Drag-king collective Capital Kings celebrate their first anniversary tonight at The Lookout, and troupe leader Randy Marshall says he’s surprised as anyone that the gender-bending group is still intact.
There have been several exits from the group, though, which now comprises Marshall, Frank N Beans, Miles Zinya, Jak Ammer, Karter Banger Zinya and Johnny B Gud. Marshall says the new members have revitalized the group.
He says an additional boost came when their performance night switched from Sundays to Friday nights.
“We’re right before the lesbian night, from nine to 11. It is a lot different now. We can pack the bar once the second set is done,” he says. “We get a lot more exposure this way.”
Aside from tonight’s anniversary show, the Capital Kings’ “drag king idol” competition will wrap up Feb 1, with the winner becoming a permanent member of the group.
“At the finals we will do a duet with the competitors. We are mentoring them this time around, and we chose which song we will do with them,” Marshall explains. “Max Power and I are doing 'Getting Jiiggy with It.' It should be hilarious.”
Although the Capital Kings are here to stay, Centretown Pub recently chose to discontinue its drag night. Marshall says that if Ottawa’s drag queens put more effort into their performances, then the community would be more willing to support them.
“Personally, I find that a lot of the queens don’t put enough time and effort into it. There’s a couple of them, but nobody really practises. There are a handful of them who are really good and can get an audience to come out,” he says. “But if you don’t have an audience and you’re doing this every week and no one is coming, I don’t blame them for not wanting a drag night.”
Watch the Capital Kings put effort into every performance Friday nights at The Lookout.
To stay informed on all of the Capital Kings' performances, join their Facebook group.
Derek Hille photo