SUNY Adirondack hosts drag extravaganza Slay

Typhoid Mary, a drag artist, poses in front of a wall of green cans
April 11, 2023

Artist Typhoid Mary brings alternative to mainstream drag queen aesthetic

GLENS FALLS, New York (April 11, 2023) — Just when it seemed like Slay ADK couldn’t get any bigger, the SUNY Adirondack Student Senate event this year coincides with drag artist Typhoid Mary’s four-year anniversary on the performance circuit.

The sparkliest, most divalicious night of the year kicks off at 7 p.m. April 14 at Park Theatre, 14 Park St., with a meet-and-greet event starting at 6:30 p.m.

“Slay ADK is always an incredible time with immensely talented performers,” said Taylor Testa, director of Student and Residential Life at SUNY Adirondack. 

Celebrating a culture popularized by such TV shows as “Ru Paul’s Drag Race,” “Call Me Mother,” “We’re Here” and “Legendary,” Slay ADK has become an annual tradition at SUNY Adirondack. 

This year’s show features such prominent regional drag stars as Mor'Glamazon, Portabella, Katarina Mirage and Typhoid Mary.

“Drag performance appealed to me as a radical form of self-expression,” said Typhoid Mary, who by day is a comic book store manager. “The drag scene had gotten a little stale and nobody was really doing the things I wanted to see.”

For her, that means “a little more grunge, a little more Goth,” she said. “Don’t get me wrong: I love seeing the very polished, pretty, sequined fairy-like dance performers, but I also want to see something a little more close to home, more personal, with some presence.”

The result is an alternative performance inspired by the likes of Halsey, Lorde and Billie Eilish. 

“I love to get a little campy,” said Typhoid Mary, who directs, hosts and performs in her own show, “Typhoid’s Takeover.” “I even sometimes throw in the monologue from the movie ‘Hereditary.’” (For those who missed Ari Aster’s 2018 directorial debut, “Hereditary” is a psychological horror film starring Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro and Gabriel Byrne as members of a family haunted after their secretive grandmother dies.)

“I can be slow and sultry and dance a little, but for me it’s more about getting on stage and connecting with the audience,” she said.

Typhoid allows herself four hours to get ready for every show.“Before I started doing drag, I did a lot of painting and writing, so I’m just translating those painting skills; instead of painting on a canvas, I paint on my face,” she said. She applies her own makeup and fashions her style, but buys her hair prestyled. By the time the character is in heels — a minimum of 6 inches — and hair, their normally 6-foot frame is nearly a foot taller.

“I’m a beautiful, bearded, 7-foot-tall person,” she joked. “Drag has had a huge renaissance the past decade, but the downfall of that success is the fact we are only seeing one type of drag being uplifted and promoted — female impersonation drag, a drag queen aesthetic — but there’s so much more: drag kings, drag things, drag artists. There’s more to drag than what you’re seeing on TV, and other forms deserve to be showcased.”

Admission — which is $35 for students and $50 for all others — is open to the public and includes food prepared by Park Street Hospitality. Tickets are available at (SUNY Adirondack students, faculty and staff can also purchase tickets from the Student Activities office in the Student Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.)

Photo credit: Daniel Lee // @danielplee

About SUNY Adirondack

SUNY Adirondack is a community college with a growing campus that is part of the nation’s largest university, the State University of New York. With locations in Queensbury, Glens Falls and Wilton, SUNY Adirondack offers courses in person and online; on-campus housing at the Queensbury campus; and serves students via credit and continuing education programs. Learn more at