The historic Waldo Theatre in Waldoboro, Maine, will be hosting the Portland-based drag show “Curbside Queens” for a performance on Saturday, July 29.
The event offers general admission tickets to people aged 16 and up.
“The Waldo Theatre welcomes Portland-based Curbside Queens as they spread the joy and celebration of the Queer experience and the art of Drag with the people of Maine,” the event page reads.
“Creative dress is encouraged!!!” The event page says.
The Curbside Queens are a traveling troupe of drag performers that use a pink shuttle bus named “Peg” to do shows in driveways, parking lots and theaters.
The website of the Curbside Queens boasts that they donate a portion of their booking proceeds towards “Trans Justice, Trans Liberation, and Black Lives Matter causes.”
The group started in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, and was originally called “2 Queens, 1 Driveway.”
Curbside Queens has since expanded from two to nine drag performers, putting on over 85 shows over 20 weeks in 2021.
The Waldo Theatre is a historic movie theater and performance venue originally built in 1936, and was restored and reopened in 2021.
The Waldo is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a frequent recipient of taxpayer-funded gifts from the Town of Waldoboro.
At the 2023 Waldoboro annual town meeting on June 13, the town voted to give the Waldo Theatre $6,500 as one of several “Community Service Agencies.”
Recently-elected Republican Representative Abden Simmons of Waldoboro said in a Friday phone interview that he learned of the event that morning on Facebook.
“There’s only one problem with it,” Rep. Simmons said. “It was a voter, resident initiative petition, that we had no choice but to put on the ballot, as far as giving the money to the Waldo Theatre.”
“It was out of the hands of the town, it was up to the voters whether they wanted to give the Waldo Theatre the money or not,” he said. “And the town doesn’t control what Waldo Theatre does.”
“The town has nothing to do with what they put out,” Simmons said.
Simmons said that as a Waldoboro Select Board member, he did not want to increase the money given to the Waldo Theatre, but the citizen petition resulted in increasing the Waldo’s funding against the wishes of the budget committee.
He added that he had not yet received any pushback on the drag show event from his constituents, but said, “I’m sure I will.”
The theater has a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) statement published on their website.
“We also recognize the true value and the critical role that diversity serves in helping our theater and community thrive,” the statement reads.
“We are committed to sustaining a diverse, inclusive, and equitable space where everyone who enters this historic theatre — patrons, performers, staff, volunteers, and vendors — feels valued and respected regardless of age, race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, education, or ability,” it says.