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 StreetRead 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
Democratic mayoral candidate JimKenney joined the Liberty City LGBT Democrats (LCLD) last night on a bar crawl through the Gayborhood. During the third stop, at piano bar TavernonCamac, he stepped up to the stage to sing “Pennies From Heaven” with the pianist.
The song was first recorded by BingCrosby in 1936, and later covered by everyone from BillieHoliday and DinahWashington to FrankSinatra. How do you think Kenney did? I’m told it took some convincing to get him up there, but he really picks it up during the chorus—encouraged, no doubt, by the crowd shouting things like, “You better work!”
Check out the video above, sent by LCLD’s StephanieHaynes. And below, photos of other LCLD-endorsed candidates who joined the crawl, like openly gay City Council hopefuls PaulSteinke and SherrieCohen.
State Representative Brian Sims with Sherrie Cohen and Paul Steinke at Woody's.
Steinke with guests at Icandy.
Out judicial candidate Chris Mallios with Rep. Sims and his husband Bill at Tavern on Camac.
Sherrie Cohen with judicial candidate Dan Sulman at Tavern on Camac.
Judge Abbe Fletman (far right), another endorsed candidate, at Icandy.
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 delves 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. The event is a double-hearder with cabaret drag diva Martha Graham Cracker, who will take the stage when Thomas closes his set. A not-to-be-missed evening of funnies and song. Tuesday, October 7th, 7:30 p.m. (Thomas), 10 p.m. (Martha), L'Etage, 624 South Sixth Street. —Aubrey Nagle
ACLU-PA will honor some of the biggest LGBT movers and shakers of 2014 at its annual dinner—everyone from plaintiffs in the marriage equality-attaining Whitewood vs. Wolf lawsuit, and the law firm of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller, who co-counseled plaintiffs in the Whitewood vs. Wolf case. A volunteer service award will be presented to local attorney Larry Felzer (pictured above with Brian Sims), who will be honored by the ACLU as an "outstanding ACLU-PA volunteer, LGBT rights advocate, and leading ACLU supporter and fundraiser." The event will be emceed by Michael Coard, community activist, and host at WURD 900AM, and a keynote will be delivered by Director of the ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project, Ben Wizner. Wednesday, October 8th, 6 p.m., $100, National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 South Independence Mall East.
Drag stalwart Brittany Lynn is rolling out a new weekly event at Tabu that aims to prove "smart is sexy." This evening of gay Quizzo features five rounds of questions covering everything from entertainment and sports to music and science. There will be free shots given out during speed rounds, and first-place winners get a $75 (!) bar tab. Stick around afterward for an American Horror Story: Freak Show viewing party (more to come.) Wednesday, October 8th, 8 p.m.-10 p.m., free, Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar, 200 South 12th Street.
We've been waiting so long to see what we'll be wearing on Wednesdays this fall. To celebrate the return of the gay-loved television series American Horror Story: Freak Show, two Gayborhood watering holes are kicking off weekly viewing parties so fans can come watch at the bar with family and all the drinks they can muster.
Following Quizzo at Tabu, Circus of the Stars winner Rev. Makensie Moltov will host an AHS viewing party, with the show being presented on the high-def TVs on the first level of the bar. Tabu's drink specials veer more toward the brown-liquor variety: $5 Jameson drinks and $5 Jack Daniels cocktails. Wednesday, October 8th, 10 p.m., free, Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar, 200 South 12th Street.
The little brother to Josh Schonewolf's Miss Everything pageant, Mr. Everything is a new weekly contest looking for the most talented male-identified performer in Philadelphia. There are 15 contestants vying for the prize, including some well-known local performers like Sebastian, Icon Ebony-Fierce, and Kemar Jewel. The winner will get $1,000, a crown, and bragging rights, because who are you in the Gayborhood if you don't have something to brag about? R. Eric Thomas will host the 10-week event, with judges Dr. Timaree, Mistor Fahrenheit, and Amber Hikes eyeing up the competition to figure out who deserves the prize. Wednesday, October 8th, 9 p.m., $8, Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar, 200 South 12th Street.
Grab a blanket and lawn chair and get cozy in Dilworth Park's new front yard. Weekly family-friendly al fresco screenings will give you the chance to enjoy those perfect autumn nights under the stars. This week, Kinky Boots is on the big screen. Pictures in the Park is free of charge. Thursday, October 9th, 7 p.m., Dilworth Park, Broad & Market Streets (West Side of City Hall). —Marquesa Rotuski
This Tabu competition to find the Gayborhood's best triple threat performer comes to an end Tuesday night, when one of the top four contestants, Rachel Pinkstone, Lexi Schreiber, Kate Coyne, and Chad Parsons, will be named winner. For the finale, the entire cast of Summer Kamp will return to put on a few more numbers. Ian Morrisson (aka Brittany Lynn) and Josh Schonewolf host. Tuesday, September 9th, Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar, 200 South 12th Street.
Join us for Philadelphia Magazine's second annual Battle of the Burger, the carnivorous throw-down that will crown one burger the best in Philly. At this ultimate cook-off, guests can enjoy unlimited samples of all 20 competing burgers (!), sip Amstel Light, and cast a vote for their favorite contender. There will be music, games, and activities to enjoy, as well, if you can fight off the inevitable food coma. More information is available here. Tickets can be purchased online. Wednesday, September 10th, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., $50-60, The Piazza at Schmidt's, 1001 North 2nd Street.
