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BeautyBoiz to perform at PrideFest and Supernova

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BeautyBoiz at Supernova — Photo by Joe Moore
BeautyBoiz at Supernova — Photo by Joe Moore

This weekend, as part of Pridefest, audiences at the Center Theater will experience local performance group BeautyBoiz' latest lineup of LGBTQ and QTPOC performers. The seven include a DJ, drag queens, and dancers, among others, with a different mix of local and Portland artists performing each day.

The show on Saturday, September 4 at 2 p.m. will feature Irene Duboi, Andrew Scott, and Kimberly Michelle Westwood. On Sunday, September 5 at 1 p.m., Flawless Shade and Roulette Delgato will take the stage. DJ Melaninja and Hot Pink Shade will perform on both days.

BeautyBoiz will put on another show at the Supernova nightclub on Sunday evening, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Titled Revival, it will feature many of the same performers as will be at PrideFest, with the notable addition of Jazzul Escada from the HBO ballroom show Legendary. BeautyBoiz creative director Kaleb Dameron described stepping into the venue as "being transported to another world." Tickets cost $15 online, or $20 at the door.

While Dameron wanted to maintain an element of mystery for the upcoming shows, and thus avoided specifics, it is known that Roulette Delgato's act at PrideFest will involve hip-hop and dancers. Dameron also described Flawless from the Portland-based House of Shade as a "glamazon" and an "absolute joy." All of them are "regulars" to the group.

Dameron describes the BeautyBoiz as a Queer collective, similar to a drag house in many ways, but not limited to drag performances or traditional "sit-and-watch" formats. The group aims for a more immersive experience, intermingling performers with the audience, and often forgoing a host or announcer in favor of flashing LED strips or other signals for more organic transitions between acts.

BeautyBoiz formed from a series of house parties in a tight-knit apartment complex. By 2016 the parties had outgrown the venue, but Dameron says the real turning point for him founding the group was Trump's election that year. The events that followed — the Pulse nightclub shooting, and what he saw as a gradual loss of Queer spaces overall — only motivated him further. At the time, he was lucky enough to be living in the same building as Wesley Krugé, who was already building the "nonprofit live arts production company" called Forward Flux.

Dameron said his greatest challenge and his greatest triumph, as creative director, has been making BeautyBoiz about more than "throwing parties," and showing a real engagement with the community, while pushing against an ideology of competition.

"Our audience is our extended family," Dameron told us. "We all rise together."