It’s been three years since Taylor native and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum Mrs. Kasha Davis first shared the story of her ascension to drag diva in a one-woman show that pays homage to her Northeast Pennsylvania roots.
Since then, the Riverside Junior-Senior High School and Marywood University graduate has returned to Scranton numerous times to wow local audiences with the stage persona that has earned her a loyal fanbase around the world.
This weekend marks another homecoming for Davis, who will present an updated version of “There’s Always Time for a Cocktail” on Friday, Feb. 1, at POSH at the Scranton Club. The 90-minute show, which begins at 8 p.m., serves as a partial fundraiser for Ballet Theatre of Scranton, where Davis (then known by the given name Ed Popil) got her start in dance.
The new version of her cabaret-style performance updates those in attendance on everything that has happened in the years since she first enjoyed breakout success following her television appearances on the RuPaul-hosted reality show. Since then, Davis has traveled across the states and to numerous other countries to perform, finally making drag her full-time work (with support from her husband, Steven, who helps behind-the-scenes at shows).
“Thankfully, as life would have it, things continue to evolve and change in terms of my story,” Davis said. “When I first started doing drag, it was a lot about impersonation and lip synch, but after doing ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race,’ I started seeing how many girls do cabaret.
“With my background in theater at Marywood and dance at Ballet Theatre, I started doing this. It tells my coming-out story and my coming-to-accept-and-genuinely-love-myself story,” she said, adding with a laugh, “Shout out to Schiff’s meat market and Old Forge pizza, because of course they had to be in there.”
This isn’t the first time Davis has donated to Ballet Theatre, but it’s a generosity she’s happy to continue extending to the studio, which was formative to the development of her drag character and the person she became offstage as well.
“They really taught me the first lesson of just being myself. I was a little ashamed to admit how much I loved dancing,” Davis said. “When I started with their production of ‘The Nutcracker,’ they helped me find how to move and be proud of the way my body moved.
“Between there and Marywood, those foundations of working hard and developing characterization, plus strong friendships, were built and are still going to this day.”
Davis noted that some of her biggest supporters hail from her hometown and high school, and not just at shows but also on social media, where she has grown her audience and expanded her outreach to other LGBTQ+ people. She recalled the watershed moment that occurred last year when her father attended one of her drag performances in Scranton for the first time, just a few months before he died.
“Even though it’s 2019 and it’s mainstream to do drag or come out, people still have to face those demons with their families. If I can provide an example, then I’m doing something that wasn’t done for me,” Davis said. “It just wasn’t the way it was back then.”
Davis even went on to write a children’s book called “Little Eddie P. Wants to be a Star,” a semi-autobiographical story about a unique youngster who longs to be in the spotlight. She regularly reads to kids during Drag Story Hour in Rochester, New York, where she lives. It all comes down to helping families understand how to greet someone who’s different with kindness and tolerance, and shifting outdated attitudes of intolerance.
It’s not entirely lost on her then, the irony that she portrays a tongue-in-cheek version of a stereotypical 1950s housewife when in drag.
“I’m proud to be an example — some people call it ‘basic’ — of that traditional life, that old-school drag, that shows real-life scenarios,” Davis said.