Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Part 2 of Vol 1 Las Vegas La Femme

Continued from Kenneth Blake Las Vegas La Femme Vol. 1
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Mr. Kenneth Blake

“What Makes A Man, A Man.”

Many of you may know Mr. Kenneth Blake from his electrifying performances on the Las Vegas strip impersonating superstar divas Madonna and Dolly Parton.  But there is more to the man behind the make-up then many people realize.  Along with Performer, Impersonator, Make-up Artist, Wig Master, Set Designer, Interior Decorator, and Costume Designer; Musical Coordinator, DJ, Radio Jock, Vocalist, Director and Producer are also titles held tightly under his belt.

Kenneth began his entertainment career at the early age of seven, headlining his first singing group Kenny and the Gumdrops.  He and four of his female classmates formed the group for their elementary school talent show.  They won.  “It was silly really.  We sang over a record and did some old doo-wop moves.  The girls wore little blue dresses and I wore a brown suit.  But the crowd seemed to like it.”  From that moment on the stage was his playground and work place. 

Kenneth took dance, violin, piano and extensive vocal lessons during his youth and went on to tour the globe with the world renowned Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus, the American sister choir to the Vienna Boy’s Choir.  “We were a bit different from our European cousins.  We sang everything from the very traditional, classical pieces to Barber Shop, Broadway and Rock-N-Roll.  I remember once I was headlining “The Wiz” portion of our show and they had to wheel me out to the bus in a wardrobe trunk.  No joke.  We had performed at a middle school in Wyoming (I think) and I was mobbed by over 500 screaming girls, I couldn't get out of the dressing room.  I thought it was funny, my director did not.  But when the tour bus rolled back into Tucson all the parents rushed the bus screaming ELVIS as a joke…once again, my director was not amused.”

But it was his sixteenth birthday that changed his life forever.  “I saw La Cage aux Folles the musical and everything made sense.  I understood it and I was very moved.  I said ‘this is for me’.  I told my Mom and she said she knew...I think all Moms know.  My Dad on the other hand was furious and we didn't speak from the day I moved out at eighteen until his passing more than 15 years later.  But that’s another story.”  And so began a journey that was filled with many ups and downs and a career that would make heads spin.

Kenneth began female impersonation at the age of seventeen (over twenty-three years ago – not to give away his age) working night clubs and conventions.  But meager salaries couldn't pay the bills so he went on to beauty school as a lot of young gay men do.  “It was stereo-typical really, and I mean that in a broad sense.  There are a lot of gay, male, hairdressers out there, and I wasn't satisfied with it, it didn't fulfill me in any way.  So I went on to study other things while waiting tables or selling sweaters at Penney’s or renting apartments during the day.  I needed to find a career that not only paid the bills, but that I enjoyed.  I studied a lot of different things trying to find ‘the one’, but once again, none of them were rewarding.  I was a performer and I needed to be on stage.”

Kenneth is an accomplished Pageant Queen as well.  In the world of female impersonation there are many different competitions and contests around the world for artists like Kenneth to strut their stuff and be judged and rewarded for their presentations.  Kenneth is a former Miss Gay Arizona America, and, Miss National Capitol Cities USofA (not to be confused with Miss USofA).  “Although I never won Miss Gay America, I do own a preliminary to it, Miss Gay Western States America.  The contests are great learning tools.  It really allows you to hone your craft and learn from others in the same field.  I learn something new practically every day.  And I chose the America system because in it’s bylaws it states you must be male in gender with no body augmentation.  That is to say, no breast implants or body work to feminize your look.  It must be done with costume, padding and makeup only.  I really like that aspect of the company.  Not that the other systems are any less impressive or legitimate.  I have a lot of transgender friends and I understand them, that just wasn't my path.  I am a male actress…so to speak.”

Kenneth gave up competing in the pageant world in 2001 when he received a call from producer Dan Gore out of Los Angeles.  Mr. Gore was opening a new show in Palm Springs, California, to be headlined by Las Vegas veteran Kenny Kerr.  The show was Boy-lieve It or Not!.  Kenneth didn't hesitate.  He commuted back and forth every week from Tucson to Palm Springs to be a part of the production until it’s closing in 2002.  He was then offered to appear in Gore’s Lake Tahoe production Carnival Cabaret.  Once again Kenneth didn't hesitate.  “I packed up the U-Haul and headed to Tahoe.  The show was headlined by James ‘Gipsy’ Haake and we did two shows a night, six nights a week, fifty weeks a year.  I loved every minute of it.  I was finally doing what I loved to do, making a great living, and really perfecting my art.”

But it was Las Vegas where Kenneth would really make his mark in the industry, not only as a performer but all of his other studies would finally come into play and end up paying off.  “I had always wanted to live and work in Las Vegas, it was a dream really, above all else.  And when I was asked to audition for the most prestigious show of its kind (at the time) I went numb.”  An Evening at La Cage, starred Frank Marino and was produced by Norbert Aleman, and ran in Las Vegas for twenty-four years at the Riviera Casino and Hotel.  It was indeed the elite show for female celebrity impersonators.  With-in three months of his audition, Kenneth was appearing nightly on the Las Vegas strip.  “I impersonate a lot of people: Madonna, Dolly Parton, Celine Dion, Cher, Reba McEntire, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Bette Midler, Joan Rivers, Bette Davis, Mae West, Eartha Kitt, Phyllis Diller, Lady Gaga, Elton John and Elvis; some visually and some vocally.”   But it is Madonna, Dolly Parton, and what has become his signature piece “What Makes A Man, A Man” that have made him famous on the strip.

An Evening at La Cage closed in February of 2009, seven months shy of completing a twenty-five year run.  The cast was given no warning and left in limbo to fend for themselves.  “I was devastated!” Kenneth recalls.  “The dream I had worked so hard to make reality had suddenly been taken away from me.  I was upset, hurt and angry.  It didn't happen pleasantly.  No farewell performance, no warning, no nothing…we were in shock.  We were told on Monday night after the show, that was our last performance at La Cage and to come in the next day and clean out our dressing rooms.  They tried to soften it by taking us to dinner, not everyone attended.”

So for nearly a year Kenneth went back to doing the club circuit and judging female impersonator pageants.  Then in August of 2009 he got a phone call from Frank Marino, former star of La Cage, asking him to be a cast member in his new production show Divas Las Vegas.  “I jumped at it!  To be back on stage in Las Vegas and working with the people I loved, absolutely.”  Divas Las Vegas opened to rave reviews on Labor Day weekend 2009 at the Imperial Palace, right in the heart of the Las Vegas strip.  “I thank Mr. Marino for not letting female impersonation be swept under the carpet of the Las Vegas night life and for breathing new life into the art.  I count my lucky stars to be part of it.”   Now, you can continue to see Kenneth and all of his “Diva” friends in Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas playing Saturday – Thursday (dark Fridays) at 10pm at the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino.

“I have met and worked with an eclectic and amazingly diverse group of people through out my life, and I have managed to put all of my skills to work here in Las Vegas.  It amazes me.”  Kenneth has produced two production shows, directed three production shows including a run of Breck Wall’s Bottoms Up, owns a pageant, is the wig master and make-up advisor for American Superstars at the Stratosphere, works closely with the entertainers at Legends In Concert helping with hair and make-up, is Frank Marino’s wig master, has created the soundtracks for three Las Vegas production shows, is the musical coordinator for Divas Las Vegas, has a successful ebay business, designs and constructs his own show wardrobe, runs his own production company, mixes music for entertainers around the world, and still has time to walk his dog – a bull mastiff named Gunner, and spend quality time with his Mom Cynthia; both of whom share a home with him in Henderson.

Motto:

‎"Do what you love and love what you do, and you'll never work a day of your life."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Welcome to Las Vegas La Femme Vol 1.


  I want to welcome all of you to VIVA LAS VEGAS!!!! As of right now we are starting off here. This is a guide for all of  those  visting Las Vegas, people who live here, and over all admirers of "The Scene". I.E. Dragqueen, TS, and crossdressers. We hope you enjoy and watch as we grow. We  are posting once a month. Letting youknow where the shows are and allof the FABBBBB entertainers.

