Tonight, the Cocktail Revue will host Sultry Summer Strumpets, one of the few shows you'll see in the city for $5 that's high on class and low on clothing. The show features a sensuous, lust-inducing drag performance from the lovely Oscar Wildchilde (pictured) and other beautiful drag bods like Miss Mary Wanna, Candy Mayhem, Bianca Dupree and Bravissimo Burlesque's Miss Rose. 10 p.m., $5, Rogue's Gallery Bar, 11 S. 21st St., 215-561-1193. Confim on Facebook.
The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus (PGMC) humbly began with four men singing carols in gay bars. Since then, the organization has grown into the premiere men’s chorus in the Philadelphia region, boasting a roster of over 100 members and myriad milestones. Tomorrow at 8 p.m., PGMC is celebrating three decades of history and achievements with "Legacy: Celebrating 30 Years Towards Harmony," a concert that aims to showcase the best of the group through a variety of songs, at Prince Music Theater (1412 Chesnut St., 215-731-9230).
The artistic director for the event, Joe Buches, explains, “We are always looking to reach new audiences [through] a varied repertoire, it is my goal to have music that will speak to many people.” His eclectic song selection will include choral classics like “Brothers, Sing On” and “Hallelujah, Amen,” as well as contemporary fare from Madonna and the Disney musical Newsies.
Legacy also marks the world premiere of “Raise Our Voice,” a newly commissioned work with lyrics by the Equality Forum's Chip Alfred and music by Michael Djupstrom. Alfred wrote the lyrics after conducting a series of interviews with PGMC members and listening to their stories. It is a piece that “speaks to the history of the Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus and why it was formed” and a testament to why the organization “continues to remain strong after 30 years.”
With every Pride Parade comes an eclectic mix of outfits and costumes. Some are completely outrageous, some are painstakingly elaborate and others are endearing for their simplicity. Whatever the case, here is a small sampling of the interesting looks at this year's festivities.
For those who love stomping through Center City, the Pride Parade is only one chance to do so this weekend. The other is Philly Dyke March 2012, which will pound the pavement beginning at 3 p.m. in Kahn Park (11th and Pine streets) tomorrow. An annual event, the Dyke March gathers lesbians to protest against the domination of male voices amongst the LGBT populace.
Organizer Morgan Levine of Stimulus Productions hopes to “reach a record number of attendees this year,” setting the bar at 750. While allies have always been invited to the rally beforehand, she mentions this year they are now welcome to march along in unity. Planners behind the march come from a wide variety of lesbians spanning numerous cultural backgrounds, and hope the makeup of the protest will reflect this diversity. Club Adesso (10 p.m., $7, 1519 Walnut St.) will give marchers the chance to cool down afterward with a party thrown by Stimulus.
Philly's favorite balls-to-the-wall drag comedy troupe will present their performances through a different medium starting this weekend. The Light Room Gallery (2024 Wallace St.) will host a photographic retrospective of the most memorable performances and antics of the Dumpsta' Players, starting June 3 and running through June 30.
The Players you know and love for their satirical and outrageous acts will be celebrated with the work of five Philadelphia photographers. Gregory Carafelli, Jason Colflesh, John Donges, Tom Sheeder Jr. and Al Wachlin Jr. will all exhibit photos displaying 15 years of the group's standout performances and backstage moments.
For extra credit, check out episodes of their shows on Comcast 66 and Verizon Fios 29/30 on Tue., June 5 at midnight and Fri. - Sat. June-8-9 at 11 p.m.
Spice up your First Friday with a heavy dash of drag, a hot kick of carnies and a side of storytelling, stunts and debauch at Thank Goddess it’s OMG!: Dueling Divas Sing Live. This will be the sixth time around for the variety show, each one offering a new cast of entertainers.
This month’s show is presented by The Notorious OMG, known for inducing reactions appropriate to his/her name. The Goddess Isis will be singing, dancing and chatting over chicken with the audience, (you’ll see). And there will be performances by Anessa LaRae, Serena Starr and Missy Mary Wanna. Pay the cover and the first drink is on the house.
