For the very first time, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra welcomes a drag performer

The Windsor Symphony Orchestra (WSO) is trying something new – they’re bringing in a drag performer.

Randy Roberts will be on stage at the WSO this weekend for Cabaret Night with Randy Roberts.

Maestro Robert Franz said he had the idea to invite Roberts to perform after seeing him in a show in Florida.

“It was amazing. I was just kind of blown away by this guy. Talented, amazing singer, amazing artist. I love the way he worked in the piece,” Franz said.

Franz approached Roberts after the show, asking if he had ever performed with an orchestra before.

“He gave me his card, and I know he looked at me like, ‘I’m never going to see that guy again’… And so we called him a few months later and said, ‘ Hey, we’d love to have you sing along with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra. We’ve never done this before. Let’s go.”

WATCH | Take a look at the WSO cabaret night with Randy Roberts:

Windsor Symphony Orchestra’s first drag performance

For the first time, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra presents a show with an impersonator.

Roberts has performed coast-to-coast in the United States and even performed on America has talent. In drag, Roberts impersonates Cher and Carol Channing, to name a few.

“I only invite and put in front of the symphony people who have real talent,” Franz said. “And we’re not talking about a drag queen who lip-syncs, we’re talking about a singer who was on America’s Got Talentwho is actually a truly phenomenal talent, a singer.”

Empty theater seats and a stage with empty chairs and two seated men.
Cabaret Night with Randy Roberts will take place on November 12 and 13 at the Capitol Theater in Windsor. (Jason Viau/CBC)

Roberts said there had been a lot of positive feedback about the Windsor shows ahead of time.

“I get messages online from people saying ‘I can’t believe you’re coming here, we’ve got our tickets.’ And it’s good that these are people I don’t think I’ve been in contact with in the past,” he said.

The show will have something for everyone, Roberts said,

“And anyone worried that my show is too much? I’ve had people of all ages, all genders, religious leaders, I’ve had priests, rabbis, nuns [come to my shows] … I’m sort of the catwalk drag show,” he said.

Franz says the show fits the WSO’s goal.

“Our mission is very simple. It’s to connect people through music and the deal is that we connect everyone and not just certain people,” he said.

Cabaret night with Randy Roberts will take place on November 12 and 13 and tickets can be purchased online at the WSO website.

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