This July isn’t cooling off at many of Philly’s gay bars and performance spaces. In fact, there’s plenty of shows, dance parties, and cabarets to keep your summer nights very warm. We rounded up fifteen of Gay Philly’s hottest nightlife events for the month, in chronological order.
Martha Graham Cracker with the Bearded Ladies: This two-for-one extravaganza is nearly sold out and features a preview of the latest show from the Beards, Bitter Homes and Gardens. Of course, Martha will be on hand to present her signature tunes. Thursday, July 9th, 8 pm, L’Etage, 624 South 6th Street
Philly Drag Wars Golden Girls Night: The popular competition takes on a unique theme: Contestants have to channel celebrities who died young as if they didn’t die and lived to be 80 or 90. Thursday, July 9th, 9 pm, $7 for VIP Table, Voyeur Nightclub, 1221 St. James Street
Darryl and Timaree Fun Hour: Think of it like the Gayborhood version of The View, but without Rosie Perez. This month, yours truly is one of the guest panelists. Friday, July 10th, 8:30 pm, Franky Bradley’s, 1320 Chancellor Street 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
The very gist of Philly LGBT athletics league Stonewall Sports is all about fun and games, but organizers drew a serious line in the sand this week when a handsy player took the shenanigans too far.
A Stonewall member who wishes to remain anonymous tells me that a male participant sexually harassed a female teammate at Tabu this weekend, when folks from the league gathered to celebrate Sunday’s opening day. The man in question has been booted from the team, which, as Stonewall’s board of directors explain in an email sent out to league members yesterday afternoon, is the first time that’s happened in the Philly league’s existence:
Tomorrow night, Tabu and Stonewall Sports are joining forces for a shindig to raise funds for Stonewall’s upcoming season of kickballing, volleyballing and team selfie-taking.
It’s called Heroes vs. Villains, and as you might expect it’s a costume party asking guests to come dressed as their favorite superhero or bad guy.
This year’s Wing Bowl seemed to stir up a particularly hefty amount of criticism, mostly concerning its objectification of women. This didn’t escape Alexander Kacala, socialite, a former contributor to G Philly and, full disclosure, a personal friend of mine. So he decided to do something to turn the whole thing on its head: compete in 2016 as his long-retired drag persona Tammy Faymous.
“I think we can all agree that the annual Wing Bowl in Philadelphia reeks of misogyny and homophobia,” he tells me. “So I took to social media to tell people I would compete as Tammy, and it was well received.” But then he thought he’d take it a step further: “Why not bring a bunch of drag queens together for a good cause and have them do what they do best, eat.”
His idea evolved into Wigs & Wings, where drag queens sponsored by Gayborhood businesses will pull up to a table and stuff their faces with chicken wings to raise funds for the William Way Community Center and MANNA, a local nonprofit that works to feed people in Philadelphia with life-debilitating diseases such as HIV and cancer.
1003 East Main Street, Norristown
Norristown’s unassuming, beagle-loving gay bar (it was named after the owner’s pooch Timmy) has great drink specials for happy hour and, on Wednesday nights, drag queens Thunder Showers and Summer Clearance stop by to give out blush-worthy prizes at their Kinky Quizzo event. The cozy atmosphere and cheap beer are always a welcome bonus. Best for: Kinky Quizzo, karaoke on Friday nights, and a decent lesbian scene outside Philly.
Bob and Barbara’s
1509 South Street
One of the more fun, worn-in bars that houses our rowdy little community. Plenty of our favorite performers—drag and burlesque alike—have done shows here, and it houses regular performances by queer-centric performance art troupe the Dumpsta Players. Best for: Cheap drinks (go for the Citywide Special), live jazz, and raunchy shows.
1330 Walnut Street
The Gayborhood’s newest addition to the gay-bar scene, this New York City chain stands apart by having its bartenders slinging drinks in nothing but red mesh shorts (Inside tip: it’s rumored that most of them don’t wear undies.) There are pool tables upstairs, and a twice-weekly poker night for those looking for a little game-play in the hood. Best for: Great happy hour prices, unpretentious feel, bartenders in mesh shorts (duh).
Every year, a group of rebellious local comedians get together to produce an anti-awards show called the WitIns Awards. It’s a chance for them to make fun of the local comedy scene, giving out awards for “Worst Comedian,” and the like. It’s not meant to be mean. Think of it as the Razzies; a funny way to point out some less-than-LOL-worthy moments in comedy throughout the year.
The latest installment happened this Sunday, and last summer’s comedy competition at Tabu, “Last Laugh,” took home the award for “Worst Comedy Competition.”
Comedian and Last Laugh contestant Rachel Fogletto accepted the award, which was a garbage-filled plastic bag with a penis drawn on it. In her acceptance speech, she pretty much zeroed in on the problem with the competition: “I made it through to like week 10, and we all lost to some lady from Atlantic City who missed like eight weeks of the competition, so fuck the Last Laugh.”
Ouch-worthy, yes, but it’s all in good fun, people. I went to a few performances last year, and actually had a nice time—especially watching local legend Needles Jones crack a few zingers about AIDS.
But this isn’t the first criticism I’ve heard of Last Laugh. Even creator Josh Schonewolf agrees. When I asked him if he’d bring it back, he said “Hell no. … That was a bonafide flop.”
See, everyone agrees!
Check out a video of Fogletto’s acceptance speech above. I have it set to start at the right time.
Philly rock band Wonder and Fury wanted a few queens for their latest music video, “Talk Talk Talk,’ so they called up Tabu to see if they could bring their cameras to one of the bar’s signature Sunday Drag Brunches in November. Of course, the queens were more than happy to oblige.
The video spans a whole afternoon of drag-brunching—from going backstage where the ladies are caking their faces with makeup to showing performance clips on Tabu’s tiny upstairs stage. Some of the gals who make an appearance are Brittany Lynn and her drag daughter Robyn, Crystal Electra and Maria TopCat.
“Talk Talk Talk” is from Wonder & Fury’s eponymous first EP, which you can listen to and buy here. See the video below: