“As prayers were set to begin, an elderly Jewish woman entered, her dress shimmering in the candlelight, her blond bouffant framing the accentuated makeup around her eyes. It was Mr. Lau-Lavie dressed in drag as an incarnation of Esther, the biblical Queen of Persia.

“Drag in its best is court jester,” Mr. Lau-Lavie said. “People are so ambivalent about religion, I thought this was a way to do it.”

Mr. Pollack watched in awe. “It was definitely comic,” he said. Indeed Mr. Lau-Lavie was a hit with many that year.

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The 10th of Tevet: A Different Meaning ("In God's Name" on December 16th)
Madrid 2011