Male illusionists battle for a chance to compete in the national Mister USofA MI Pageant

This Sunday, January 27, the drag kings of Denver will bring their handsome talents to the stage for a chance to compete in the national Mister USofA MI Pageant, which will be held in Oklahoma City this March. At this preliminary round, dubbed the "Carnival of Kings," potential Misters will be judged in evening wear and talent categories -- something that is open to a variety of interpretations.

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Promoter Beau Bordello says a big part of male illusionist work centers around "short-form theater," which includes the lip-synching and dancing styles common to drag. "With this short-form theater, you have about five minutes to show your own story," says Bordello. This style of abbreviated theater often delves into the personal side of the female-born, masculine-presenting performers.

Though hardly an introductory drag king exhibition in Denver, this event will be the first time a preliminary round for the national Mister USofA MI pageant is held in Colorado.

Bordello, who performs as a male illusionist, burlesque dancer and "blood illusionist," says she was inspired to bring the competitive aspect of drag king performing to Denver after experiencing it herself. "I went to see a friend compete in Mister USofA few years ago, and I wanted to bring that level of competition to Colorado."

Local competing male illusionists include Marvin Gay and Starr Masters. 2012's reigning Mister USofA MI, Damian Matrix, will also take the stage, along with crowd favorite Spikey Van Dykey from Florida. Armani Taylor, Bebe Adams and burlesque dancer June Dear will also perform. Anabella Lafontaine will host, along with Bordello.

The Carnival of Kings Mister USofA MI Pageant prelims goes down this Sunday, January 27, at 7 p.m. at Eden, 3090 Downing Street in the Sky Lounge. This show is 21 and up, and tickets are $10 at the door; for more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Carnival of Kings website.

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