Brita Fagerstrom performs as Roman Wilde at the Alaskan Hotel and Bar on July 8. During the show, Fagerstrom performed show-stopping numbers as Wilde, including an homage to Queen, a roof-raising Bon Jovi tribute, and a fun turn as a retro crooner. (Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire)

Kings are wild: Juneau Drag returns to live shows with a diverse cast of kings and queens

Juneau Drag returns to live shows with a diverse cast of kings and queens

Juneau Drag is back with live performances in local bars after the pandemic moved shows online. And, compared to drag shows in the Lower 48, Juneau’s troupe sports a decidedly different vibe with a full roster of kings— as well as queens.

According to Elaine Bell, who performs as Luke the Duke of Bell, the troupe consists of 14 kings and 15 queens—an unusual mix as most troupes generally feature more queens than kings.

“We’ve had a record number of kings that have popped up. It’s amazing,” Bell said in a phone interview Tuesday.

At a show last week at the Alaskan Hotel and Bar, the kings shared the stage with the queens — and the audience loved it.

“The crowds have been phenomenal. People are looking for a really inclusive space. People are really passionate about showing up,” said Brita Fagerstrom, who performs as Roman Wilde, in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon.

At last week’s show, Fagerstrom performed show-stopping numbers as Wilde, including an homage to Queen, a roof-raising Bon Jovi tribute and a fun turn as a retro crooner.

’O, wonder’: Theatre in the Rough puts on ‘The Tempest’

Calling all kings

“Juneau is incredibly accommodating for kings, which is not the case in the Lower 48 states,” said Fagerstrom, who has been performing in drag shows for four years, including two with Juneau Drag.

The origin of Juneau’s unusual mix of performers is unknown.

“It’s hard to tell why,” Bell said, adding that the high concentration of “theater people” in and around Juneau might be a contributing factor. “It’s an outlet for them to do what they love. It’s an opportunity to be creative. It’s probably in the water,” she laughed.

Fagerstrom, who has a degree in musical theatre, said she’s been on the stage her whole life but performing at drag shows “feels phenomenal and really accepting.”

She outlined the difference between traditional theatrical productions and drag shows.

“Usually, you use a script and do lots of practice. But, this is your own thing. You do your own costumes, your own music. You have a number, and you are in charge of it. You are steering your own ship,” Fagerstrom said.

Fagerstrom said that she often makes her costumes and that the entire transformation for shows can take an hour or two. She’s learned to change into costume quickly so that she can work until 6:30 p.m. and still be ready for showtime at 7 p.m.

Bell said that she focuses on finding fast songs that lend themselves to dancing. Unlike many performers, she has a background as an athlete rather than a performer.

Bell said that she was inspired to start performing after seeing a Glitz Show, staged by Gigi Monroe (James Hoagland) a few years ago.

“I have always felt like a boy. I saw some kings in that show, and I saw it as an opportunity to put on some facial hair and perform. I thought, hey, I’d like to be in a boy band.” Bell said.

Both performers credit Hoagland as the driving force behind Juneau Drag.

“Gigi is the drag mom of Juneau,” Fagerstrom said.

Elaine Bell performs as Luke the Duke of Bell in a Juneau Drag show. She is one of several kings who perform with the troupe. (Courtesy Photo / Elaine Bell)

Elaine Bell performs as Luke the Duke of Bell in a Juneau Drag show. She is one of several kings who perform with the troupe. (Courtesy Photo / Elaine Bell)

Bears and dogs don’t mix

Taking the show on the road

Both performers agree that post-pandemic audiences appreciate live shows and that traveling with the troupe makes them better performers.

Bell said the group has traveled to Sitka and Skagway. She said she’d love to do a show outside of Alaska with former performers who have moved away.

“Traveling is beneficial. You learn a lot,” Bell said. “The crowds are big every time.”

On the road or at home in Juneau, the troupe generally performs two shows a night—an early and a late show.

Fagerstrom said the earlier crowd is generally full of “empowered allies,” and the later shows “are a lot rowdier,” she added.

Know & Go

Juneau Drag generally performs monthly shows. Visit to learn more about upcoming performances and tickets sales or follow the group on Facebook.

Shows are scheduled for 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday at the Red Dog Saloon, 278 S. Frnaklin St. The earlier show is sold out. Tickets can be purchases online at for $15. Audience members are rquired to be fully vaccinated and must present their vaccination card and photo ID to enter.

Contact reporter Dana Zigmund @ or 907-308-4891.

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of April 15

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

Rep. Sara Hannan (right) offers an overview of this year’s legislative session to date as Rep. Andi Story and Sen. Jesse Kiehl listen during a town hall by Juneau’s delegation on Thursday evening at Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Multitude of education issues, budget, PFD among top areas of focus at legislative town hall

Juneau’s three Democratic lawmakers reassert support of more school funding, ensuring LGBTQ+ rights.

Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, mayor of the Inupiaq village of Nuiqsut, at the area where a road to the Willow project will be built in the North Slope of Alaska, March 23, 2023. The Interior Department said it will not permit construction of a 211-mile road through the park, which a mining company wanted for access to copper deposits. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times)
Biden shields millions of acres of Alaskan wilderness from drilling and mining

The Biden administration expanded federal protections across millions of acres of Alaskan… Continue reading

Allison Gornik plays the lead role of Alice during a rehearsal Saturday of Juneau Dance Theatre’s production of “Alice in Wonderland,” which will be staged at Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé for three days starting Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
An ‘Alice in Wonderland’ that requires quick thinking on and off your feet

Ballet that Juneau Dance Theatre calls its most elaborate production ever opens Friday at JDHS.

Caribou cross through Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in their 2012 spring migration. A 211-mile industrial road that the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority wants to build would pass through Gates of the Arctic and other areas used by the Western Arctic Caribou Herd, one of the largest in North America. Supporters, including many Alaska political leaders, say the road would provide important economic benefits. Opponents say it would have unacceptable effects on the caribou. (Photo by Zak Richter/National Park Service)
Alaska’s U.S. senators say pending decisions on Ambler road and NPR-A are illegal

Expected decisions by Biden administration oppose mining road, support more North Slope protections.

Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, speaks on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 13. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska House members propose constitutional amendment to allow public money for private schools

After a court ruling that overturned a key part of Alaska’s education… Continue reading

Danielle Brubaker shops for homeschool materials at the IDEA Homeschool Curriculum Fair in Anchorage on Thursday. A court ruling struck down the part of Alaska law that allows correspondence school families to receive money for such purchases. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)
Lawmakers to wait on Alaska Supreme Court as families reel in wake of correspondence ruling

Cash allotments are ‘make or break’ for some families, others plan to limit spending.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, April 17, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Newly elected tribal leaders are sworn in during the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska’s 89th annual Tribal Assembly on Thursday at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. (Photo courtesy of the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska)
New council leaders, citizen of year, emerging leader elected at 89th Tribal Assembly

Tlingit and Haida President Chalyee Éesh Richard Peterson elected unopposed to sixth two-year term.

Most Read