Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
Since Drag Freak Bingo debuted in August 1994, it has steadily grown in popularity and exposure, vaulting from small D.C. gay clubs to larger, mostly straight venues and, this spring, national television. Local media outlets, including Washington City Paper, featured the irony-laced bingo-and-cabaret act last year (see “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, in Size-12 Pumps,” 12/1/95). In April, the Wall Street Journal took notice and featured tongue-in-cheek drag queens Beate (Kevin Cordt) and Bianca (Shane Mayson), along with their “daughter” Babette (Maureen Lallos), in an article about the revival of bingo among twentysomethings. The Journal article prompted calls from BBC Radio, a newspaper in Copenhagen (yes, Denmark), and Good Morning America. Not everything went quite right—GMA mistook Lallos for a drag queen—but it’s more publicity than the trio ever expected. So has all the attention gone to their heads? “Oh, Jesus Christ, yes,” says Cordt. “We’re all conceited bitches now.” One of the bingo “rules”—read at the beginning of each performance—was that “it’s all about love,” Cordt says. “But we should change that mantra: It’s all about money. It’s all about fame.”—John Cloud
Drag Freak Bingo’s latest event, “Bingolympics,” comes to Heaven this Wednesday, July 31, at