Martha Graham Cracker fans, get ready to get your fill of the city’s hairiest drag queen. The leggy chanteuse is performing all over the place this week—including a debut in the newly opened cabaret lounge at Franky Bradley’s—before she jets off to Louisville, Kentucky for a month with Pig Iron Theatre Company.
Don’t f*ck with me, fellas! This ain’t my first time at the rodeo!
I am willing to take bets that we’ll be hearing this line, plus many others, at the upcoming collaboration between The Bearded Ladies and Dito van Reigersberg. The dynamic duo will be camping it up for a two-performance-only special benefit aptly titled Mommie Queerest, where Bearded Ladies Artistic Director John Jarboe and van Reigersberg will fight to the finish (Bring me the axe!) to see who will star as Joan Crawford in their show within a show. Read more »
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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.
6 Gay Things to Do in Philly This Week: Where to Watch American Horror Story: Freak Show, New Quizzo Night at Tabu, Kinky Boots at Dilworth Park and More
Standup dramedian R. Eric Thomas is bringing his smash hit, one-man rom-com, Always the Bridesmaid, back to the stage. Thomas, known for hosting acclaimed storytelling series The Moth and for previous sell-out runs like Will You Accept This Friend Request?, gives his take on dating disasters, love, and the notion of marriage in an age and state where gay people can actually get married now. Delving into the religious and individual views on marriage and what it means to the gay community, Thomas’s show will make you think, yes, but most importantly it’ll make you LOL.
There’s a lot going on this first weekend of fall—from the start of FringeArts to LiCK’s latest Vixens & Vagabonds Queer & Kinky Cabaret to gay night at Six Flags Great Adventure. I round up all the notables below:
- The 2014 FringeArts festival kicks off with a performance by Martha Graham Cracker with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
- Here’s a guide to all the LGBT-centric shows playing this weekend at the FringeArts Festival, including a performance by the infinitely fascinating (and a little frightening) Christeene to Tribe of Fools’ gay-slanted take on Romeo and Juliet.
- Meet the 2014 Jonathan Lax Scholarship honorees, chosen because of their work to advance LGBT rights in our region.
- Celebrate back-to-school time with The Welcoming Committee’s latest Philly Guerrilla Queer Bar.
- It’s Bearlesque time again. As always, BYOBear.
- This month’s Sleepover. The Party is Sixteen Candles-themed. Break out your Molly Ringwald drag.
- CUTN PASTE gets down with a 2 Kewl 4 Skewl PJ Party featuring Bunny Michael.
- Bridgette Mayer gallery hosts a fundraising benefit for BalletX.
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Two Street by Tribe of Fools: The newest brainchild of the Philadelphia-based Tribe of Fools, the physical theater company has won critics over with its previous Fringe festival hits Heavy Metal Dance Fag and Antihero. The troupe, which consists of Terry Brennan, Zachary Chiero, Tim Popp and Peter Smith, welcomes Peter Andrew Danzig, Isa St. Clair, and Karina Balfour to the group for the FringeArts Festival take on Shakespeare’s classic tale, updated for queer contemporary audiences. More here. September 4-13, The Church of the Crucifixion, 620 South 8th Street. —Bryan Buttler
Hard to say what Martha Graham Cracker noticed a few seconds ago as she left the band and the stage and slinked through the crowd. Hard to say why she picked out from the 100 people packed into this blackened room a certain middle-aged white guy in a white button-up shirt, but right now Martha has her legs wrapped around this guy’s neck.
The guy is standing next to a rectangular bar at the back of L’Étage, a nightclub and cabaret off South Street. Martha’s sitting on the bar and leaning back into the bartenders’ space, legs up in the air so that her calves are balanced on the guy’s shoulders, wireless microphone in her right hand. She’s singing Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing” — like, really singing it, powerfully, seriously, an emotionally naked song about desperation and fear, singing it in her strong, lovely voice, a spotlight piercing the dark and illuminating her face.
And part of the comedy here, part of the reason that all 100 people are laughing and clapping in surprise and delight, is that Martha’s not even looking at the guy who is struggling between her legs. Smiling but struggling as a friend or partner films it on her smartphone. Almost certainly a new experience for the guy, being this close to a drag queen, much less a drag queen like Martha: six-foot-two and hairy-chested, hairy-armed, hairy-legged; not a man trying to pass as a woman but a defiantly unmown lawn of a man in a blond pixie wig and a blue dress and six-inch heels that are now crossed behind the dude’s neck in a hammerlock as Martha’s guitarist and bassist and keyboardist and drummer play the Whitney Houston song and Martha sings:
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