There is a lot of talk these days about drag shows…ban them, see them, boycott them, applaud them. In Dayton, none compare to the powerhouse of the RubiGirls’ ‘The Show Must Go On!’ The stage is being set for this tradition, and even in these strange times for drag, the RubiGirls stand united.
Bringing their 26th Annual Holiday Show to Dayton’s Arcade, the RubiGirls look to provide funds for charities here, there and everywhere…and beyond that, educate people on the power of Drag Shows! It’s very easy to stand on the sidelines and decide what is and isn’t good about drag….but when it comes to what drag can do for a community, the Girls have it in the bag!
We were lucky enough to catch up with 3 of the famed ladies (Minnie Skirt, Alex; Fonda Peters, Tim; and Dana Sintell, Josh)…fresh from rehearsal in their studio.
D9: The 3 of you are icons in the RubiGirls. What does ‘The Show Must Go On’ Mean to you?
DS: For me, especially now, it means no matter the obstacles, we have a job to do…drag bans, HIV, COVID…raising funds for groups and folks who need it happens no matter what. We have to move forward…regardless.
MS: Knowing why we call it ‘The Show Must Go On’ is important. Rubi was born at a time of death…the AIDS crisis was taking lives left and right and many were friends of the original four members. When they aligned themselves charitably to see an end to HIV/AIDS, that was a saying that stuck
D9: It’s been around a long time. Next year is year 40 for you ladies as an organization….to what do you attribute the longevity?
FP: We keep it relevant as well as we aren’t afraid to make fun of ourselves and each other as well as never losing focus on what matters.
MS: Right Fonda….and so much is serious and we just wish to make people laugh! ‘Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion!’ Dolly Parton.
D9: What drag numbers define ‘The Show Must Go On?’
FP: The one from ‘Rent’ definitely.
DS: Yep, ‘Seasons of Love.’ People sign our banners during that number. Those remain in our Clubhouse forever. We have signatures dating back to ‘To Care is to Cure’ which was the predecessor to the ‘Show Must Go On’….mid-90s.
MS: And ‘The Year in Review’ is an absolute must and is different every year because we poke fun at all the events that have happened. Taj and Dana do a fantastic mocking Entertainment Tonight and every segment is of course based in humor!
D9: Your work assisted 70 Non-profits last year. WOW girls…wow! What about this year?
DS: Maybe a few more…like 75 or so. We are having a huge sponsorship year! That helps us help those organizations.
MS: The amazing thing is that while it is work it doesn’t truly feel as if it is. It’s natural to our group to want to continue to add to our portfolio of recipients as long as it aligns with our mission statement and bettering our community.
D9: And your scholarships? After 3 years you got the fund to perpetuity?? Ummmmm, that’s amazing as well.
FP: I believe in the butterfly effect so I am not sure we can ever know what the effect of these scholarships can have on the people’s lives that have received them or the lives of the people that they touch through the education they have received.
MS: We solidified our place even further in the Dayton community as a group who cares about education and the recipients who are part of the queer community. Showing that kindness love and respect truly paid off. People love that piece.
D9: Next year is 40 years…..and in the anniversary world, that is Ruby! RUBY! How cool! What will the year hold for all of you!!
MS: Red everywhere darling…RED!!! The fun part of it is being the Ruby Anniversary of Rubi and being in the Gem City the titles of shows is basically written for us. I hope we have a show that rivals all shows, at the Victoria, to sold out fans…a gal can dream. But think of it really…we started in bedsheets and now we are here 40 years later, assisting in raising over 2 million, let’s just pull the machine and keep struttin’.
DS: Minnie, I Love It. And I’m working on the Victoria! I will say, nothing lasts 40 years anymore….so we have to to make this more than just an anniversary….more of an homage to all we have lost, all we gained and ALL WE HAVE to be thankful for. Everyone, gay , straight, bi, trans, Republican must be acutely aware that we are ALL in this together….and 40 years later, much has changed, but much has not!
D9: So true. Proud of all of you, you are great Daytonians! Any parting words?
FP: I just want all the present and past Rubi Girls to know how much of an honor it is and pleasure to be a part of this amazing family.
INFO: tickets at therubigirls.com
The RubiGirls in “The Show Must Go On: A Night To Remember.”
Saturday, November 25, at the beautiful Dayton Arcade. Show Starts at 8pm.
Merchandise is available on-site. The show is a RubiGirl show, and is recommended for adults.
You can always SPONSOR the GIRLS at therubigirls.com.