Arts’ Watch: Three questions with Brett Cheuvront
Published 11:00 am Saturday, February 25, 2023
By Bill McCann
Brett Cheuvront, from Winchester, and several friends are self-producing a drag show at the Leeds Center for the Arts as a fundraiser for that local non-profit community theatre. Tickets are $20 and available on the Leeds website: leedscenter.org/events.
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The show is nearly sold out, three weeks in advance! With that in mind, I thought I would ask Brett Cheuvront more about the show and a recent bill proposed in the Kentucky State Senate.
Arts Watch: Your show Ms. Niagara Presents “That’s Entertainment,’” is at 7:30 p.m. at the Leeds on March 18 is nearly sold out. Will you schedule a second performance if the show sells out completely?
Brett Cheuvront: We are ecstatic about the ticket sales. We have just one performance scheduled, so make sure to get your tickets fast!
AW: Ms. Niagara Presents is a drag show. What is that, and what should readers expect if they attend the show?
BC: A drag show is a form of entertainment performed by drag artists impersonating men or women. I call them artists because the transformation done using makeup is amazing. When I showed my mother my first picture in drag, she told me she wouldn’t have recognized me, and that’s the point. When the drag artists are made up, and on stage, we take a whole new persona! People who come to Ms. Niagara’s shows will see some of the best drag queens in this area. There will be three other drag queens in this show who are very popular in the Lexington circuit: Helena Handbasket, Mya Pinon, and Poly Tics.
AW: Senate Bill 115, introduced by Senator Lindsey Tichenor, Republican of Smithfield, in this year’s Kentucky legislative session last week, prohibits any “adult-oriented business,” including any “establishment that hosts drag performances,” from operating within 1,000 feet of a school, park, church or places “that cater to minors.” On the face of it, this bill would seem to directly affect the ability of the Leeds to continue hosting future drag shows and of the individual drag performers from performing because the Leeds is next to a child care center and easily within 1,000 feet of both homes and churches.
From what I know of your show, it is family-friendly, yet it seems to be just the kind of event that would be prevented by SB 115. What are your thoughts about the legislation and its probable effects upon both the Leeds and future editions of your drag show?
BC: The proposed bill is absurd. There are many more important issues for our legislators to consider than this form of entertainment. Most drag shows are very family-friendly. If this bill passes, it will show the ignorance of our elected officials and will hurt the charities to which I donate the proceeds from these shows. I would invite all elected officials who oppose drag shows and this form of entertainment to attend a show to see just how lovely and harmless they are.
As of February 21, 336 tickets have been sold. If we sell 58 more, it will be sold out. The success of the ticket sales shows that this town and our community members want to experience fun and respect the work at a drag show.