage.org