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When You Wish Upon A Visa

by Steve Desroches

When Miss Conception hit Commercial Street dressed as Ursula the Sea Witch from Disney’s The Little Mermaid, she didn’t quite know what to expect. This was one of her first times “barking,” the age-old Provincetown tradition of promoting shows in the same fashion as sideshows were promoted at state fairs and oceanside boardwalks like those in Coney Island and Atlantic City about a century ago. It survives here because it works. But it only works if you can grab people’s attention, which is hard to do on Commercial Street, where there is so much flash and sparkle to compete with. But as Miss Conception swung her tentacles around in front of the Art House, she conjured a little Provincetown magic, as before her eyes a gaggle of bears on their way to tea dance appeared all dressed as Ariel, red hair and green fish tails to boot. Miss Conception was home.

Born and raised in Toronto, Miss Conception’s journey to Provincetown began on Church Street, the heart of the Canadian city’s gayborhood, where she became the toast of the town with her all-live singing show in a scene full of lip-synching queens. Her success landed her a gig at the Palm Cabaret and Bar in the gay hotspot of Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, where many drag queens and other performers on the LGBT circuit perform each winter, including a large number who entertain in Provincetown each summer. And proof that the camaraderie of Provincetown’s performers is very real, Miss Conception landed a gig in town, which is no easy feat, thanks to fellow Art House drag queen Varla Jean Merman and musician Zoe Lewis, who raved about her to producer and artistic director Mark Cortale after seeing her perform in Puerta Vallarta. After spending $10,000 on an immigration lawyer and fees, her visa application, which stated occupation as “female impersonator,” was finally approved, allowing her to lampoon beloved Disney characters in the United States.

“It’s been my dream to come to Provincetown for so long,” says Miss Conception, otherwise known as Kevin Levesque. “Everyone assumes I’d rather be on RuPaul’s Drag Race, which would be great, but this is where you want to be. It’s very hard to get here! When I met Varla she asked me, ‘How come you’ve never been to Provincetown?’ I said ‘Because none of you ever die!’ He wasn’t threatened at all. He just wanted to give another performer a chance. I cried and called my mother when I got the booking.”

Since her show Forbidden Diznee (so named to throw of any Disney lawyers) debuted just before the Fourth of July, Miss Conception has made a definitive splash, something that is hard to do in this town your first summer, especially without appearing on RuPaul’s Drag Race, which is guaranteed to bring in a larger audience. But when it comes to drag queens, Provincetown is a discerning locale that can recognize talent. And whether she’s Ursula or Tinkerbell zipping along on green glitter roller skates, Miss Conception’s antics on Commercial Street are just a snippet of what’s in store when she hits the stage at the Art House.

As Levesque moves about one of the Art House dressing rooms, he waves his hand at his costume rack that shimmers, as each is head-to-toe sequins. Forbidden Diznee is a decidedly adult affair, though since getting here he’s reconsidered and calls it PG-13, as parents seem unfazed as their children hear jokes about Mary Poppers and spoonfuls of cocaine. Full of laughs and live-singing, Forbidden Diznee is also a visual feast, as this “female delusionist” changes costumes nine times before your eyes, adding some enchantment to this naughty, but nice trip to an alternative Disneyland, or Dizneeland to avoid any lawsuits. Each evening as Miss Conception hits the stage, she is wearing seven costumes, gliding with ease from characters like Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians singing “Who Let the Dogs Out?” to Elsa from Frozen singing “Let It Go,” with special added sound effects, as this version is about eating a bad taco in Mexico.

“I basically tell people, ‘Let me f**k up your childhood memories,’” says Levesque. “I love to see people’s eyes light up when I change costumes. I also love those people who try to avoid making eye contact with me. How can you not look at me?! I’m dressed like a big f**king octopus!”

Miss Conception presents Forbidden Diznee at the Art House, 214 Commercial St., Provincetown, Saturdays through Tuesdays until September 9 at 9:30 p.m. Tickets ($30 general/$40 VIP) are available at the box office and online at For more information call 508.487.9222.

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Graphic Artist

Ginger Mountain

Ginger Mountain (MS Communications Media, BA Fine Arts/Teaching Certification K-12) has been part of the graphic design team at Provincetown Magazine since 2008. Ginger has worked as a creative director, individual contractor, and freelance designer with clients representing many areas —business software, consumer products, professional services, entertainment, and network hardware to name just a few — providing creative layout and development of a wide range of print media content. Her clients ranged from small local businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, from New Hampshire to Georgia

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