Arts & Entertainment

Veronyca's Showgirls Do Family-Friendly Drag Show

2c7a06c794da41dc23d2_vs3.PNG
Diva D'Vyne-Island  Credits: Jackson Drapp
08b9c802b16870322176_vs1.PNG
Willow Turnher-Paige  Credits: Jackson Drapp
7e6f5ca898f827db1411_vs2.PNG
Performing at the family-friendly show  Credits: Jackson Drapp
2c7a06c794da41dc23d2_vs3.PNG

OLEAN, NY – Veronyca’s Showgirls are in the habit of putting on risqué drag shows – most frequently at the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge, 201 W. State St., every other Saturday.

The day before Mother’s Day, however, showgirls Diva D’Vyne-Island, Veronyca DeVaine-Paige and Willow Turnher-Paige switched up their act for a family-friendly show at Jamestown Community College.

The age range of attendees was broad. The youngest audience member was 1, and senior citizens filled the seats too. The performers made it a priority to involve the children in every act, bringing them in various groupings on stage to dance. Audience members in their seats were treated to pizza and other refreshments.

Sign Up for E-News

At first, the young ones were hesitant to join the dancers on stage. But as Turnher-Paige, dressed in a short blue dress, heels and bright red lipstick, led some children in the upbeat “Popular” from the musical “Wicked,” stage fright magically vanished.

Other favorite songs the showgirls performed included Green Day’s “American Idiot,” Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” and Whitney Houston’s “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay.”

DeVaine-Paige, the executive director of Veronyca’s Showgirls, led the group in what she said is her favorite “high-energy dance beat” number, the Melanie Amaro version of the Aretha Franklin classic “Respect.”

The performers made good use of props, tossing plastic gold coins during fantasy-themed numbers. D’Vyne-Island made children laugh as she surprised them with her Chinese hand fan. The performers changed outfits for every act, so that their costumes complemented the songs.

“I have to decide on the songs that I want to do, and with that pick out outfits, heels, wigs, jewelry and any props that go with each song,” D’Vyne-Island explained after the show.

Turnher-Paige commented, “Family shows are great because they help break the stigma that drag is an adult thing that belongs in the bars.”

Doing a family-friendly show has its challenges.

“Performing a family-friendly show is a lot more difficult than performing a regular show,” DeVaine-Paige said. “We have to really be conscious of how we present ourselves in front of the young ones. It’s important to make sure they are not going to be exposed to a more adult atmosphere.”

Making the show appropriate for all ages requires careful song selection and outfit design.

“For kid shows there cannot be any profanity in our songs, and our outfits cannot be showing off any of the goodies, so to speak,” D’Vyne-Island said.

Whether the showgirls are preparing for their regular audiences or families, their prep work is intensive.

“What many people don’t realize is how much preparation goes into every show,” Turnher-Paige said. “I spend at least a week before each show listening to my songs everywhere I go to make sure I have them perfectly memorized.”

Turnher-Paige added that she has a closet filled with drag outfits and that she arrives at every show with two suitcases filled with clothes, makeup, duct tape and even a hot glue gun for last-second repairs.

Veronyca’s Showgirls are a part of the LGBTS group COLORS, a not-for-profit social club co-founded by Dann D.H. and his husband, Alan H., in 2012.

“We started the group to make people aware that the LGBT community exists,” Alan H. said.

Though COLORS originated in Olean, the club does not have an official territory; some of its events are in Bradford, Pennsylvania.

In addition to its drag shows, COLORS has an annual Christmas party and bowling events. And it has planned a picnic for August.

“The best part about COLORS is it is not exclusive,” Turnher-Paige said. “Belonging to a group that is so welcoming and supportive has been amazing.”

Alan H. noted, “The goal for COLORS is socialization and for us to be able to put on events we rely on memberships and donations.”

Yearly memberships are $12 for a single person and $20 for couples.

Veronyca’s Showgirls are scheduled to perform at the Allegany American Legion, 4350 Route 417, on June 4 at 10 p.m. The showgirls’ next regular Moose Lodge appearances will be on May 28 and June 11 at 9 p.m.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Greater Olean

Becoming English in 90 Minutes

It was our first day in the country. The smell of fish'n chips filled the air, and the Wig and Pen was the place to be as England prepared to take on Sweden in the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup on Saturday.  Wearing blue and yellow was a death sentence. The streets were lined with fans dressed in red who stood in pub lines extending for blocks. We had one goal: Convince the locals ...