  We were orginally calling the  blog-mag VEGAS DRAG. But many thought there's more to our scene than dragqueens. So many people have so many boxes. This is a project of pulling all of us together. Be it CD, TV, TS, DQ. We are all the same....HUMAN! Vegas is such a small town really. Our scene here is not as big as many think it is. But we do have some fun and great places. Especially some of the WORLD'S BEST ENTERTAINER'S! Which we are featuring here. And introducing groups and others we think just  are the CAT'S MEOW!!!
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  The SCT-G’s are a group of local Las Vegas (and visiting out-of-town) transgendered women who have developed a friendship and decided to meet socially on at least a regular monthly recurring basis.  The group is open to others who reflect the pride, respect, and dignity of a lady that is warranted in public businesses and restaurants. 
Established in September 2010, the group ebbs and flows in size from month-to-month depending on people’s other commitments, but it was important that a day was established that was constant and on-going, so no matter who was in-town visiting or what local girls were available, everyone would know that there is an event on the last Friday of every month they can attend. 
In that, SCT-G welcomes all who would like to accompany us and would only ask that a fun attitude and advance communication is involved via e-mail or phone if you’re coming as we typically make reservations for dinner at The Artisan Boutique Hotel & Restaurant, Las Vegas, NV.
Last Friday Of The Month Of January 2011
Girls Night Out (GNO)
Hello Ladies,
Last Friday, January 28th was the fifth installment of the monthly SCG GNO, and as always a good time was had by all.  Madilyn Carey, Karen Keys, and Rhonda Rae (from Phoenix) met at The Escape Lounge for a cocktail prior to going to meet the other ladies at The Artisan for more cocktails and dinner around 7:00 p.m.. 
After journeying to The Artisan, the ladies from Escape met Jennifer Wilson in the cocktail lounge around 8:00 p.m. and we all sat, had conversation, had cocktails, and basically enjoyed each other’s company.  Around 8:30 p.m. the four of us went into the restaurant for dinner and were fortunate to have our favorite server Jesse come to our assistance. 
We ordered appetizers, soup, salad, and entrees and discussed the current state of our local community and other assorted things.  Much to our pleasure, we were joined by Stephanie Danderson and Leslee Anderson who had just come from attending the Governor’s Inaugural Ball, looking dapper and chic at the same time.

After more chatting and continued merriment we adjourned to Flex Nightclub to watch the show and continue our cocktail consumption.  It was a fun and enjoyable night and what’s unique about our GNO’s is that each one is different and enjoyable in their own way, so it’s always worth checking out….besides, what else do you have to do on the last Friday of the month?  Come join us…
Madilyn Carey
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         JENNIFERSINCITYTGIRL'S 
                    Hot T in the City
            Running Wild Looking Pretty!
                  
 As a life long tg living the complex life in the city of sin there are a few pieces of advise I can share. My opinions are based on over 20 years of my  experiences going out in public since the age of 16.   So whether you are a first time "Femina"  venturing out  or a veteran on the scene femina, Las  Vegas can be overwhelming or intimidating.  So you will find I use the term Femina which for me encompasses TG/TS/TV/CD/DQ  what ever you consider yourself.  "Femina", being womanly or belonging to womanhood!  First and foremost I have never had any problem at any bar, restaurant or casino, other than the rare semi rude worker. I attribute that to some of the following articles I will be sharing with you all. 

                              MONEY TALKS

Las  Vegas is a service industry town so weather you are having dinner, a cocktail or watching a show many of the people who are taking care of you are barely making minimum wages and survive on the customers generosity.  I believe that the venues I have patronized  embraced my business  and welcomed my return is the fact I tip well. In these economic hard times it is sometimes hard to part with our own hard earned dollars, but by that same token others need to make their rent as well.

1.  Try to over tip a little, especially in a straight venue or first time appearance.

2.  Rule of thumb for dinners is 15%-20%. I like to leave extra if the service was exceptional and the staff went out of there way to make me feel comfortable.

3.  For a cocktail it should be minimum $1.00 per cocktail (not per round) I have been know to leave the first tip of $5.00 on an initial encounter of a bartender or cocktail waitress I have never met. This has paid off many of times by way of a free drink from a appreciative bartender.

4.  The gurlz performing at the shows in the variety of venues have to pay for their own outfits, seldom paid anything worth mentioning and put a lot of their own time into their art to entertain you. A lot of time and effort is put  into each performance. A couple or three dollars per entertainer in the  show is very welcomed by them.  If you go to see one of their shows at bare bones bottom minimum you should tip each one performing a buck.  There is usually 4-5 performers surely you can afford $8.00/10.00?

5.  Lets take care of each other and those who take care of us.  That being said if you are completely shunned, aggravated or serviced with a total attitude then by all means leave a poor tip or no tip!
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ASK Miss Slut- Tina Swamp Pussy 
Dear Miss Slut-Tina,
  I am a bi-curious male who loves all forms of feminity. It seems like all the girls out there just want something from me. Seems they're all whores. Where can I go meet a nice "special" girl???
Bi curisouly yours,
Jim
Jim,
  LOL...OMFG are you an ass. NOT ALL "GIRLS" are whores. And yes everyone wants something from someone. Mainly love and acceptance.
  I know this is Las Vegas.  Many may be prostitutes. But many are not.  But please look at it through their eyes. But before we get into that.  You need to decide what type do you like?
CD=Crossdresser. Ususally a male who dresseres in the opposite sex clothing for their own pleasure
TV=Transvestite..Same as a CD but most TVs go further and try to look more like the oppiste sex
TS=Transexual . Someone who feels like they are the opposite sex. Who was born in the wrong body. What defines a TS is the body work that has been done. Trans meaning to cross over.Comes from the Latin. So with the body work they have had done they have crossed over
Pre-op TS/transexual. Some one before their SRS ( sexual reassigmenet surgery) GS( gender surgery)
NON OP TS/Transexual) someone who lives full time as the opposite sex but does not want the final surgery (GS/SRS). These people have had body work (breast augmentation and or facial work done or in female to male breast removed)  The girls in the adult/porn world are known as shemales. But many do not like to be called a shemale or a he she. Or any other name that depicts their manliness.
DQ=Drag is slant word for female impersonator (F.I) or a gay tv. It is general use world like the word T- GIRL covers it all.
TG= Transgender really is a general world that covers it all. But TG has or is being used now for the girls who are on the way to transition or in transition to get srs/GS.
  Many men do not care what type you are as long as you are femine. So decide what you like. Just because a girl is on hormones or not on hormones  does not make her any more or less femine. Keeping that in mind let's look at it through their eyes/shoes.  It takes more balls to do drag or to transition that it does for you to be a man.  Just like transitioning you loose freinds and even family members.  In this day and age it is easier. But there are divsions in the drag world and the trans world. Just like the gay with top and bottoms and how they look at you. Bottom  line is it is all CRAP. We are all the same. We are all human and want the same. LOVE!!!!  The girls how ever usually get the crap end of the stick. Most men want an experience/just sex. Or a booty call. They do not even want to take a girl out for a drink or dinner. Rarley do they want to buy a drink. Then they shop around..who has the biggest one. If they are a pro who is the cheapest.It is crazy. The guy comes. Then goes back to his wife and or kids. Or he has issues because he thinks he is gay for liking a girl like us. Many of the girls get put through it in this manner. The dragqueens..I see it all the time. Guys just love them then hit on them and get mad if they do not want to stay in drag for there little time together.  Watch them weekly and do not even tip them in their performnce. It's expensive to perform.,.what is a dollar? If you are too cheap to tip a dollar or buy a drink. You do not need to go barking up any skirts. Then you get the guy who expends you to be the super model and perfect. If one thing is awry..then they read you...Boy wake the heck up. I have seen you with your super model  wife in the daytime at Wally World...she  isn't pretty. And The queen with no make up on still looks better than MOST..wake up call..and honey you are no super model yourself...LOL..!!!
  I do not know you. Perhaps you are a Greek god (MMmmmm Greek). Perhaps you are not like what many have seen or been put through. If you are interested in a special gir. Thenl check out the local clubs in town. Here are a few. It is a mix of all types of girls
Flex is on Arville and Charleston. Jewdi Vines show is Friday at 11pm The beautiful Elena is in the show (married) but beautiful. You'll love to watch her.
Escape Lounge on West Shara. Itis Nitika La Femme's show. A variety of different girls and age ranges
Charlie's off of Trop and on  Arville. It is a gay country western bar. With a beer bust. PACKED show is 9pm with the very funny and beautiful Ginger Grant!!!! A variety of girls perform.
Freezone..in the Fruit Loop (near Hardrock  near Naples ( at the light) WHAT A DRAG show on Fri and sats at 10pm sharp with Shawn M hosting.
Cruz Inn on E Sahara (across form commerical center area) Fri show with Michelle Holiday.
Las Vegas Lounge back of commerical center on East Karen. This is just a lounge know for all types of girls there. Many TV/TS types
This is just a little list of some places. You can also check out http://www.lvtg.com/  it is a dating site. You also might run into one of the girls at the grocery store. Keep your mind open and always be nice. A girl likes a nice man who isn't rude. Or assume we are all whores! Many "special" girls have real lives. Real jobs. And do not wait around for tired ass men to sneak away from their wife to go do the nasty. Many many are real people. Who love fantasy. So if you expect a super model then you better be one yourself.  Bottom line is to be yourself. If you are an asshole then be prepared to be read and hit!
Have a question need an answer to> Please contact us at stephmwilliams@yahho.com and your questions will be passed on to ASK SLUT TINA SWAMP PUSSY!
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Can You Be A Female Illusionist and Still Find Love?

