The Look Book Goes to a Drive-in Drag Show

At Bel Aire Diner in Astoria.

Marilyn Monhoe. Photo: Rochelle Brock
Marilyn Monhoe. Photo: Rochelle Brock

Marilyn Monhoe (pictured above), Actor, Crown Heights.

Have you been performing during the pandemic?
Not much. I’m a proud nanny; I moved in with one of the families I work with. The parents are open to having someone as wild as I am, which means my kids have been able to walk alongside me on my drag journey. When I get my wigs styled, we unbox them together and put them on. They’re at this fun age where I can throw them around, and they think it’s hysterical. The parents are like, “Don’t throw my kids!” I’m like, “As long as they get their homework done, who’s complaining?” I love them. But it felt good to be that seven-feet-tall-in-heels crazy mess of a person again.

Who else was onstage?
Sutton Lee Seymour, this musical-theater queen — very campy, glitz, and glamour. The host is Gina Tonic. I’ve worked with a lot of queens, and Gina is special. If she texts, I’m running. I may be late! But I’ll show up.

Isabel Saou, Student, Maspeth. Photo: Rochelle Brock
Alexis Ryder, Baker, Washington Heights. Photo: Rochelle Brock
Trevor Chauvin, Advertising project manager, Astoria. Photo: Rochelle Brock

Was this your first drive-in drag show?
Yes. I liked it — it put the queerity out into the world, as opposed to having it inside a dark gay bar. Silver linings, silver linings.

Brynnan McNeill, Actor, Washington Heights. Photo: Rochelle Brock
Sasha Vanguard, Actor, singer, and dancer, Bedford-Stuyvesant. Photo: Rochelle Brock

After-show plans?
I brought a group of my friends, and they’re all wasted off their asses. So I think we’re going to go pig out on some Chinese food.

Bella Franco, Housekeeper, Queens. Photo: Rochelle Brock
Molina Sosa, Student, College Point. Photo: Rochelle Brock
Tyler March, Animator, Neptune City, New Jersey. Photo: Rochelle Brock
Prescott “Sutton Lee Seymour” Seymour, Drag performer, Astoria. Photo: Rochelle Brock

Tell me about your name.
If you don’t get the joke, get an education. It’s a reference to “Suddenly, Seymour” from Little Shop of Horrors, one of my favorite musicals. I like to refer to myself as a man-eating plant.

Kayla Morales, School counselor, Forest Hills. Photo: Rochelle Brock
Gina Tonic, Drag performer, Astoria. Photo: Rochelle Brock

Love the dress.
My roommate Vivien Gabor made it. When I was a kid, my mom and I would binge Audrey Hepburn movies. That really informed my current drag aesthetic.

Bella Noche, Drag performer, Suffolk County. Photo: Rochelle Brock

*This article appears in the August 17, 2020, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!

The Look Book Goes to a Drive-in Drag Show