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Marc-Andre Fleury, and also drag queens, take in Aguilera’s Strip opener

Updated June 2, 2019 - 2:25 pm

This was bound to happen in Las Vegas.

As Marc-Andre Fleury stood on the red carpet talking of a rare date night with his wife, Veronique, a guy dressed convincingly as Britney Spears stood just a few feet away, posing for photos.

He was Derrick Barry, late of “Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas” and now a top touring performer.

The carpet wasn’t really red, but purple, celebrating the first night of Christina Aguilera’s “XPerience” residency at Zappos Theater.

What Fleury and Barry have in common, aside from nothing at all, is they are the very best at what they do. They were among the fans filing into “XPerience” on Friday night. The Fleurys were joined by teammate Deryk Engelland and his wife, Melissa. Drag queens Coco Montrese and Shannel from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” – for which Aguilera served as a judge – were also sashaying across the carpet. Larry Edwards, another cast member from “Divas” sometimes seen as Tina Turner or Beyonce, donned his “Hot Chocolate” gown and towering silver headpiece.

And not to go unnoticed, singer/actress Erika Jayne of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” posed in front of Aguilera’s bedazzled image in a loose-fitting, gold-plaid number.

Fleury, meantime, was just in street clothes, sort of bemused by it all. I asked the veteran goalie and Vegas fan favorite if he is backing either the Boston Bruins or St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup Final. He said he had no particular interest after the San Jose Sharks were eliminated, adding, “I’m not watching full games, but I’m a big hockey fan and we’ll see what happens. It’s good hockey to watch.”

Otherwise, the couple are focusing energy on baby James Fleury, born March 22. “Mostly right now I’ve been home so much with the newborn, trying to help out, and I’m back in the gym and getting my summer workout already.”

Separately, Barry says he’s touring extensively, busier than ever as the real Britney deals with health concerns and her ongoing conservatorship saga.

“I’m doing Britney all around the world right now,” says Barry, joined by drag partner Nebraska. “I still live in Las Vegas, but I’m honestly on the road every weekend in another city.”

Barry’s next Vegas production is “Drag Queen Cuisine” at B Side at House of Blues. It’s a mix of drag performances and food (drawing from the title here) which Barry co-hosts with Toni James. The show runs six performances from July 27-Aug. 10. At this point, it is the only place to see Britney on the Strip.

The ‘Divas’ fallout

If anything, the splintering of the “Divas” cast after the show closed last June has created opportunities for cast members elsewhere. Edwards was a highlight in the show during its eight-year run at Imperial Palace and Linq Hotel, and for 20 years in “Evening At La Cage” at the Riviera. Today he is a regular performer at Piranha Nightclub, and in the Drag Brunch lineup at Senor Frog’s, which runs 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Edwards is done with “Divas” in Las Vegas, regardless of where that show might land, saying, “I’m traveling. Travelling the world and being a diva on the road.”

Oh that video

Edwards posted a video of Aguilera calling out, “Yes, Patti! Yes!” from the stage. Who’s Patti? Aguilera was actually calling out Edwards, who had switched to a Patti LaBelle-fashioned headpiece for the show. Linq Hotel magician headliner Mat Franco shot that clip. Franco shared his self-named venue with the “Divas” show for a couple of years, and was seated near Edwards near the stage during Aguilera’s opener.


The person who looks like Janet Jackson at Piranha Nightclub, probably is.

Jackson has three times visited the alternative nightspot at 4633 Paradise Road (just across the strip mall where Double Down is located), including Memorial Day Weekend. She can get in and out easily without being hassled, and loves the club’s entertainers. The club celebrates its 13th anniversary next Friday and Saturday. Jackson’s “Evolution” is not performed that weekend, but anticipation is intensifying — intensifying, I tell you! — that she’ll visit the club anyway.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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