Comedian and actor

Comedian and actor moves wig shop to Edgewater Drive

February 15, 2022

Ritzy Rags Wigs & More is a beloved shop that’s graced Mills 50 since the 1990s. Now it’s Edgewater Drive’s turn!

Leigh Shannon, the shop’s owner, an acclaimed actor, comedian and impersonator, is moving Ritzy Rags to 1833 Edgewater Dr. this month.

“This shop is going to bring more diversity to Edgewater Drive,” Shannon said. “Our customers range from church mimes, cross-dressers, dancers from the Russian Ballet, chemotherapy patients and just everyday people who are experiencing hair loss.”

The shop will feature wigs, makeup, bags, costumes and accessories. It also has a space for rent in the back for private parties and gatherings. The grand opening will be on Sunday, April 18, with free giveaways, food, special sales and a stilt walker.

But the Ritzy Rags Wigs & More shop isn’t the only aspect that will add a character to the Drive.

Shannon plans to liven up College Park’s downtown by partnering with local restaurants to offer dinner shows and drag bingo to the public. He lives in College Park and wants to contribute to the area.

Shannon’s career as a performer spans 25 years. He’s played lead roles in movies like “My Fair Lidy,” “Missy’s Musical Misadventure” and the most recent short film “More Than a Game.” He performs regularly at Hamburger Mary’s in downtown Orlando and also had a show in The Villages, directing, writing and casting for his own productions.

“But I think the most fascinating work that Leigh has done is for the people battling cancer,” Susan Whitney said. Whitney is a cast member at “Leigh Shannon’s Cabaret Dinner Show” at Hamburger Mary’s. The two have worked together for 12 years.

Shannon lost his mother to cancer. She, like many, lost her hair during chemotherapy. Shannon remembers going to wig stores for help but only finding wigs for the elderly at the stores in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. None of them did justice to what he described as his mother’s “big and beautiful” hair.

“When I help cancer patients get wigs … I’m doing for them what I couldn’t do for my mother,” Shannon said.

“I’m working on a book,” Shannon also said. “Did you know my sister’s Black, my dad’s a Klansman, and I’m a drag queen?” He said he’s thinking about naming it this. The book is a raw account of some of life’s toughest complexities and Shannon’s journey through them.

Shannon’s story is as unique as the shop itself: His father being a member of the Ku Klux Klan; his coming of age as a gay man in Louisville, Kentucky, in the ’70s; all the repercussions that it came with; and the discovery of his African American soothsaying sister less than a decade ago.

The book is set to release sometime next year.

In the meantime, Shannon will continue to offer his products and productions to fans and cast members, so that “for an hour and a half they can forget that COVID exists.”

“Leigh Shannon has an amazing talent,” said Dr. Caroline Smith, a fan who has attended many of the shows and also refers cancer patients to the shop. “He makes people feel that they’ve regained a piece of themselves, which they thought they had lost.”

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