Here’s where things will get fun: Shoot us an email with a square-shaped photo that you want us to gay up. We’ll pick our favorites and feature them in all of their fabulous queerness in a post on Friday, August 14th.
The delightful, insightful, and totally amazing Martha Graham Cracker turns 10 this month, and she’s not slowing down. She’ll be playing a packed show at New York City’s famed Joe’s Pub, and will return to her home town to celebrate her birthday at L’Etage next week. There’s no doubt that Martha is a different breed of Queen: She’s talented, got a full band to accompany her, and holds her audience captive through her daredevil musical routines. I was lucky enough to steal a few minutes from the high-in-demand lady to pick her brain about what makes her cabaret act so universal (and so darn fun).
When you first started the cabaret, did you ever imagine you’d make it to 10 years? Not at all. I took it one day at a time, or at least one show at a time, and I cannot express my gratitude enough to Jimmy and David, owners of L’Etage (and now the gorgeous Tavern on the Green in NYC!), who took a risk on me ten years ago and gave me the beautiful home-base/experimental-lab/launch-pad in the form of a monthly forum to find and refine Martha. The character, the interactive nature of the show, the astoundingly tight and responsive band….all those elements got better and more specific over that substantial period of time. And my styling has definitely improved. Martha was kind of disastrous aesthetically at first. Thanks to my wonderful style maven Max Brown, I can hold my head high whenever I hit the stage. Also Victor F. has been quite the shepherd and producer as well as pianist and first conceiver of many reimagined arrangements for pop tunes. I really couldn’t have done it without him. Read more »
Sure, all of those pride celebrations may be done, but that doesn’t mean that there are aren’t tons of great activities, parties, lectures, and events in LGBTQ Philly for the rest of June. We rounded up a calendar that should keep you super busy until the start of July.
Through the End of the Month
Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene: Award-winning photographer Gerard Gaskin gives visitors an inside peek of ballroom culture at this exciting exhibit. Through August 16th, various times, free after museum admission, African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street
Speaking Out for Equality: This groundbreaking exhibit at the National Constitution Center profiles the Constitution, gay rights, and the Supreme Court. Through January 3rd, various times, free after museum admission, National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street
A motley crew of Philly “artists, potheads, activists and other degenerates” are coming together this week to announce their endorsement for Jim Kenney for mayor (take that Inquirer!). Local comedian/writer/web producer/pot activist N.A. Poe has organized an event at Franky Bradley’s to raise funds for Kenney’s campaign and encourage folks that he’s the man for the job as Mayor of Philadelphia.
“My colleagues in activism aren’t necessarily fans of politicians, but we really took a shine to Jim,” Poe says. His work on the marijuana decriminalization bill solidified his commitment to making Philadelphia a progressive, world-class city, and his longtime support of the LGBT community—before it became a political trend—speaks volumes. These factors in particular inspired the counter-culture community in Philly to re-engage the political process and throw an affordable, off-beat fundraiser to support a candidate that understands the needs of [people like us]. We want to break the mold of the stuffy, boring suit-and-tie fundraiser. Although this event is being thrown by undesirables, we encourage anyone that wants to attend to come out and see how the other half lives.”
The set, which took place in the space formerly known as Sisters, comprised a whole range of well-known pop tunes—from a couple Beatles numbers to Prince’s “Darling Nikki.” The real showstoppers, though, were ambitious renditions of Aretha Fraklin’s “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” and Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” She nailed ’em both. Her voice was in perfect form that night—soulful, strong and unwavering, even after two-and-a-half hours of hard singing. Her diva status continues to rise.
Celebrate the Golden Globes with the Bingo-Verifying Divas at AIDS Fund’s GayBingo on Saturday night.
This week at Tabu drag queen Ariel Versace hosts Chaos in Wonderland, which, as the name suggests, is an evening of twisted, cross-dressing performances inspired by Alice in Wonderland. The cast includes Satine Harlow, Sutton Fearce and Ladie Geisha.
At William Way, Martha Graham Cracker hosts an LGBT-themed Quizzo Cabaret to benefit Philly’s Friend Select School’s LGBT scholarship and the Attic Youth Center’s efforts to provide safe-space and community-building opportunities for LGBT youth. More info here.
Philly Improv Theater is hosting DTF Darryl and Timaree Fun House, a hilarious sex ed/comedy/game show all rolled up in an hour of laughs and education from Dr. Timaree (sex educator) and comedian Darryl Charles, and guest appearances by R. Eric Thomas and Alex Gross. This is a new spin on getting DTF.