“It’s all about role-playing, isn’t it?” says William Way spokesperson Paul Blore. At least that’s the inspiration for the one-night-only Queer Fear Cabaret (Oct. 26). And headlining the Halloween-themed event is Mx. Justin Vivian Bond, a trans-identified chanteuse and performance artist from New York City. Bond is internationally known for playing Kiki in the performance art piece Kiki and Herb. Bond was nominated for a Tony Award for Kiki and Herb Alive On Broadway in 2007, a show that had previewed at Philadelphia’s Wilma Theater just a year earlier. You may also remember Bond’s memorable turn in John Cameron Mitchell’s flick Shortbus.
Opening this very special cabaret night will be the Bearded Ladies, a Philly group that experiments with cabaret to tackle the politics of popular culture, sex, gender and art. “The Bearded Ladies play with and challenge gender roles frequently,” says Blore. “and Mx. Justin Vivian Bond does, too. We all play roles in our everyday lives.”
The Bearded Ladies Cabaret will also offer a sneak peek into their new work Marlene and the Machine, which opens at The Wilma Theater in December. The show combines the music of Marlene Dietrich and Lotte Lenya with the visual language of German Expressionism and will feature live recreations of Expressionist films, as well as a familiar songbook from the era.
If you get to the center an hour before Queer Fear, you’ll be able to get into the Halloween spirit in the Queer Fear Costume Closet. The pop-up shop allows guests to browse goodies available for purchase from Philly AIDS Thrift, one of our Best of Gay Philly 2012 winners.
“Visitors are also welcome to simply use the center as one large dressing room by bringing their own premeditated costumes,” says Candice Thompson, director of center services. “The center will be a safe, but playful space for adult dress-up.”
And here’s Justin Bond as Kiki doing her best Bonnie Tyler: