Who is he? He’s cruising down the road in a gunmetal grey Mazda 3 hatchback. He’s got big shades, a slight pompadour and pencil-thin sideburns. And as he speeds past he flashes you a brilliant smile and a flirtatious wink and you know you’ve seen cool.
He’s a drag king on tour so you’d better let him pass.
Well-loved local king Maximum Capacity’s event, Take Me to Leather Leather Land, is a fundraiser for his upcoming US tour, called Maximum ’Merica Tour.
A fixture in the drag king troupe The Yes Men, Maximum says he recently changed the direction of his “Joe job”(the one that pays the bills) to make time to perform more shows. Unfortunately, he says, there aren’t a lot of opportunities for a drag king to perform in Toronto.
“I want more,” he says. “As my name implies, there’s no fifty percent about me in any shape or form.”
He decided to make his own opportunities by heading to the US in January 2016, for a three-month tour. He’ll do a couple of Canadian gigs before heading across the border to perform wherever they’ll have him: Boston, New York City, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Chicago — you name it.
He says he will definitely stop off in Florida, because in his heart he’s “an old man who loves to wear floral print.”
His mode of transportation: a little car named Bow Tie. “My nephew, who was four at the time, named him,” he says. “I couldn’t believe my nephew named him that — it was meant to be.”
“I call him Beau for short.”
But the trip won’t be cheap.
“I’m so fortunate that my friends happen to be the best — best! — performers in Toronto,” he says. “And they are volunteering their time to help me go on tour.”
Take Me to Leather Leather Land is a cabaret made up of a series of drag (king and queen), burlesque and boylesque acts by at least 25 of Maximum’s performer friends — everyone from Judy Virago to El Toro to Flare.
The acts are loosely connected by a theme; He told them to come up with performances that somehow combine leather and BDSM with Peter Pan — two things that are very near and dear to Maximum’s heart.
Maximum, in the guise of Peter Pan himself, will perform the opening number to set the tone for the evening. “My act is designed to allow [the audience] to see that it is Leather Leather Land as opposed to Never Never Land,” he says.
Attendees are invited to take advantage of the cool autumn weather and wear leather too. Prizes courtesy of Aslan Leather will be awarded for the two best costumes.
He refuses to divulge much about what the individual acts will entail — giving the usual refrain of “I guess you’ll have to [attend] to see” — but says there will definitely be spanking.
(Take Me to Leather Leather Land
Friday, Nov 13, 2015, 9:30pm
Buddies in Bad Times, 12 Alexander St , Toronto
(Main story image courtesy of Sara Thofkhan)