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‘A Night at Switch n’ Play’ Film Review: Transgressive Drag Outshines Pedestrian Doc Direction

A subversive property fully integrated into mainstream consciousness, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” has popularized the inherently defiant, shape-shifting art of drag even among audiences outside of the Lgbtq community. Though its legacy of visibility is undeniable, it’s also true that it’s sanitized drag for basic cable. Hitting such a level of exposure was bound to limit its audacity.

In 2006, three years before the first episode of that VH1 show aired, the Switch n’ Play drag collective was established in Brooklyn to provide queer artists a welcoming platform to engage with their gender identities through performance. Clocking in at just a few minutes over an hour, director Cody Stickels’ proficient documentary, “A Night at Switch n’ Play,” harnesses a typical evening at the Branded Saloon in Prospect Heights, where the group regularly puts on their show, as a framing device for an introduction to each of its members.

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