The Haus of Starr’s take on Alice in Wonderland, called “Back Down the Rabbit Hole,” drew more than 300 people to the now-closed Gilligan’s Getaway last year.
PLATTSBURGH — For a performer, being on hiatus for several months can lead to a lot of pent-up energy.
That energy wants to be used to sing, to dance, to make people laugh.
Lately, David Duford has been feeling that pain, and he’s ready to come out of retirement.
On Saturday, March 30, Duford will take the stage as Blanche at the Haus of Starr’s All Starr’s Show, to be held at the VFW in Plattsburgh.
The show is suitable for adults age 18 and older.
Duford’s father was in the military, so he lived in several different places throughout his childhood.
He became involved with various theater groups as his family moved around, and began performing locally in 1989.
“It was a way to give back to the community and give to charitable causes,” Duford said. “There was nobody doing it in town at the time I was thinking about doing it. Given my background in theater and recitals, it just seemed to be a great fit.”
Duford always used his drag performances as a way to help others in need, but said that an increase in paperwork over the years made things increasingly difficult.
“It got to a point where it wasn’t fun anymore,” Duford said. “Because people were abusing things, it became a lot of drama to throw a benefit. Six months worth of work to put on one two-hour performance, no thank you!”
His need to be creative got the best of him, though, and he promises that the upcoming show will not be one to miss.
“I’m out to promote the illusion of being the opposite gender of what I am in order to entertain people,” Duford said. “I hope to see a lot of people that I haven’t seen in a long time.”
Joe Trombley, producer and organizer of the All Starr’s Show, said Duford’s performance will only add to the variety of the evening.
Trombley helped found the Haus of Starr about four years ago and said the group’s entourage of comedians, dancers, vocalists, and male and female impersonators are always well received within the Plattsburgh community.
“I always try to give everybody more than just a drag show,” Trombley said, adding that not all male performers dress as women, and not all female performers dress as men.
“It’s more about performing, about putting an excellent performance together, whether it be a dance routine, a theatrical representation of a Broadway musical. It’s an outlet for creativity.”
It’s also an outlet for positive energy.
Trombley performs as Twylyte Starr, and said that putting on a good show naturally satisfies the group’s goal of making everyone in the audience happy.
He also said that new performers are welcome to join in.
“We always try to keep the high energy,” Trombley said. “If you’re having a bad day the moment you walk through the door at the show, we’re going to make you laugh, we’re going to put a smile on your face.”
At the front and center of the merrymaking is the Haus of Starr’s hostess, Ashley Moore.
Moore helps out behind-the-scenes, making sure the performers and DJ are all ready.
She then takes the stage as Miss Pattie Cake-Baker, and gets the audience revved up.
“I’m just a more fabulous me,” Moore said. “I put on fabulous hair and all these accessories, and then I get the microphone in my hand and I get to be as crazy as I want to. We want everyone to feel like a part of the show, like they are the star.”
The more fabulous Moore is like an extension of her personality, a license to cut loose.
“It’s amazing what people will do when they’re not themselves,” Moore said.
And, if Moore’s assessment is accurate, the show will be nothing short of entertaining.
“We have Blanche coming back from retirement, and he adds the element of experience,” Moore said. “Twylyte is the acrobat chameleon—from Korean music to Britney Spears. You can’t expect anything, there are splits, there are cartwheels, there could be fire, you never know.”
Auditions for performers run through March 23. Contact Joey Trombley via
Facebook at facebook.com/gerald.trombley?fref=ts to get all the specifics on auditions or call 536-0566.
If you go:
What: The Haus of Starr’s All Starr Show
When: Saturday, March 30 at 8 p.m.
Where: VFW 125, 116 Boynton Ave., Plattsburgh
Cost: Call Joey Trombley at 536-0566 to purchase advance tickets for $5, or pay $10 at the door.