  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but personality and courage of conviction wins every time. I have put myself out there time and time again; have dated different ages, races, and all different types of men all to end with them not wanting to date a female illusionist and or a drag queen. I met a man for drinks a few weeks ago at one of my local watering holes we hit it off fabulously. We are both in business for ourselves, have the same things in common, and are tired of the “drama” of it all. After multiple dates we discussed our lives more in depth and found out a lot about each other. I am still holding onto my stiletto secret about having a fabulous drag room at my house. He then asked me on yet another date last Friday night. I told him unfortunately I already had reservations to be hosting a benefit show for a dear friend of mine. He asked to come to the show. I then felt it was necessary to inform him of who I am. I took a drink of my adult beverage and looked him in his gorgeous brown eyes and told him, “sweetheart, I am a female illusionist.” He sat back with a puzzled look on his face and then said to me, “you are a woman?” I laughed and explained to him I am an entertainer and I was coming on Friday as a female illusionist to host the show. There was many seconds (which felt like minutes) of silence before he said those words that can cut through a person like a knife… “I do not sleep with drag queens and do not date them. You all are full of drama and have no idea how the real world works.” He then proceeded to stand up and walk out the door. After multiple weeks of getting to know each other and really connecting he walked out of my life. I was shocked as well as a bit hurt. I lowered my walls, I didn’t play all the dating games, and I was just me. What I took away from my time spent with this man is that our jobs in the GLBT community we need to educate our own community first about whom we are and what we do to help others. Then, the world!
Men in Las Vegas need to realize that we as entertainers paint on our faces and have fabulous costumes made to perform for charities and benefits to raise money for other people who are in need as well as for our own pleasures of being a local celebrity. As a female illusionist, I find that men in our community do not want a man who is talented in the art of illusion. I speak for myself by saying; I enjoy being a man and have no plans on having cosmetic surgery to alter my appearance. (Besides of course, quarterly body maintenance of the fabulous Botox, and Restylane.) That IS the art of illusion and that IS what makes men and women as well as Gay and Straight community supporters come out to the venues I perform at. I live by the statement my drag mother once told me, “You are only as good as you have been taught and help others with the knowledge you have been given.” I live by that statement daily. So, why is it so hard to find a partner in the Las Vegas valley to fall in love with and share the rest of our lives together? I truly believe that with all the homosexual slander, hatefulness, cattiness, and “straight” up nastiness all around the world, why can’t we all get along and play nice? Why is it such a struggle to be ourselves?
Is there hope to find true love without compromising myself and what I believe in? YES!!! I know the man of my dreams is out there and we will find each other when we are meant to find each other. To all of you who are still looking for Mr. Right, keep looking. He’s Out There!!!

