Live Shots: GAPA Runway 23, 08/13/2011

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Fantasy Land was out in full force on the Herbst Theater stage this past weekend, for the 23rd annual Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA) Runway show and 2011 Mr. & Miss GAPA pageant. The contestants were dressed to impress and pulled out all the stops (and pulled off a few pairs of pants too), in hopes of winning over a panel of judges that included everyone from socialites like Holy McGrail and politician Fiona Ma. Everyone was bedazzled, especially by the host Tita Aida.

Working with a cold and a pesky iPad, Tita held the whole event together with elegance and poise, and enough inappropriate jokes to keep everyone laughing and wetting their panties for the entire four hours of the show. I hope to one day call Tita a BFF. Tita is my heroine, not only for her amazing style, but also for her never ending list of Daly City jokes.

And then there were all the sexy Gaysian fantasies on the runway, dressed in fairytales of Snow White and genies, who really gave their all. One of my personal favorites was an evocative and devastating performance by Jezebel Patel of the Dying Swan, feathers spewing in every direction after each perfectly performed pirouette. She was a runner up for Miss Gapa, but the gigantic trophies at the end of the night went to two wonderful talents, Lychee Minelli and Mike Nguyen, who stole the show with their school-girl good looks and baton twirling triumphs.

I’ve been to a pretty solid sampling of drag shows in my day, but I have to say, GAPA Runway was magical in so many ways and one that I hope to make a yearly tradition.