Aida Hits the Stage for ‘Oz! Somewhere Over the Rainbow’

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend an old friend’s show: Oz! Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Taking place at Stewart Middle School, this one night only event was produced, casted and stared by drag queen Aida Snatchwell. A portion of all proceeds when to The Foundation for Hope, a program aimed at raising awareness about bullying and suicide.

With a cast of nine (including Toto staring as…himself) Aida and friends took the audience to the wonderful world of Oz, where Dorothy (Aida) went on a journey collecting friends along the way in efforts to get back home from the help of the great and powerful Oz. Friends Dorothy met along the way, Scarecrow (Nick DiDonato), Tinman (Jason Fazio), and the feminine Cowardly Lion (Garrett Heese) worked in sync playing off of one another’s character as though they had been performing this show live for months. Of course this show would not have had the powerful plotline without the murder of the Witch of the East (BellaDonna), revenge driven Wicked Witch of the West (Shelita Buffett) or the protective Glinda played by Cleona De’Flair Serling. Each character brought a unique and very different personality to the stage. And of course Fanci DisMount playing Miss Gulch and Toto played very strong key supporting roles throughout the show both onstage and off.

Philadelphia has in recent years become more popular with an ever growing Drag Scene. With nightly shows each night of the week, frequently done by the same batch of strong performing women, this can (in my opinion) become repetitive. Finding unique and different ways to entertain as a Queen can become troublesome as no one wants to see the same top 40 songs replayed by the same queens each night of the week. What Aida did was unique and exciting (at least to Philadelphia) and I would encourage her to continue this work as I feel she has found her niche in the Philadelphia drag community. For those of you that missed out on the opportunity to see ALL of these queens perform a role reversal show, it was uniquely entertaining and fun. I would recommend anyone who wants to do something different, wait for Aida’s next show and get tickets quick. I think this idea of Drag Theater will take off for her in the coming years. From the uniqueness of the concept, the powerful acting and precision of the choreographed dancing, I would give this one night stand five rainbow flags out of five. If you are a theater junkie, I’ll see you at her next show.

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