Understanding the Tough Times at The Buffalo News Can Lead to Brighter Future for the Newspaper 

Given the fiscal state of the news industry, the changes underway at The Buffalo News are not unique. To offset revenue losses, newspapers across the nation have bid farewell to longtime reporters, eliminated once-popular sections and removed jobs that involved covering important beats, such as education, the environment and transportation. 

What makes the ...

Grandpa Practiced Sustainability

My grandpa was of the Depression Era. Sustainability wasn’t “a thing” back then — it was just the way you lived. Though he was raised in a time when you were thankful to be able to put a good meal on the table, he likely had a standard of life that we would consider average or middle class today. He didn’t grow up in a slum or shanty town, but he did understand the ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, July 16, 11:30 AM

Allegany Public Library, Allegany

SBU's Quick Center ArtMobile

Education

Mon, July 16, 2:00 PM

Olean Public Library, Olean

Ladies Social Hour

Arts & Entertainment

Mon, July 16, 2:00 PM

OleanPublic Library, Olean

SBU's Quick Center ArtMobile

Education

Quick Center’s ArtMobile Embarks on 10th Year of Summer Visits to Area Libraries 

July 15, 2018

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University kicks off its 10-year anniversary this month participating in the National Summer Reading Program, making stops at public libraries across New York and Pennsylvania.

“This is one of the Quick Center’s most ambitious summers to date,” said Sean Conklin, assistant curator of the ...

Four area students receive Murphy scholarship

Four area high school graduates each recently received a $10,000 John J. Murphy Family Scholarship managed by the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation.

Tyler Lashway of Port Allegany High School; Emily Rohrs and Anna Seamon, both of Allegany-Limestone Central School; and Olean High School’s Natalie Sova each received the John J. Murphy Family Scholarship.

The $10,000 scholarship is ...

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey

How often do you read TAPinto?  Have you downloaded the TAPinto APP?  These are a few of the questions for readers in our 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

We want to hear from you!

The survey will take less than five minutes to complete and will help TAPinto better serve you. 

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

Thank you.  We appreciate your support and ...

'A Day in the Life': One Transportation Supervisor Serves Portville and Olean

PORTVILLE, NY – A whiteboard with dozens of destinations and vehicle numbers written in various colors sits inside the Portville bus garage, ready to be changed at any moment. David Youngs, the transportation supervisor of the Portville and Olean School Districts, knows that before 2 almost every afternoon, he is likely to receive an email changing the entire meticulously planned ...

'A Day in the Life' Follows Della Moore of the African American Center for Cultural Development

OLEAN, NY – When Della Moore walks down the street, she greets everyone she passes and makes sure to ask, “How are you doing?” 

From the moment I joined her at the 7-Eleven on a cloudy, cold December morning until we finished making our stops along State and North Union streets, she remained ...

'Day in the Life' Follows Warehouse Selector Justus Elliot

OLEAN, NY -- For Justus Elliot, time and pace are essential. As a warehouse selector for Olean Wholesale Grocery Co-Op, most of the 21-year-old’s job calls for efficiency.

“Everything is time-based," Elliot explained. "One hundred percent is the norm, and it’s what we work for every day. If our score is less, then we are moving too slow, and we kick it into ...

Happy Veterans Day, Mom

What began as an attempt to boost her GPA soon turned into a 22-year career for my mom, Ramona Lee Discavage.

On the first day of her freshman year at St. Bonaventure University in 1989, members of the Army ROTC Seneca Battalion helped incoming freshmen move their stuff into their dorm rooms.  Afterward, they invited all of the freshmen to a lunch.

“When they described the ...

Lynn Kemp: ‘Best Soldier I Could Be’

Lynn Kemp is nearing 95 and knows he has lived a good life.

“The good Lord has been awful good to me,” recalled the lifelong resident of Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania. “I never refused an order. I tried to be the best soldier I could be. I don’t know what your relationship is with God, but mine is pretty close.”

Born Oct. 29, 1920, Lynn grew up in a home on Turkey ...

WW II museum provides role models for young people

When Steve Appleby asks area students if they know Snoop Dog, Eminem, Kanye West, the Kardashians, Parris Hilton or Miley Cyrus, they answer yes. Then Appleby will ask which of them knows Jason Dunham is, and the students will not have a clue.

Appleby will explain that Jason Dunham was a Marine from Scio, in Allegany County, New York, who was killed in Iraq in 2006 after jumping on a grenade ...