Some of Cincinnati’s top drag queens to perform at Fitton Center this weekend

Michael Cottrell, a drag queen and community activist a.k.a. Brooklyn Steele-Tate, will serve as the host of the drag show at the Fitton Center this weekend. CONTRIBUTED

Combined ShapeCaption
Michael Cottrell, a drag queen and community activist a.k.a. Brooklyn Steele-Tate, will serve as the host of the drag show at the Fitton Center this weekend. CONTRIBUTED

HAMILTON — The Fitton Center will host the final Jazz and Cabaret show of the season when “Drag Show 2 1/2″ hits the stage in the Carruthers Signature Ballroom on Saturday night.

“We’re calling it ‘Drag Show 2 1/2′, because Drag Show 2 was cancelled due to COVID-19. We had a show like this in 2018 with our first drag show up in the ballroom. It was a sold-out show and just a fantastic event,” said Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director of the Fitton Center.

Drag Show 2 1/2 with host Michael Cottrell also known as Brooklyn Steele-Tate will be at the Fitton Center at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Nine to 10 drag queens will entertain audiences with two, 45-minute sets.

“The queens are fabulous. They are highly professional and wonderful performers. They also enjoyed being in the ballroom with the beautiful chandeliers, and the wood paneling, and a great, receptive audience,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.

He said since the Fitton’s first drag show, there has been a growth of drag performances throughout Hamilton.

“We provide an incredible and unique experience…We encourage patrons to grab your friends and get a reserved table of eight. You can buy individual tickets, but you can also have reserved tables, and that’s what we’ve seen over the years with people coming together and enjoying a wonderful night out,” said MacKenzie-Thurley.

Featuring handmade costumes with feathers, sequins and more, the performances will be highly theatrical. The evening will feature cabaret-style seating at tables and chairs and a cash bar will be available throughout the evening.

Michael Cottrell, a drag queen and community activist a.k.a. Brooklyn Steele-Tate, will serve as the host for the evening. Michael is a member of the board of directors and festival co-chair of the Cincinnati Pride Board of Directors and is an active member of Imperial Sovereign Queen City Court of the Buckeye Empire, Inc. (I.S.Q.C.C.B.E.) To date, the organization has raised over $1.4 million for various charities.

“I have been performing for at least 20 years, and I initially got started with the I.S.Q.C.C.B.E., which is an acronym for the Imperial Sovereign Queen City Court of the Buckeye Empire and that is a non-profit organization that raises money for local charities in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and pretty much anywhere in Ohio, and we’re part of a national organization that raises money throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. So, I got my start there,” Cottrell said.

Cottrell said he recently “retired” from The Cabaret bar, which has closed, but he worked there as the hostess at drag shows for 11 years.

“In 2018, we did our first show at the Fitton Center, and it’s just a basic drag show. There are nine to 10 girls, performers, with a variety of different stage concepts. So, there are a couple of dancers, a couple of what we call ballad queens that will do slow songs, and they just go through and do songs and collect their tips and have a good time. So, everybody coming to the show is going see a lot of glitz and glamour,” Cottrell said.

This year, there will be a couple more opportunities to learn about Pride, Cottrell said, and a few of the performers may sell their merchandise at the event, such as t-shirts.

“There’s a Hamilton Pride as well as a Cincinnati Pride, and there’s pretty much a Pride in every city in the United States, but we are focusing on those two, predominantly, because one, of course, is in Hamilton, and we want them to come out and advertise what they are doing, and then, Cincinnati Pride is our biggest one, locally, and they’ll have a table set up,” said Cottrell.

How to go

What: Drag Show 2 1/2

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Fitton Center for Creative Arts, 101 S. Monument Ave., Hamilton

Cost: Tickets for the event are $29 for members; $37 for non-members

More Info.: www.fittoncenter.org or (513) 863-8873 ext. 110.

About the Author