PRISM hosts annual Drag show; ‘Lady Gaga’ impersonator steals the show

Sean Parsons performed two songs during the Drag Show, using audience members as components to his dance routine, which featured tunes by Marilyn Monroe and Madonna. (Photo courtesy of PRISM)

Students packed into the Travers and Wolfe Main Lounge to see boys be girls and girls be boys in PRISM’S annual Drag Show on Monday April 5.

Billy Cavallo, freshman biology major, stole the show with his tiara-winning impersonation of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”

Not all the judges were swayed by “Gaga’s” performance, but the crowd had the final say on who the winner would be and their response was a roaring ovation for Cavallo.

Freshman business major Cynthia Sha described Cavallo’s performance as “orgasmic.”

Cavallo became a Facebook sensation earlier in the year with a similar impersonation of “Bad Romance” that won him the T/W Talent Show, but he stepped up his game on Monday as he came out dressed in caution tape and a black thong.

“It took lots of tape, lots of makeup, a lot of dancing and of course a lot of hours listening to Lady Gaga,” Cavallo said. “But, I’ll look for any excuse to be Lady Gaga.”

The show was hosted by PRISM and co-sponsored by Travers’s staff and the Residence Hall Association.

“After we got the acts together it was just putting stuff together and running out to get supplies,” Heather Lemley, the treasurer of PRISM, said.

The Drag Show was a free event, but a basket was passed around to collect donations for the Rainbow Room, which is part of the Bucks County Planned Parenthood. The Rainbow Room is a place where young people, ages 14-20, who are questioning themselves can go to talk about their issues.

Besides Cavallo, the Drag Show included eight other acts that included a multitude of songs and dances.

One of the other acts included senior business major Tom Pagnotta and sophomore accounting major Chris McLaughlin doing an impersonation of Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie.”

Pagnotta dressed in a black dress and wore a brown-haired wig as he and McLaughlin danced to the popular tune.

“I had to go out and buy a dress,” said Pagnotta. “It took eight hours of practice and watching the Youtube video to get it down, but it’s my senior year and I wanted a story to tell. I also wanted to support my friends and I had a lot of fun in the process.”

Another participant in the event was junior political science major Sean Parsons, who performed twice in the show.

Parsons, who was sporting a pink dress, started the show by performing Marilyn Monroe’s “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” and came back out after the intermission to do an interpretation of Madonna’s “Material Girl.”

Lemley warned the crowd before the show began that those sitting in the front row were in the “Splash Zone.” She assured that these people would not be getting wet, but that performers could pull these viewers into their routine.

Parsons took advantage of the “Splash Zone” by bringing numerous bystanders into his two dance routines.

The show also included acts from T/W community advisors, a rendition of the Backstreet Boys and two “Bosom Buddies.”

Freshman interactive multimedia major Bobby Canciello and freshman political science major Manny Gonzalez not only performed in the show, but they also shared valuable facts in-between some of the performances. They provided the audience with information about a number of things including drama queens, drama kings, transgenders and transvestites.

PRISM also provided the students that attended the show with snacks and free condoms during the intermission and after the show.

“I learned a lot and I had a lot of fun at the same time,” Sha said. “I can’t remember the last time I laughed that much.”