Rust Belt Theater Brings Back ‘Drag Queen’

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Rust Belt Theater Co. will present its original comic musical “How the Drag Queen Stole Christmas” for a three-weekend run beginning Dec. 3.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 at the theater, 755 Mahoning Ave. There will be an additional midnight performance the evening of Dec. 18.

“Drag Queen,” now in its 15th year, is an off-the-wall reworking of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” It tells the story of Starrlet O’Hara, a tyrant drag queen who is visited by three ghostly divas on Christmas Eve.

Written and composed by Robert Dennick Joki and Josh Taylor, the show is updated each year to lampoon politics, current events and pop culture.

Last year’s production was a filmed “highlights” version of the show that was available only for online viewing because of the pandemic.  

“Cancelling the show because of COVID was a devastating blow to the theater, which survives on ticket sales, but we are thrilled to be back in front of a live audience this year,” Joki said.

Seating will be limited for this year’s production to provide social distancing, “so it is very important to make and keep your reservations,” Joki said.

The cast of the show includes Nicole Zayas, Dean LaSalandra, Jeremy Grimes, Caitlyn Murphy, Sam Mentzer, Sarah Whitlach, Vicci Sfikas, Rachel Clifford, Diane Marie, Wesley Miller, Kage Coven, Josh Yohman, Lisa Torrence, Celena Coven and Joki. Each performance will include a complimentary wine and cheese reception. Theatergoers will also be able to purchase jewelry and souvenirs at “Starrlet’s Workshop.”

The production will also continue its annual tradition of raising funds for local charities during intermission.

All tickets are $20. For reservations, call 330 507 2358. Tickets can also be purchased online at

All Rust Belt Theater performers have received their COVID-19 vaccinations. The theater recommends unvaccinated patrons wear masks while attending the show.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.