Photo by Sarah Bennett
As Long Beach both mourned the death and celebrated the life of La Mariposa del Barrio, Jenni Rivera, who tragically passed one year ago yesterday, the drag queen community of Long Beach opted for pure celebration by paying tribute to the Mexican-American songstress and legend.
As part of Hamburger Mary’s first day open to the public, Margarita Mondays—the weekly Latin drag show created by drag staple Jewels of Long Beach that has been home to Mary’s for over a year now—dedicated the vast majority of the first show in their new home to La Diva de la Banda.
The voice of Jenni rang throughout the new space as five queens—host Bella, Ms. Luna, Mia Farrow, Roxy D’Valle, and professional Jenni drag veteran Jacqueline Valdez—graced the giant wooden floor for the packed crowd, adorned in elaborate, colorful get-ups that would make any Rivera fan gush with pride and adoration.
“Dedicating our performance to Jenni… It was challenge,” said Margarita Mondays host Bella Farrow. “But at the same time, it’s my dream come true. The purpose of the dedication to her was mainly to continue her legacy. After all, for me, she was a strong woman that fought for her dreams—the same way that I am for mine and I feel with that she deserved to be honored in that way.”
Though other Jenni hits like “Paloma Negra” and “Ya Lo Se” painted the evening, the ultimate moment of the night belonged to Valdez’s finale: performing “Cuanda Meure una Dama”—the poignant song Jenni wrote about what she wished for when she died—the crowd’s vibe escalated to a peak.
Pongan atención mi gente les tengo una petición/ parecerá diferente al escucharlo en mi voz/ les cantare mis deseo al dejarme en el panteón/ también las mujeres mueren y yo quiero celebración…
Listening to Jenni’s request—to pay attention, to hear her voice, to celebrate life—dollar bills flew onto the stage and teary-eyed onlookers even raised themselves from their seats to offer the performer both applause and hugs.
Not only was the night fit for a queen, it was fit for Long Beach’s own queen, the Diva de la Playa Larga.
Support our journalism.
Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.