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Lurenzone Theatrics: Bringing Dragsicals to Boston

By Richie McNamara

By day, Nick Lorenzen is a school administrator, but by night he produces drag-centered musical extravaganzas within the local Boston queer scene. Creating a network of queer talent has been a driving force for Nick since he graduated from the University of Maine’s theater program. A drag performer himself for eight years, Nick spent some time in Western Massachusetts before being drawn to Boston’s active queer entertainment scene.

When the pandemic struck in 2020, Nick used his spare time to write a drag parody of Disney Channel’s High School Musical, becoming High School Dragsical. The script portrayed protagonist Troy Bolton as a bowling star who secretly auditioned for a drag show. In the fall of 2021, he utilized this script to get his drag friends back on the stage. In the long-standing Boston gay bar Jacques’ Cabaret’s basement venue, Jacques’ Underground, Nick produced his flagship show, not realizing it would be the start of his own production company, Lurenzone Theatrics. “Lurenzone is how I can bring people I know from different places together,” says Nick.

Lurenzone Theatrics Flagship Production: High School Dragsical in Jacques’ Underground.  From left to right: Regina Jackson, Betti, Patty Bourrée, Vivienne Vagemite, and Dottie Ave

Also during the pandemic, Nick began hosting Serve-vivor, an online reality game on the streaming website Twitch. This eventually turned into a live show featuring local drag talent with long-time collaborator, Kandi Dishe. “Serve-vivor combines improv theater with a reality television competition in a really interesting way,” Nick explains.

Nick struck an untapped but fruitful market with Serve-vivor. The reality competition fandom has a sizable queer sector who appreciates live theater performances, which has helped make Nick’s live shows a success. While producing Serve-vivor, Nick began writing a Mean Girls parody. “I want to give my friends (who are drag artists) opportunities that are fun and they can get paid for,” says Nick.

Nick’s proudest Lurenzone moment was selling out his parody of the musical Six at Club Cafe. “It was three nights, 300 seats, and we filled all of them!” 

Mean Queens Cast Photo: From left to right: Anya Nuttz, Carlos, Wilhelmina, Alex Wedge, Chanel the Angel, Alessandria, Nick Lorenzen, Evan, Regina Jackson, Dottie Ave, Mike Hawk, Barry, and Gwenitalia

One of the challenges Nick has had to face is finding a venue that has the proper tech required for a theater production and is willing to host him. Since drag is generalized as a nightclub activity, it is difficult to book actual theater spaces for his productions.

Despite drag being pushed to the center of political discourse in our country, Nick has luckily avoided any public backlash.

“Drag is fun. It is inherently political, but it’s not hurting anyone,” Nick says about political discourse on drag. “Drag performers aren’t the ones causing problems. The hateful reactions are what is problematic, and they must be addressed.”

In a time when drag is being politicized and targeted by lawmakers, it is vital that we support local drag artists. You can do so by attending drag shows and advocating for LGBTQ+ rights in whatever capacity you can.

Follow Nick and Lurenzone Theatrics on Instagram @lurenzonetheatrics to find out about upcoming performances. 

Richie McNamara graduated from UMass Amherst with a BA in Communication and a published thesis project titled Beyond Our Boundaries, which looks at how face-to-face, personal narrative storytelling can create social change. Currently, Richie works in social media marketing for a local general contractor. Interests include reality television, pop culture, content creation, and cross country running.

Editor’s Note: SpeakOUT will be highlighting the work of other local drag artists in future blog posts to more deeply touch upon how the current attacks on drag performers are affecting the individuals behind the wigs and makeup. We’ll also be covering the rash of anti-transgender legislation that is rapidly spreading across the country and endangering the lives of trans youth by removing access to gender-affirming health care. In this time of extremism and violence, this is when we speak out. Want to stand up for trans rights locally? Join the community for the Amplify Trans Youth rally at the Massachusetts State House on Tuesday, March 28, 9:30-11:30am.