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The (drag) queen of lucha libre is coming to Santa Fe

SANTA FE, N.M. — O.M.G.! (The periods are in there so you’ll say it slowly.)

Santa Fe might be on its way to totally shedding its mantle of artsy fustiness. The drag queen of lucha libre is coming to town.

Yes, Cassandro, also known as Saul Armendariz, is going mano-a-mano (watch the fingernails, dear) with five other luchaderos for a lot of grappling and grunting on the opening night of the AHA Festival of Progressive Arts in the Santa Fe Railyard Sept. 13-14. The Saturday night show of Mexican wrestling, spiced by the exotic costume of its exoticos, will be at El Museo Cultural.

Coincidentally, Cassandro is the subject of a major story in the Sept. 1 New Yorker. (Wait a minute — does that mean he has now entered the realm of fustiness?) He talks about growing up gay in El Paso/Ciudad Juarez (while putting on green-glitter eyeshadow), kicking “hetero butt,” getting stabbed by an old woman while he was fighting her hero, attempting suicide, winning the world lightweight championship, hitting bottom and rebounding with a mystical mix of Catholicism and Native spiritual practice.

His dark blond hair is swept into what he calls a “Farrah Fawcett look,” according to author William Finnegan.


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He has actually wrestled at the Louvre, the article says. (Mona Lisa was a tough opponent.)

And now, El Museo. Put on your colorful Spandez, false eyelashes, and get on out there. ¡Que viva!