10 p.m., $10, Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar, 200 S. 12th St., 215-964-9675.
Just got word that a couple new queer parties will be starting in the next few weeks:
On Sat., May 12, Ashley Gagnon and Karina McIntyre will premiere Pulse, a two-level dance and lounge soiree at Smokin' Betty's (116 S. 11th St., 215-922-6500) at 10 p.m. Former Scene and Stimulus turntablist DJ Kash will provide the (mostly house) tunes. Don't get too comfy at this one, though. Word is it's meant to serve as a teaser for a recurring monthly jam that's starting in August. Admission is $5.
On Thu., May 17, slick Indian eatery Tashan (777 S. Broad St., 267-687-2170) will open its doors for Desilicious, a new third-Thursday bash that benefits a different LGBTQ charity each month. More of a mix-and-mingle affair than a hardcore rager, the evening will feature food and drink specials starting at 7 p.m. For a taste of what kind of nibbles you can expect, check out CP food critic Adam Erace's review.
Josh Middleton on the LGBTQ scene.
Gay birds of a feather may flock together, but that doesn't mean they always get the chance to work together. And local performance artist Lance Pawling thinks that's a damn shame. So the longtime Dumpsta Players performer decided to gather a bunch of his gifted friends and "harness their talents into a single event": A Merkin Dream Cabaret.
Named for a hair piece Victorian women wore on their hoo-has so their "wigs would match the carpet," Pawling describes Merkin as a cabaret-styled evening of sketch comedy and standup mixed with drag ("and anti-drag") performances. Corralled by hot-mess MC Messapotamia LeFae, the eleven performers include the evening's co-producer and local comedian Alejandro Morales, who'll perform drag as Shenanigans Hannigan; standup comedians Val Temple and R. Eric Thomas; and Murmuration, a "musical improv" trio comprised of Russell Kotcher (violin), Andrew Marsh (keyboard, vocals) and Eric Coyne (cello).
Pawling says he'll also present his newest drag persona, Alaya Richmin, that he explains is "more classy" than his usual alter ego, the über-sexed and just plain raunchy Nueva Gabor (pictured). Oh, and he promises a steady supply of merkins that people can try on throughout the show. Ewwwww!
Sat., Feb. 4, 7 p.m., $7, Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar, 200 S. 12th St., 215-964-9675, tabuphilly.com.
Photo by John Donges
All week, Philadelphia Improv Theater’s first-annual QComedy Festival has featured a slew of local comedic acts, but on Saturday it wraps up with a funny little visitor from L.A. Gay comedian Alec Mapa, who’s acted in LGBTQ-adoring sitcoms like Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty, sat down to chat with me about his rough-and-tumble beginnings, how being a dad has changed his comedy and what his co-star Vanessa Williams is really like behind the scenes …
City Paper: How did you get your start as an entertainer?
Alec Mapa: I grew up in San Francisco and was kind of a bad kid. I was a big stoner in high school: drama and cutting class were the only things I paid attention to. But I had a teacher who [encouraged me to pursue theater]. After graduation, I applied to NYU and got in. The first job I got was in M. Butterfly. Then I didn’t work for three years, because no one knew what to do with me. So I started doing standup and that got me sitcom work.
CP: Do you always play gay characters?
AM: Not always. I played a director in a Disney Channel movie that aired this summer. I wasn’t really anything, but my energy was definitely gay.
CP: What are some of the topics you like to cover in your standup act?
AM: My husband and I went from being two gay guys with no responsibility to being full-time parents to a five-year-old. So that’s a lot of material. There’s no kind of parenting manual that will prepare you for how much these things poop and pee. We used to have this beautiful gay guy’s bathroom — it was like a spa at the Four Seasons. But now it’s like a Porta-Potty at Mardi Gras. But I also talk about gay stuff — dick jokes and fart jokes. There’s a lot of gay people who don’t like kids, but they can come to my show and laugh, too. I’m here to make you laugh not make you pregnant.
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