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Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2007 01:40 am

Mahogany’s night

Local celebrity’s dream come true

Untitled Document It was the moment Mahogany Knight had been dreaming about and working toward for almost 20 years: She was onstage at San Antonio’s legendary Saint show club, performing before a packed house and a panel of prestigious judges. But when she ducked behind the curtain for a quickie costume change — the seemingly simple removal of a blue gown to reveal an eye-popping, tight-fitting sequined shift — she couldn’t get the top dress off. “I had put too much Velcro on it,” she says, “and, man, that was some sturdy Velcro!”
Luckily, one of her six backup dancers leaped to Knight’s rescue, ripping the dress off. She missed only a couple of words in her number, “I Just Wanna [expletive] Dance!” — which segued into another costume change, this time a Las Vegas showgirl getup complete with 6-foot-high feather headdress. “I received one of the only full standing ovations of the night,” she says. Around daybreak, Knight traded her humongous headdress for a glittering tiara (only slightly smaller) signifying that her dream had officially come true: She is now Miss Gay USofA at Large — the plus-size moniker for supreme drag queen. Knight, profiled by Illinois Times years ago [see “The queen of hearts” Feb. 12, 2004], says the coronation comes in the nick of time. “I had planned to retire when I turn 40, so it was, like, now or never. It was like taking it down to the wire,” the 39-year-old says. Her win was aided by the aforementioned backup dancers and $20,000 worth of costumes, props, hairspray and cosmetics. She’ll bring some of that — including the headdress — to the Station House (306 E. Washington St., 217-525-0438) on Saturday for a “Victory Party” and drag show at 11 p.m.
Contact Dusty Rhodes at drhodes@illinoistimes.com
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