DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Tickets to a Bangor-based drag troupe’s show at the Center Theatre in April sold out within a week of being announced, and another show has been scheduled.
Delicious Drag Divas is coming to the theater and Piscataquis County for the first time on April 15. The second show is scheduled for April 29.
Since the second show was announced on Facebook about 18 hours ago, 50 tickets have been sold, which is remarkable, said Patrick Myers, the theater’s executive director, about 9 a.m. Thursday. The auditorium’s capacity is 264 people.
“It’s great to have that support from the community,” he said. “Maybe Bob Marley’s comedy shows over the years sold out that fast, but I couldn’t guarantee that. It’s just crazy.”
Founded by Lloyd Tracy, a.k.a. Lady D, and his husband, Tony, who performs as LaDonya Lovelace, the Divas are popular performers in Bangor and around the state. For the most part, their show at the Center Theatre has been well-received, Myers and Tracy said this week.
The event generated some debate during a Dover-Foxcroft Select Board meeting this week, which continues to boil on social media. Residents, at the meeting and on Facebook, expressed concerns about the drag queens inappropriately touching audience members and exposing genitals and nipples. Others countered the claims, saying those opposed have never been to a drag show, and the drag queens are respectful and fun. Many consider drag to be an artistic form of expression.
Some questioned whether rural residents really have an appetite for drag performances. One woman took issue with language on the Divas’ flyer for the event, which read “Delicious Divas invades Dover-Foxcroft.”
Barry Hutchins, a Select Board member, posted online that he would defend everyone’s right to the First Amendment, regardless of whether he agrees with their perspective.
“This whole issue is concerning to me because I want to know where all of the self-professed ‘constitutionalists’ are right now,” he said, referring to residents who defended their First Amendment rights last month during a discussion about recording town employees.
A group of area residents even created a Facebook page to fight for a “drag-free” Dover-Foxcroft, though the creator did not respond to a request for comment this week. Myers hasn’t directly heard from those involved with DF, Drag Free Dover apart from mentions in Facebook posts and threads and a phone call from one member who inquired about the theater’s permitting, he said.
The Dover-Foxcroft Select Board will consider the theater’s application for a special amusement permit for alcohol sales during a public hearing Feb. 27.
Without a permit the show would still go on, just without alcohol, Select Board member Steve Grammont said during the meeting. Board members are not “morality police,” he said, and interfering in the event could lead to a lawsuit.
Out of the 264 tickets sold for the April 15 show, the bulk of attendees are from the local area, which Myers considers to be Piscataquis County’s major towns, plus Dexter and Charleston in Penobscot County.
Nineteen tickets, or 7.2 percent, were purchased by people outside the county, according to a report from Myers. Some ticket buyers don’t have known addresses because they were purchased in person at the theater, he said.
The second show is scheduled for 6 p.m. April 29 at the Center Theatre, 20 E. Main St. in Dover-Foxcroft. The event is 18 and older. Alcohol will be for sale. Tickets are $15, and are available at the theater’s box office or online.