Disney, Broadway, and Drag — Inside Alexis Michelle and Nina West’s DragCon Panel

Some people were just born to be in the spotlight. That may be through drag, on the reality competition series RuPaul’s Drag Race. Or it may be on Broadway, starring as one of Disney’s beloved characters. This year’s DragCon combined the two, as Alexis Michelle and Nina West moderated a panel entitled, “Disney on Broadway.” In case you missed it, here’s an inside look into their discussion with Broadway actors like Bradley Gibson, Noah J. Ricketts, and Michael James Scott.

‘Drag Race’ contestants Nina West and Alexis Michelle hosted the ‘Disney On Broadway: Serving Hair, Face, and Looks for 25 Years’ panel at RuPaul’s DragCon

Mix drag queens, award-winning actors, and a pinch of Disney magic — you can’t go wrong. This year, at RuPaul’s DragCon in New York City, two drag queens shared the magic of Broadway and Disney with the attendees. RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni Nina West and Alexis Michelle moderated a panel regarding the theater and its impact on drag performers.

“Drag is magical, and so is theater, and so is Disney,” said Nina West. “So, you kind of put all those elements together and really consider what it takes to pull it all off. Both the magic and illusion of drag and the magic and illusion that goes into theater; they’re pretty much the same thing. Synonymous, if you will.”

As drag queens and as members of that LGBTQ community, the two mentioned how special it was to have an outlet where they can be transported. The duo shared that they’ve seen every Disney musical on Broadway, some musicals multiple times.

Alexis Michelle of RuPaul's Drag Race
Alexis Michelle of RuPaul’s Drag Race | Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

The two discussed the impact Disney and theater had on them growing up

Before introducing their guests from Broadway, Nina West and Alexis Michelle shared a few clips provided by Disney of their intricate live performances. From The Little Mermaid to Beauty and the Beast to Frozen, each musical told a different story and taught a different lesson.

“I feel it was falling in love with the theater that helped me imagine,” Alexis Michelle said.

“It was the storytelling that allowed you to dream and escape and maybe even think about a different situation that you might find yourself in then maybe where you were currently,” replied Nina West.

“That’s true for so many of us in drag. It’s a place to retreat to, a place of solace, but it’s also a place that you can sort of come out and be very public with and very proud about,” said Alexis Michelle. The drag queen even had a chance to sing a song from Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. Then, a few exciting faces joined the RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni on the stage.

The panel included many Broadway stars, including Bradley Gibson, Noah J. Ricketts, and Michael James Scott

Aside from their own experience with Broadway, the drag queens invited Broadway actors to their stage. That includes Alyssa Fox of Frozen, Bradley Gibson from The Lion King, Noah J. Ricketts from Frozen, and Michael James Scott from Aladdin. Each shared stories from their time on the stage, mentioning makeup moments and even on-stage mishaps.

Tickets for Aladdin, The Lion King, and Frozen on Broadway are available for purchase on their respective websites.