Welcome To the Madness!

Leada-Stray-e1383536286223Well hello there, darling readers!  Welcome to Mama Leada’s new online bundle of rampaging pride (uh, I mean brand new, twice weekly column). In Living Large And Taking Charge, we’ll be exploring the sexiest of sexy pastimes: the art of drag. And not just the art of drag for kings and queens darlings, oh no, we’ll be showing you how to spice up your everyday life with all the glitz and glamour of this amazing art form.

For those of you I haven’t met yet, (where have you been hiding your fabulous selves all these years?), I’m Leada Stray (aka Mama L), a Vancouver based MoC (masculine of center) transgender person and all around loudmouth queerdo. For the past 10+ years, I have been found in such roles as being an organizer for god knows how many events throughout the Pacific Northwest, a mentor for young artists, an activist protesting my fool head off about almost everything that I feel strongly enough about, and on-stage gender enigma doing my very best to entice, educate and entertain the masses through the age old art of female (and male) impersonation. Throughout my years performing as both king and queen, I have held a firm belief that drag shouldn’t just be something for queer audiences and it DEFINITELY shouldn’t just be for performers. Drag is a wonderful journey that can teach all of us a little trick or two, if we just let it.

All that wonderful gobbledygook having been said, it’s now time to get to the nitty gritty details of just how Mama L intends to drag (pardon the horrible pun) all your darling little asses into the world of fabulousness, that I’ve been so lucky to inhabit for so damned long.

We’ll be publishing Living Large And Taking Charge each Monday and Friday:

  • Monday’s articles will be devoted to:
    • the tips and tricks of dressing to the nines;
    • how to add a little spice to your makeup repertoire (with some help from Vancouver’s top make up artists);
    • and addressing any questions quips or quandaries your darling minds can dream up (you can send such wonderful things to leada.stray.productions@gmail.com).
  • Friday’s articles will start your weekend off with a bang:
    • bringing you interviews with Vancouver’s hottest performance superstars;
    • behind the scenes exclusives with the amazing organisers that put together these mind boggling extravaganzas;
    • and of course, our wonderful Weekly Rundown listings where we preview the best upcoming shows of the week and give you all the insider info on Vancouver’s drag scene.

It’s a packed schedule dear readers so, without further ado, let’s dive right in and have a look at what the next week has in store for show goers with: Mama’s Weekly Rundown – Halloween Edition!

Saturday October 26th:  Man Up presents “The Haunted Circus” (Cobalt Hotel @ 9pm).  Mama loves anything that threatens to “cram em in, strap em down and f**k em up” and this year’s Man Up Halloween offering looks to do a heck of a lot more than just that (I might mention that the cramming/strapping/f**king really is threatened on the Facebook event page) With a MASSIVE line up of Vancouvers hottest kings, some of the most gorgeous burlesque performers around, and special guest stars that even Mama doesnt know about yet, you can bet this little treat of a show was surely worth the year-long wait!

Sunday October 27th:  Nyet: A Cabaret Of Concerned Canadians (Granville Island Stage @ 8pm).  Ok, ok! So I know this one isnt a Halloween show but Mama just had to throw it in here as it’s a subject I think we all need to talk about (did you catch the part up there where we talked about Mama being a shamlessly activist type of human? Yeah, this would be that part. Didn’t take long did it?) Halloween show or not, the facts are these. Two powerhouse queens host a wild and raucus extravaganza of poltitcal protest aimed at none other than…you guessed it darlings, that blasted Russian anti gay law! Join perennial drag favorites Isolde N Barron and Peach Cobblah as they bring you a night of wonderful entertainment, featuring new works by a line up of stunningly brilliant playwrights! I’m told there’s even a panel discussion afterward that features some rather interesting types! Definitely a must see!

Monday October 28th:  Hocus Pocus Screening (The Junction @ 8pm).  Those fabulous drag nuns, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are offering up a spooktacular little treat with a screening of the cult classic film Hocus Pocus, drag performances and a costume contest to boot! Hosted by that wackiest of indulgent nuns Sister Alma Bitches, you know this night is going to have more twists and turns than RuPaul’s life story. Life is never dull with a drag nun around and this is going to be one for the record books!

Thursday October 31st:  Halloween Bash (Heritage Bar and Grill @ 8pm).  Everyone’s favorite good girl gone ghoul Moaning Lisa Larinnie throws New Westminster head first into her favorite holiday with a special open stage halloween bash fit for the spook in all of us! Have a yearning to get out and perform on a friendly and welcoming stage? This one’s for you! Feel like relaxing with a cocktail and screaming your fool head off for some insanely talented entertainers? This one’s for you too! A little something for everyone is the theme at this year’s Halloween Bash and there’s no one better suited to bring it this Halloween season than Ms Moaning Lisa Larinnie

Thursday October 31st:  Bloody Betty’s BLACK MASS (Cobalt Hotel @ 9pm).  Right! First things first darlings, this is the Bloody Betty Troupe’s very last Halloween show in our fair city so I am warning you now. WEAR OLD CLOTHES!!! Mama doesn’t even want to try to imagine the splatter zone on this bitch. For those of you unfamiliar with the mind blowing horror show that is the Bloody Betty Troupe, all I have to say on the subject is this:  (1.) They are DAMN GOOD at what they do.  (2.) After show rule of thumb reads as follows “Yes, you did just see that and yes, it IS going to haunt you for the rest of the week”.  (3.) Mama has found it best to bring a friend along to these shows so you can have someone to hide behind when the gore gets flying.  (4.) This year the troupe has brought in drag performers to augment their already stellar cast. (I feel weak in the knees at that little revelation, don’t you?)


So there you have it, darlings! A new institution has been officially launched, we’ve previewed a week’s worth of high class entertainment for your viewing pleasure.  (Be sure to check out the Sex Positive calendar for the full city-wide listing of debauchery, that is far too enormous to cover in this little column).  A new surprise waits just around the corner! Tune in Monday, as we dive into some Halloween fashion fun and chat with one of Vancouver’s best splatter effects artists!

Hold those heads high darlings, and remember… live large, take charge and for god’s sake – love one another!


Originally featured on eroticvancouver.com Oct. 25, 2013

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