Pictou County’s own Eleganza Extravaganza is making its way back on stage with more sass, more laughs and more musical prowess than ever before with the third year of Jake and Shaun’s Big Gay Affair in Pictou County and Beyond. What started humbly has now made its way on tour across the province and further to show just how fabulous and funny these queens can be.
“It’s pretty much all new material,” said Shaun McLean, one of the masterminds behind the variety-style show, along with Jake Chisholm. The talented pair has been busy over the last year writing their own sketches, practicing songs, and getting together the coveted wardrobe choices for the show.
With 23 people on cast and crew, the show is not a small performance and will feel even bigger this year as it hots a bigger stage at the deCoste centre in Pictou for the first time ever. Big moves and grooves will be on stage as well as the show has been paired with Mrs. Carla’s Dance studio and with musicians, Ross MacVicar, Marc Cosh, Fish Fancy, Lloyd MacLean, Annette Drapeau Reynolds, Angela Cromwell and more.
“The songs of the show are all massive hits,” said Chisholm adding that this year’s performance will have more live music than before. “The show has always been that level of rock concert meets theatre.”
With an air of freedom, expression, happiness, and positivity the show in previous years has never missed a beat and brings the idea of inclusivity into its audience with an age range of younger to seniors excited to come to see what these drag queens have to show this year.
It’s more than just putting on a show for McLean though, it’s his love of performing that makes things that much better.
“There is something about making people laugh uncontrollably that’s like a drug if you can do it,” he smiled. “Musically, it’s a chance to really test myself and a chance also to be a part of Jake”s musical journey.”
Having just recently taken up singing after a hiatus since he was in his early teens Chisholm is excited for this year’s show and ready for the challenge that more live performances along with the traditional lip syncing will bring.
“What we’re doing here is a bit unique,” said McLean. As far as the duo knows, there isn’t any other show quite like this around, which is what makes the show successful enough to be entering it’s third year and even launching new merchandise this year.
“The show is fuelled by the people buying the tickets,” McLean said. “They trust you so they’re going to spend their money on it.”
Tickets for the show so far, which will take place on October 27 at the deCoste Performing arts centre are already more than half sold out at $35 each for the two-hour show. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or on the deCoste website.
“For me, it’s watching people come into the show, people of all ages, you get to see them and they’re just letting themselves go- that’s really cool to watch,” said Chisholm. “We put a lot of work into the show so for people to love your creation that’s just awesome!”