July 29, 2021

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Early LGBTQ+ Community Comes to Life on Stage

INDIANAPOLIS — Long before there was RuPaul, there was the Jewel Box Revue. This legendary, gender-bending performance troupe will come to life when Klein & Alvarez Productions, LLC presents “Jewel Box Revue 2022” at IndyFringe Theatre Festival in downtown Indianapolis over three weekends, August 18-September 4.

From World War II to the Stonewall Uprising, the Jewel Box Revue toured North America, from big cities to small, dazzling mostly straight audiences. Elevating drag to an art form, they created one of the earliest LGBTQ+ communities.

“I saw the Jewel Box Revue in its waning days in the early 70s at Finnochio’s, the famous drag club in San Francisco,” said director Tom Alvarez. “I never forgot the experience of seeing these gifted artists performing those lavish numbers. The illusion they created as female impersonators was flawless.”

This affectionate, Fringe Fest homage to queer artists will feature Keith Potts, a City-County Councilor representing District 2, as well as Kelsey VanVoorst, Jim Melton, Isaiah Moore, Ervin Gainer, Xavier Medina, and Jade Perry. The performers will sing live vocals, accompanied by a trio of musicians, with music director Dustin Klein on piano, Galen Morris on bass, and Matthew Dupree on drums.

“With the popularity of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race,’ drag is mainstream,” said Klein. “So, when my producing partner Tom and I were brainstorming ideas for this year’s Fringe, we felt the timing was perfect for a tribute to this history-making company, who helped pry open the closet door.”

“Jewel Box Revue 2022” at IndyFringe Festival


Thursday, Aug.18, 7:15 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 19, 7:15 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 27, 3:30 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 28, 12:00 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 1, 7:15 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 2, 9:00 p.m.

Venue 4, The District Theatre, 627 Mass Ave., Indianapolis

Tickets are $20 for adults and $14 for students and can be purchased at

In 2017, Klein & Alvarez Productions, LLC debuted Magic Thread Cabaret, with its mission of “Connecting Songs to the Soul,” to provide financial support and exposure to emerging and established artists. Recent highlights include the sell-out shows, “Cory Lingner: Just a ‘Dancer,’” “Katy Gentry: Judy Garland LIVE!” and the virtual production, “La La Love,” which BroadwayWorld recognized as “Best Streaming Concert/Cabaret” in 2021.

Dustin Klein and Tom Alvarez’s artistic partnership began when they produced the best-selling show of IndyFringe Festival 2016, “Calder, The Musical.” They turned that workshop presentation into a full-length musical in January 2017 and are currently working to present the show in other markets. Other IndyFringe successes include “Broadway’s Leading Ladies: A Tribute,” the second best-selling show of 2018, and “Les Chanteuses,” named “Best Cabaret” in 2019. Most recently, the pair produced the bilingual revue “Cabaret Latino: Songs of the Americas” for the 2021 Fringe Festival.

Magic Thread Cabaret is fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas, the New York-based nonprofit technology company that provides business tools for artists. The producers wish to thank the following donors for their gifts that made this production possible:

Primary Sponsor
Mike and Jeanne Dinius


David and Christopher Murray

Roger Schmelzer and Lucinda Phillips

Diane Meyer Simon
C. Gregory and Dr. Jeanine Childs
Liz Glover
Joseph Hayes Lilley and Charles Wetli

Jeffrey Brinkman and Michael Schaefer

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