When the Armorettes take the stage, you expect some zaniness. It’s a drag troupe, after all. But when their Miss Barfly pageant unfolded, it was more craziness than even they expected.
All in a night’s work, we guess. But when the dust settled and the faux horse head hit the floor, Chiffonne Anna- Nicole Hilton (top photo left) captured the crown of Miss Barfly 2011: Mythical Madness during a special edition of the Armorettes Backroom Burlesque on May 21.
Hilton has earned her drag creds with performances at the East Point Possums Show (view photos), the annual fundraiser for Atlanta Pride, and appearances at the annual Joining Hearts pool party (view photos), which raises funds for HIV charities.
Before, during and after the contest performances, the Armorettes took to the stage. Yes, it was also an evening of Knomie Moore, Sofonda Cox (top photo right), Trashetta Galore and even a special appearance by former Armorette Wild Cherry Sucret, reports of her death notwithstanding.
Rapture Divine Cox (bottom photo) – the member of the Atlanta Sisters who captured her own crown during the recent second rendition of Dragnique – was also on hand, delivering an emotional performance urging people to undergo HIV tests. Her number included a shirtless Chandler Bearden (second photo). The former Mr. Atlanta Eagle was on hand as a judge for the evening and Cox’s number made use of Bearden’s day job – prevention specialist with the MISTER program of HIV non-profit Positive Impact.
It’s been a bit of a year for the Armorettes. They pulled off their annual Easter Drag Races without a hitch (view photos), but not before they had to have a Homecoming Revival of sorts at Burkhart’s (view photos), which dismissed them from a weekly gig in 2009. That’s when they moved to Blake’s, which dumped them in early January. Somewhere in the middle of all that, they launched their monthly burlesque show at Heretic, celebrated a trashy holiday, marked an anniversary, and BumbleBee left the troupe.
But through it all, there’s this fact not to be missed: The Armorettes have raised about $1.9 million for local HIV charities in its more than 32-year history.