Philadelphia magazine’s now-annual ThinkFest kicks off next Monday with a weeklong lineup of “the brightest minds and most innovative ideas happening in Philadelphia.” Set up kind of like a TEDx talk, activities include everything from discussions on tech and the arts to panels about food and government, but the event we’re most excited about is Philly’s Emerging Drag Queen Culture, giving us the first-time experience of seeing local drag icons Brittany Lynn (aka Ian Morrison), Martha Graham Cracker (aka Dito van Reigersberg) and Bearded Ladies co-founder John Jarboe together on one stage.
Moderated by (full disclosure) G Philly Editor-in-Chief Michael Callahan, this will be the first time the more mainstream, Gayborhood diva Brittany Lynn has worked with cabaret queens Martha Graham Cracker and John Jarboe (who has impersonated ladies like Scarlett O'Hara and Edith Piaf in Bearded Ladies shows.) So it will be particularly interesting to see these two distinct worlds come together, and to learn about the things that inspired each of them to take their particular route. Maybe they'll even learn a thing or two from each other?
The ladies will show up in full drag, and will regale the audience with a song. Later, they will join Michael on stage for a discussion about how their art has changed since they began doing drag, and how Philadelphia has inspired their work. Michael says he's particularly interested in the evolution of drag and the fact that "it's not just guys dressing up as women and lip-syncing anymore. Now, in many cases, the queens sing themselves, are doing full-scale performance art."
Maybe we'll even be lucky enough to see them all do a song together. (Please, please, please?!)
Philly's Emerging Drag Queen Culture will take place at the new FringeArts building on Mon., Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here. ThinkFest runs Nov. 4-Nov. 8 at different locations around the city. Click here for more information.
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