~Miss Kitten Caboodle~
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SHOWS & Places to GO
Escape Lounge  4213  W. Sahara  FlaBOYance the show... starts 11pm sharp with Nitka La Femme as the Mc.
Flex Lounge. The corner of 4371  Charleston and Arville Showtime Fri 1130pm Starring Jewdi Vine and  a cast of friends.  Also look for showtime coming soon on Sats all live singers (more infor to follow)
Charlie's >>>Arville and Trop. show time is 9pm Hosted by Ginger Grant
Freezone On Paradise and Naples (in the fruit loop) showtime 10pm sharp. With Shawn M and Alex Serpa. The longest running drag  bar show in Las Vegas
DIVAS at Imperial Palace (on the strip) Starring FRANK MARINO. Look a like impersonators.
POWER EXCHANGE 3610. S. Highland Dr,  (PE) is between Spring Mountain and  Twain off of Polaris..the turn on Highland (backroad main highland youw illn ot find it) Itis a HUGE adult club> T girls and Females get in FREE. Open Thurs- Sun.

Las Vegas Lounge >>East Karen Street (in back of commerical center).  TS strippers.

The Artisan Hotel -Boutique >>>
Stepping into the ARTISAN'S ornate art-filled lobby, you are instantly transported to another world. It’s 1914, the Parisian Left Bank, an elegant and mysterious world of art, absinthe, and decadent indulgence. Day becomes night and everything you can imagine is real! For pleasure (or business!) The ARTISAN is Las Vegas’ exceptional non-gaming hotel boutique, restaurant, and ultra-lounge!
Address1501 Sahara Avenue, Las Vegas, NV, 89102 · Get Directions
Phone(800) 554-4092
Websitehttp://artisanhotel.com/
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video
Miss Truly La Femme performing in FlamBOYance at Escape Lounge
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KENNETH BLAKE a DIVA!!!!


 Kenneth Blake  of Frank Marino's DIVAS. At the Imperial Palace on the Las vegas Strip. Kenneth is THE Dolly Party look a like in the country. Known for being a class act and what being a classic female impersontor is. He has a host of many females he impersonates. Dolly Parton, Madonna, and Cher to name just a few.  He is very famous for his HUGE yearly Halloween show at Gipsy's. He is a true master of his craft. Hair, make up, costuming. He does it all. Catch Kenneth Blake in DIVA'S.. Diva's is a MUST SEE while visting Vegas. If you are a local it is a MUST to bring a guest. The show is amazing!!!!!
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FEATURING MISS JEWDI   VINE
  I met Miss Jewdi back in the day at HAMBURG MARY'S in the Fruit loop. She was a mohawk twinkie working it. Always fun and a sweet person to hang out with. Then BAM!!!! Almost over night she ended up with her own show. Became a Miss  Gay Pride. And one of the top entertainers in Las Vegas. A talented entertainer who is old school. Meaning Jewdi not only does all sorts of great numbers. But also designs and makes her own customes.  If you have not had the pleasure of seeing Jewdi. Check her out  at FLEX 4371 West Charleston. On the corner of Arville. Every Friday night CONFESSIONS at Flex.  CONFESSIONS stars Jewdi, Elena, Stephanie, Gabriella, and a special guest. The show is an upbeat fast pace show. In the middle of the show is a confession of dirty secrets. You can win prizes and have a great time. This is THE PLACE to be on Fridays.
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 http://www.tgirlstore.com/
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 WHO DO YOU THINK THE BEST ENERTAINER IS????
  Other blogs and magazines do it. Let's do it here. Let's us know who  you think the best entertainer is.  Please send in your choice. Then out of the 5 picked from you. You can VOTE on who you think the BEST ENTERTAINER is. Stephmwilliams@yahoo.com

  COMING SOON >>>>> The Las Vegas La  Femme  Entertainer Awards.   Best costumed, best performance, Most creative, Best look a like,  Most beauitful, & Sexiest.

  Do you LOVE to go to the drag shows in town?  Have a fav show. Tell us about it.  Email us at stephmwilliams@yahoo.com

  Have  group or advent ..Let us know so we enjoy it with you as well.

NEXT ISSUE SHOW REVIEWS!!!!!!
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