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Berkshire Drag Pageant Set For Sheffield Friday

On Friday, drag queens will flock to Sheffield, Massachusetts to compete in The 2020 Mx. Nogood Berkshire Drag Pageant.

Oskar Hallig, president of Only In My Dreams Events, says it’s the third incarnation of the pageant, and the first to be held at Racebrook Lodge.

“If you think about ever having watched Miss America or Miss Universe, [it’s] sort of a similar concept with a whole lot more sequins,” laughed Hallig. “It’s really quite an exciting experience, both people who are part of it do looks – sort of what would be considered the evening gown from a tradition pageant.”

There’s also a talent portion, which Hallig says is based on this year’s theme: Hollywood Horror.

“So there’s going to be all kinds of interesting things happening, I’m sure,” he said.

Philip Calabro – who performs in drag as Nancy Nogood – is the titular host of the pageant.

“Every year the Mx. Nogood pageant has been a place for all drag to be put on a platform that they might not have otherwise outside of major cities," Nogood told WAMC. "So I really want to create a platform for really any drag – something that’s gross, something that’s wild and crazy.”

Nogood lives and works in Brooklyn, but has roots in the Berkshires.

“One thing that I love about drag is that it’s like taking gender and stretching it like taffy. And so I’m like, how big can I make my lashes?” asked Nogood. “How big can I make my eyebrows? Both my lashes and my eyebrows are made of paper – like, how big can I make them on my face? How big can my hair be? They’re seeing something larger than life, and they’re seeing something that’s absolutely insane and ridiculous, and completely blown out of proportion.”

Nogood says that the television show “Dragula: The Search for the Next Drag Supermonster” is a reference point for the kind of drag she’s exploring.

“And that’s a TV show that’s kind of taking the glitz and glam of the ‘Drag Race’ queens and making supermonsters, and that’s the kind of direction I want to go in and that I have been going in for the past two shows,” she told WAMC. “So when you’re coming to see the Mx. Nogood pageant, you’re seeing drag that you haven’t seen before and you’re seeing drag that’s going to completely change what you were expecting.”

This year’s contestants are Danielle Diamonte, Priscilla Porcelain, Veronica ConstantLay, Willow Rainstar, and Justin Timberfake – the first drag king to compete in the pageant’s history. The judges include queens like Berkshire County’s own Boxxa Vine and Lotus, the 2018 winner. Nogood says they’ll be using the P.U.N.K. system to rate the performances:

“We’re looking for their passion, we’re looking for their – we call it ‘urself,’ so what makes you stand apart from everything else, we’re looking for total nastiness, and we’re looking for them to just completely kill it on the stage,” said Nogood. “So just leave it all out there. You’re here to entertain the crowd, and you’re here to show them you are the next Mx. Nogood.”

The 2020 Mx. Nogood Berkshire Drag Pageant will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at Racebrook Lodge in Sheffield, Massachusetts.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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