If you're looking for a unique dancing alternative this week head to The Dolphin Tavern on Thursday night for its monthly queer dance party, Sissy Hop. This month around Cutn Paste DJs Precolumbian and Nolita Selector remix popular oldies—from girl group to funk to Motown. You better believe it'll be one of the most danceable nights in town. Thursday, September 11th, 10 p.m., The Dolphin Tavern, 1539 South Broad Street.
Join the Philadelphia-area pro-LGBT business organization Independence Business Alliance tonight at Tavern On Camac as the group celebrates its latest milestone: being named the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce's 2014 Chamber of the Year. The celebration doubles as one of IBA's new monthly networking events, ConnX, hosted this time around with its female-empowering Women-in-Business (WiB) group. The $10 cover includes free appetizers, and an extended happy hour (through 7:30 p.m.), a champagne toast and, of course, all the networking your little heart can handle. Tuesday, August 19th, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., $10, Tavern On Camac, 243 South Camac Street.
The new weekly Gayborhood film series Wednesday Night at the Drive-In is paying homage to the late, great Robin Williams with a showing of two of his gayest (and best) films: Birdcage and Mrs. Doubtfire. Absolut cocktails are discounted to $6 during showtime. Wednesday, August 20th, 9:30 p.m., free, Tavern On Camac, 243 South Camac Street.
All aboard the S-Express! The Dumpsta Players return to Bob and Barbara's with their latest drag- and trash-tastic production: The Empire Smokes Crack. The show finds Carillon (aka the disco planet) in jeopardy of being taken over by Empress Elektra and her evil sister Lady Krisis, and fellow inhabitant Mr. Roboto isn't making things any better by trying to create a "super mutant race of bedbugs." Will heroine Trelena 12 make it there in time to save the planet? There's no telling what'll come of it. Just take a puff—or have a City Wide—sit back, and enjoy the shitshow. Wednesday, August 20th, 10 p.m. (doors), 11 p.m. (show), $1.99, Bob and Barbara's, 1509 South Street.
This month at #VentureVariety, host Billy Cavallo welcomes his usual array of unique Philly talents: comedian Noel A. Reyna, singer Brianna Marie, drag diva Roxi Starr, and even "hula hoop" extraordinaire Ed Rausch. Brittany Lynn's drag daughter and mini-me Robin Lynn will also make an appearance. Wednesday, August 20th, 11 p.m., free, Venture Inn, 255 South Camac Street.
The second week of GayFest! 2014 is in full swing. Some of the shows we mentioned last week, like The Haunted Host, and We Are People are still playing, but there's an array of new shows popping up, particularly the festival's popular, and cheekily named "One Night Stands." On Tuesday night catch Rachel Tension in Karma Came 'Round: A Witchy Celebration of Love and Life Lessons, and on Sunday, if you're lucky enough to have gotten tickets, R. Eric Thomas stars in a revamped version of his 2013 GayFest! favorite Always the Bridesmaid. If you're more in the mood for a full-blown play, this week sees the opening of local playwright—and longtime GayFest! participant—Daniel Talbott's trio of short plays "You Know My Name"; and Geoffrey Nauffts's Next Fall (pictured), which concerns the love affair between a gay Christian and his boyfriend Adam, who wouldn't step into a church if you paid him. For a full rundown of shows, including dates, times, and ticket links, go here.
Oh Lord. Shit's gonna hit the fan at Tavern On Camac Wednesday, when bartender Ashley Coleman hosts a back-to-back screening of two of gaydom's most cherished flicks: Auntie Mame (the one with Rosalind Russell) and Mommie Dearest. Chances are you won't be able to hear a thing that's happening on screen over all the heckling, but you know those films back to front already, anyway. Wednesday, August 12th, 9 p.m., free, Tavern On Camac, 243 South Camac Street.
Queer Books is teaming with Awesome Fest to host a pop-up book shop at this week's outdoor screening of Skanks in West Philly. Skanks—which is getting it's Philly premiere—is a documentary that follows a community theater in conservative Alabama as it rehearses for a drag musical called Skanks In a One Horse Town. When the movie's not playing, head over to the Queer Books booth, where founders will be selling "a curated selection of books, DVDs, jewelry, and gifts." Monies made will benefit Queer Books move to a brick-and-mortar space. Thursday, August 14th, pop-up shop goes from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., movie starts at 9 p.m., Clark Park, 43rd Street and Baltimore Avenue.
Your inner frat bro wants to come out and, surprise, surprise, he's wearing a toga. This week MANNA is inviting him and all his friends to Tabu for a fundraising event that features drag shows, karaoke, drink specials, and lots of hotties wearing nothing but a sheet and maybe a twig in their hair. Proceeds benefit MANNA's work to provide meals to Philadelphia residents who are living with life-threatening diseases, like HIV and cancer. Good cause. Good fun. Toga! Thursday, August 14th, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar, 200 South 12th Street.
RuPaul's Drag Race season six bust-alicious star Darienne Lake will sit on the judges' panel at Drag Wars this week as the remaining contestants vie for the title of fiercest queen in Philly. This week, competitors must channel their inner showgirl to create a musical inspired by love-to-hate Hollywood flicks Sharknado and Showgirls. Lake will host a special pre-show meet-and-greet before the show. To snag tickets to that, go here. Thursday, August 14th, Voyeur Nightclub, 1221 Saint James Street.
It’s been two weeks since demolition began on the piano bar in Tavern on Camac, and Director of Communications Randal Mrazik tells me things are moving right along, well, sort of. “It’s a 200-year-old building. We have to do a little more work than we thought.”
If you’ve been itching to sing some ditties around the piano at Tavern on Camac (TOC), you better slip on your snow boots and head there pronto. The bar will be closing after tomorrow night for extensive renovations and won’t re-open till the beginning of March.