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Queen city

A flamboyant drag queen -- and, honey, is there any other kind? -- is half work of art, half force of nature. There's the hair up to there, lashes out to there, curves shaped by padding and corsets, sky-high heels and hair, topped off with perfect nails, wrapped in sequins and dusted with feathers.

Now multiply that image by 25.

That's the goal of "The World's First Largest Drag Show," organized for next Friday by Symphony Barr and Lauren Fox, also known as florist and decorator Ben Kuhns.

Kuhns is shooting for a Guinness Book of World Records listing. "It's a new category because it's never been done before," says Kuhns.

The jury is still out on whether Guinness will accept the new category, but the show is sure to be a spectacle, says Kuhns. Doors will open at 8 p.m. for the event in the Statler, 107 Delaware Ave. Tickets, which cost $10 presale and $15 at the door, are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and at, or can be ordered by calling 852-5000. The show is open to anyone 18 and older.

The drag queens, who are expected to travel from as far away as Toronto, will do "a whole production with the lip-syncing," says Kuhns, who added that the event will also "kick off the campaign 'Write in, right on, Lauren Fox for Mayor.' " His alter-ego's slogan, he says, is, "The Queen City will finally receive its queen!"

Kuhns adds that he doesn't expect to be elected, but that's not the point. "It's not to win, but to get people off their (butts)," he says.

Does Kuhns have plans to head off backstage catfights when all those divas dive for the mirrors at the same time?

"Do I foresee a problem getting 25 egos all together?" he asked, laughing. "As long as the alpha (female dog) -- that's me -- is in the kennel holding everything down, it'll all be fine."

-- Anne Neville

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