By M.G. Perez
Tantrums & Tiaras is not a traditional “drag” show — it is a full-scale stage production. The magic of the event is watching some of San Diego’s finest bar personalities transform into drag divas for the first time! Its premise is simple: Six Hillcrest bars volunteer one representative who will compete for the crown by strutting across the stage in swimwear, evening gowns and performing during the talent section. It’s an evening filled with big wigs, runny mascara and broken heels.
Producer, director, co-founder
How long has this event been going on and what can we expect this year?
We started the show in 2009. You can expect the same over-the-top, politically incorrect and absolutely fun drag performances with a sprinkle of talent and lots of heart. It’s a sell out every year. We have room for up to 1,000 people.
Your website mentions you can support the event by bringing your checkbook and writing a message. What kinds of messages?
Whenever someone donates money over $200, either by check or credit card, they can write a note that will be read out loud by our fabulous Hostess Babette Schwartz.
Lots of donations are also made by throwing money in fishnets passed out by our crew of Cockettes!
What more would you like to add?
This is a community fun-raiser and without the help of the community, this event would not exist. Most of all, Ian Johnson and Chris Barone are my right hands in putting this event together. We can’t forget the person who keeps the show together with her presence and wit, Babette Swartz.
Director of development at The Center, co-producer
This is a fundraiser for The San Diego LGBT Center. How much has been raised in the past?
In the past six years, over $250,000 has been raised for The Center’s programs and services through Tantrums & Tiaras.
Does all the money raised benefit The Center?
There are some production costs associated with the show that are largely covered with the help of our partners. Additional funds raised at the show go to support The Center’s programs and services.
Are donations this year targeted for specific programs?
Donations from Tantrums & Tiaras impact all of the programs of The Center. One of the amazing things about the show is that some contestants link their character to a specific program here at The Center that they are passionate about and want to highlight.
Get more information at tantrumstiaras.org.