Kiddie choirs. Children’s piano recitals. And a full-on, erotic drag show complete with gyrations, tongue gymnastics and a flashed G-string.
Families at a Manhattan public school talent show got an unexpected lesson in human sexuality when a grown man took the stage in a black, sequined dress and flaming red wig and performed a raunchy drag number where he grinded the stage and spread his legs.
The official public school Learning Expo held May 25 in an auditorium at the Museo del Barrio was billed as a talent show for students from across Manhattan’s District 4 to show off what they learned in school.
But at the end of the two-hour event, parents and kids as young as 5 were shocked when a man identified as Public School 96 Parent Association President Frankie Quinones took the stage and did an explicit lip-synch performance of a song by the campy 1980’s Puerto Rican music sensation Iris Chacón.
“People were horrified,” said Raquel Morales, who was at the event with her son, a fifth-grader who attends a public school in District 4. “It looked like a nightclub performance. I’ve been asking for an apology from the district for the last week, and they’ve been ignoring it.”
Morales said about 200 families at the evening talent show took in student art and writing exhibits from schools across the district, including Public School 83, River East Elementary School and PS 96.
The parents sat through endearing performances by children who took the stage and played the piano and drums and sang for the student performance portion of the event, which District 4 Superintendent Alexandra Estrella emceed.
Then, parents said, Estrella introduced the final act of the night, billed on the event flyer as a “Special Surprise Performance!”
At that moment, Quinones, who parents said performs in drag clubs around the city, took the stage in a sparkly black dress and pumps and began to shake his hips as a slinky Iris Chacón mambo blared from the public address system.
Parents said families’ laughter turned to disbelief and then dismay as Quinones opened his mouth and exercised his tongue in a suggestive manner while lip-syncing the Chacón number.
Then he dropped to the ground and began to writhe on floor. He rolled onto his back, spread his long legs and flashed his white underwear to the shrinking crowd.
Morales’ 10-year-old son, J.D., said he was uncomfortably surprised by what he saw.
“I saw her doing things like sticking her legs out and shaking her bottom and it felt weird,” said the boy. “I don’t know why they would do that for an elementary school.”
A PS 96 parent who requested anonymity, for fear of reprisal against her children, said she blamed Estrella and PS 96 Principal David Pretto.
“I left the show the minute he started sticking his tongue out. I had my children with me and I wasn’t going to allow them to see that,” the irate mom said. “It was a very poor presentation of Iris Chacón, anyway. She was not like that.”
Pretto declined to comment at the school and neither he nor and Estrella responded to requests for comment. Quinones couldn’t be reached.
Education Department spokesman Michael Aciman said school officials haven’t faced disciplinary action over the mini drag show.
“The performance was inappropriate and the school has spoken with the parent,” Aciman said. With Chelsia Rose Marcius.