SOUTH LOOP — Drag queens, led by renowned Cher impersonator Michael Dean, are coming together for a night of glitter, glamour and giving back.
Lips Chicago, the iconic drag dining spot, is teaming up with Connections for Abused Women and Their Children to raise money for the domestic violence organization.
Dean, who will lead the night’s performance as Cher for the second year in a row, said the show is about “people having a chance to forget, unwind, escape, laugh, cheer, to get up and dance.”
“It’s really all about having a time to just breathe. We’re all like, working hard and working too many jobs and you know, there’s kids and there’s family matters and work issues and sometimes you need to take a deep breath,” he said.
Drag queen Ruff n’ Stuff will host the event, joined by performers Evan Rhodus and Leshauna Wilcoxon.
A three-course meal will be served, and there will be drawings for three round-trip plane tickets donated by Spirit Airlines. The tickets can be used for any destination the airline services, said Judi Golemba, director of development at Connections for Abused Women and Their Children.
Dean plans to perform a mix of his favorite Cher tracks from the ’80s, including “We All Sleep Alone, “I Found Someone” and “If I Could Turn Back Time.”
“If you were a true Cher fan and you went to her concerts or watched her on TV, and if I can give you a glimpse of that time, then I’ve done my job,” he said.
Jessica Kurkowski, who works in development at Connections for Abused Women and Their Children and performed at last year’s event, said “the energy of drag shows really comes out to play.”
“The love that they have for their community to support an organization that they really believe in is amazing,” Kurkowski said.
Connections for Abused Women and Their Children provided shelter to 1,024 adults and children in 2022, according to its most recent annual report. On average, 20 people are physically abused by a partner per minute in the U.S., according to the National Coalition of Domestic Violence.
“The audience is so receptive and engaging and I am so grateful that I get to do that, and I am especially grateful I get to do it for great causes,” Dean said. “There’s men, women and children that get abused, and it’s our way to say let’s all come together and stop it. Let’s all come together to help those in need.”
Tickets are available at the door, but people are encouraged to buy them online.
Listen to the Block Club Chicago podcast: