SLAMDANCE 2020 FILM REVIEW! Before watching Queen of the Capital, you’d have no reason to suspect Daniel Hays, a middle-aged man who resides in Washington D.C. and works as a Department of Labor official, would harness the superpower of a drag queen. But he does wield this faculty with vivacity, zest, and philanthropy. By day, Daniel Hays is a white-collar worker who works in a cubicle, but by night, Hays puts on his prismatic battle armor and becomes his fierce alter-ego: Muffy Blake Stephyns.
“…follows drag queen Muffy Blake Stephyns through her year-long campaign to be elected as Empress of the Imperial Court of D.C.”
Muffy is a very active member of the Imperial Court of Washington, D.C., a renowned LGBT organization that specializes in raising money for LGBTQ-inspired charities. Being a member of the Imperial Court means you are given a sophisticated title, perhaps even a crown or tiara. The building blocks of the Imperial Court are founded on magnanimity and charity. It also just so happens that every member of the court dresses like royalty, and they’re given specific titles and duties, depending on how much time and work they spent perpetuating the goals of the Imperial Court. From the looks of it, the group is made up of an older generation.
Josh Davidsburg’s lively, debut documentary, Queen of the Capital, follows drag queen Muffy Blake Stephyns through her year-long campaign to be elected as Empress of the Imperial Court of D.C. In the course of Muffy’s journey, we visit the Academy of Washington to view the city’s drag culture, we become part of a glorious Pride parade, and we soon come to resonate with Muffy’s connection to the Imperial Court. All of Muffy’s greatest struggles and aspirations are on display.
"…Hays puts on his prismatic battle armor and becomes his fierce alter-ego: Muffy Blake Stephyns."