Makeup, mayhem, and modern-day vaudeville

Backstage, peformers get ready in an almost frantic flurry. Makeup and hair products are strewn about as burlesque dancers reapply bright red lipstick and adjust curls. It’s an average night at Crews and Tangos.

The distinct voice of Daytona Bitch, one of Toronto’s most prominent and sometimes controversial drag queens, echoes above the din. It’s almost showtime.

 

Daytona Bitch performing; “To play at this bar, you need hip pads and breasts.”
Daytona Bitch performing; “To play at this bar, you need hip pads and breasts.”
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JENNIFER SU/THE VARSITY

 

Backstage: burlesque dancers getting ready.
Backstage: burlesque dancers getting ready. JENNIFER SU/THE VARSITY

 

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JENNIFER SU/THE VARSITY

 

“The most successful drag queens are loud or talented, and I’m both.” — Daytona Bitch
“The most successful drag queens are loud or talented, and I’m both.” — Daytona Bitch. JENNIFER SU/THE VARSITY
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JENNIFER SU/THE VARSITY
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JENNIFER SU/THE VARSITY
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JENNIFER SU/THE VARSITY
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JENNIFER SU/THE VARSITY
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JENNIFER SU/THE VARSITY
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JENNIFER SU/THE VARSITY
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JENNIFER SU/THE VARSITY

 

Accessories are made and sold at the Toronto School of Burlesque in Kensington Market.
Accessories are made and sold at the Toronto School of Burlesque in Kensington Market. JENNIFER SU/THE VARSITY
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JENNIFER SU/THE VARSITY
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JENNIFER SU/THE VARSITY