Song, dance, magic and lip-syncing were all staples of the second annual Win Place Home Cabaret on Sunday, held at the organization’s ranch and stables in Canyon Country.
Win Place Home is a retirement home for race horses that transitions them into other roles such as being a ranch or trail horse, and its annual Cabaret is its cornerstone fundraiser. The event was hosted by Luke “The Dingo” Trembath and featured some star power such as comedian Jason Ellis and former improv comedian, of MADtv fame, Debra Wilson.
Wilson, who now mostly does voiceover work, gave a spoken word poem centered around the importance of animal equality and said although she doesn’t publicly perform anymore, fundraisers for animals are always an exception.
“Oh yeah, this was a no brainer,” said Wilson. “What is there not [to like about horses]? I don’t like horses, I love horses. Name one thing you don’t like about horses.”
C.J. Wilson, founder of Win Place Home and organizer of the cabaret, said she was happy to see the event grow since its last occurrence and said the money is going toward a great cause.
“We’re gonna raise money tonight for the retired racehorses, the horses that are on our property and to help bring in more horses off the track. So the more money we have, the more horses we can save,” said Wilson. “We help them find their little spark in life and then go find them homes in that second career.”
One of the owners of a horse at Win Place Home, Lauren Johnson, said that she loves the program and that the trainers are great with her horse, Kili. Johnson said Kili raced once and finished in last place, but even though Kili’s destiny may not have been to be a racehorse, she was a good horse regardless.
“Everyone here is great. I mean, I love giving my time to volunteer here for Win Place Home. Everyone’s great. CJ is great, all of the volunteers are great, all of the courses are great. Like there’s nothing bad to say about them at all,” said Johnson.
After a couple of songs, a comedy act, Wilson’s spoken word, and storytelling performance came the much-anticipated lip-sync battle between The Dutchess Trixie Lamare (Seth Austin) and Mulana Del Rey (Stephen Oyoung).
A lip-sync battle, popularized by the drag-themed television show “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” is when two queens (in drag) compete for the audience’s approval by lip-syncing. There were two categories for the audience to vote for: Best Sparkle and Best Sunshine. Lamare ended up taking the former award and Del Rey took the latter.
Following the lip-sync battle was a magic performance by Matt Felten and Ellis’ comedy act followed by more musical performances. The audience laughed, cheered, and seemed to enjoy it all.