SAN DIEGO, California -- The third Tantrums & Tiaras: Battle of the Bar Queens will take place at the Observatory North Park (formerly North Park Theatre) this Sunday evening, Feb. 15. The event benefits the programs and services of the San Diego LGBT Community Center.
First held in 2009, and again in 2014, the event has become wildly popular and is expected to sell out. Those who want to get seats are encouraged to buy their tickets today.
Co-produced by the team at Mo's Universe and The Center, organizers describe Tantrums & Tiaras as a “daringly outrageous beauty pageant you have to see to believe! Where else will you get a chance to see a bunch of 'queens' with LITTLE to NO experience in drag, attempting to strut on stage in their highest stilettos, finest evening gowns and battle it out for what has surely become the most fought for tiara in San Diego’s drag history."
Matt Ramon, co-founder of the event said "It is an over the top production with over the top props; a beauty pageant spoof that is complete with a swimsuit and talent competition!"
Nightlife personalities representing 5 local bars will battle it out for the crown this year, along with other outrageous entertainment and fun. This year's contestants are listed below.
Erik Benson - #1 Fifth Ave.
Robert Rodriguez - The San Diego Eagle
Grant Foreman - Rich's
Santio Cupon - Urban Mo's
Jeremy Davies - Flicks
The fabulous Babette Schwartz will serve as host and MC of this year's pageant.
The contestants have been rehearsing and working long hours to build their drag persona which will be introduced on stage at the show. The audience and a panel of celebrity judges will pick this year's winner at the conclusion of the pageant.
Celebrity guests include EG Daily from The Voice and Kimberly Hunt of 10 News who will participate in the production and on the panel of judges that also includes San Diego City Councilmember Todd Gloria, fashion and costume designer Adam Magee, and writer, editor, producer, emcee, and media personality Barbarella Fokos. Shelly Dunn, a member of 101.5 KGB FM’s popular morning show, and Emmy-winner Sam The Cooking Guy round out the judges panel.
The event's fundraising goal is ambitious - $50,000 to benefit The San Diego LGBT Community Center. All proceeds from ticket sales, tips, and general donations will be given to The Center.
The Center works to enhance and sustain the health and well-being of the LGBT and HIV communities by providing activities, programs and services that create community; empower community members; provide essential resources; advocate for civil and human rights; and embrace, promote and support cultural diversity.
"This event is an important event that raises much needed funds for our community," said Chris Shaw, owner of Urban Mo’s, Baja Betty’s, Gossip Grill and the Hillcrest Brewing Company. "The programs and services at The San Diego LGBT Community Center are critical to so many people including the most vulnerable in our community- our youth and those affected or infected with HIV/AIDS.
"The Center’s programs and services provide vital services such as mental health counseling, after-school and youth programs, as well as support groups for various groups including transgender individuals, adults and youth struggling with coming out, or those that are newly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS including a group for long term survivors. The Center reaches so many in our community and is vital to San Diego’s well being and health. It helps ensure those programs and others, receive much needed funding."
Ian Johnson, Director of Special Events at The Center said: "The collaboration on Tantrums & Tiaras with MO's Universe is extremely important for The Center and our mission. We are very thankful for their partnership. Matt Ramon has dedicated hours making sure this is an unforgettable show. From the contestants, the judges, Babette and The Cockettes we are all guaranteeing a fabulous show. You'll have fun while helping others in our community who are in need. And the best part is that because of the partnerships we have established with our sponsors such as Absolut Vodka, Stella Artois, and Rex-Goliath - among others - 100% of the money raised will benefit our many programs and services."
Ramon added that the audience is an integral part of the show and he looks forward to seeing as many community members as possible come out to support the show.
"The audience is invited to participate as the most integral part of the show," Ramon said. "In addition to providing cat calls and applause the audience is encouraged to donate in the form of tips. During performances, when audience members see something they like, they are invited toss their Washingtons, Hamiltons and Benjamins on stage in appreciation of the performers. The 'Cockettes,' whose thrilling opening number helps set the stage for the rest of the show, will also collect donations from those too shy to toss their money, and donation. Guests are encouraged to yell, clap and give the 'GIRLS' standing ovations."
Doors open at 6 pm for cocktail hour, followed by the show at 7 pm. Tickets range from $50 to $150 and can be purchased HERE.
Observatory North Park is located at 2891 University Ave.