The WSO will host a drag show with orchestra
The Windsor Symphony Orchestra is due to perform with a popular drag queen this weekend.
“I had hoped that at some point in my life the world would come to a place where it was possible,” says music director Robert Franz. “Our mission is to connect people through music. Everybody. Not just some people. I think this is an important step in that direction.
“Cabaret Night with Randy Roberts” is the result of an idea Franz had two years ago, after seeing Roberts perform in Key West, Florida.
Franz says Roberts is more than an impersonator.
“He’s also an amazing singer, amazing talent, amazing artist. The way he works with the crowd is amazing,” says Franz.
He went backstage wondering if the WSO could host Roberts, “I thought there was no reason not to.”
He learned that Roberts had experience with an orchestra, and when Franz returned to the Windsor, the WSO staff jumped on board.
“Everyone was like, ‘we’ve never done anything like this before,'” notes Franz.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Since then, the duo have created a show that would combine the WSO’s talented full orchestra with Roberts’ skills as a performer.
“He starts out as Carol Channing, then he will turn into Cher and his impersonations are perfect. Amazing! Then the third drag queen he will become is his own character with the big red hair,” Franz explains.
Franz thinks the drag show, while entertaining, also shows that the WSO community is inclusive.
“Breaking down those barriers and bringing people together is what we seek to do at the Windsor Symphony Orchestra,” says Franz.
“But at the same time (the show) promotes acceptance and diversity,” says David Lenz of Windsor-Essex Pride Fest. “It’s very important, not just in our community, but across the country, especially in these times that we’ve been going through right now over the past couple of years.”
Lenz says drag shows are growing in popularity with people of all backgrounds and orientations, noting that drag queens are actors like any other.
“They put on a character to entertain and make you enjoy. I mean, it’s no different,” says Lenz. “Our human desire is to enjoy and be entertained with creativity and fun. And it’s great events that do that.
Performances are on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons at the Capitol Theater. Tickets are available online.