Tag Archives: Seattle

Reviewed: Scott Shoemaker’s War on Christmas – Must See!!!!!

By Adam Fehn

Scott Shoemaker’s War on Christmas might have been the most fun I’ve ever had at a show to date. Scott is a master comedian and performer that knows how to make you laugh so much it hurts. Aside from the comedy, his hosting abilities captured quite a bit of my appreciation as well. As a queer atheist himself, he knows that many people in similar shoes either have or don’t have the opportunity to celebrate the holiday, or don’t know where their beliefs fit into the celebration. A lot of people in our community have to make their own traditions and this is one of the things that prompted him to make the War on Christmas. It certainly made my spirits a little brighter and I’m sure it did for many other audience members as well.

Their venue of choice tonight was Re-Bar, an unassuming little place on the outskirts of Capitol Hill with a bar in the front and a stage in the back. It is a gay-friendly place where you can witness all sorts of events from poetry slams to burlesque shows to stand-up comedy to DJ’s. If it’s alternative and artistic in Seattle, chances are, you’ll find it here. Lucky for me, I happened to find Scott and his wonderful team of collaborators, Adé, Mandy Price, Waxie Moon, and Fageddy Randy.

You know you’re in for a good time when the show starts with a Guns’N’Roses Christmas song Parody. To Scott’s credit, he can sing really well also! After the song it was time to meet everyone. Innocently enough, they each recounted their favorite part about Christmas, which included things like presents, Christmas stories, carols, and of course the old traditions of years past. Fageddy Randy reminisced fondly over the days when he and his family would pray over an altar of bones and sacrifice a virgin. Luckily Mandy Price ran just a little bit faster than him this time.
If you think this sounds off color for a holiday show, you need to see the rest of it. The whole thing reminded me of a cross between the tv show Robot Chicken and a bad acid trip, but in the absolute best way possible. At one point Scott came across an old fruitcake, which reminded him of a show he used to watch when he was younger called “Generously Sauced by Gladys Swillwell”. They cut to a prerecorded video of Scott in drag drunkenly making a fruitcake. The whole thing was obviously a dig on Julia Childe’s old tv show, but it had me laughing till I cried real tears. If Scott ever wanted to make a spin-off show based on this character, I would buy every single ticket.

After all of the reminiscing, it was time for everyone to decorate the tree, but Waxie Moon was so excited that he had already decorated himself. Unfortunately for Waxie, the spirit of their actual tree came alive just in time. Apparently, trees are gay and they demand to be decorated impeccably. I certainly can’t refute that. Because Waxie’s sense of style wasn’t up to snuff, there was only one thing left to do; take his costume off piece by piece. I do love a good burlesque and Waxie is one of the best in the business.

Decorating the Christmas tree is an important part of Christmas, but that isn’t what matters to Scott. To him, the most important part of the holiday is his presents and he is still yearning for the one present that he never got in 1984. He wanted a cabbage patch doll, but instead received a He-Man action figure. Well, if you’re still dealing with the loss of a treasured toy and you end up eating a little bit too much-spiked fruit cake, it stands to reason that you would have a super weird dream about it. In this dream, the cabbage patch kid became real and started dance fighting He-Man. See what I mean about an acid trip? It was so over the top that I could, once again, not stop laughing and this was only act one.

Act 2 saw Scott making his way to the North Pole by way of a cracked out reindeer in search of his beloved toy. Here he met Mrs. Claus and Santa’s new lover, Jolly the elf. She knew that she couldn’t hold a candle to Santa’s new boy toy so she dealt with it the only way she could, by signing a hilarious parody of Jolene. After listening to her problems and being offered her version of a cabbage patch kid (pantyhose stuffed and tied together to somewhat resemble a doll that she called a lettuce leaf kid), Scott was visited by the spirit of Christmas presents, the North Pole’s version of customer service.

You’d think in today’s day and age people would have learned by now, you never fuck with customer service. It didn’t take long for the spirit of Christmas presents to officially put him on the naughty list. As punishment, he got a little visit from our favorite child-snatching demon, Krampus. A few traumatic minutes later, Scott woke up and realized that it was all just a bad dream brought on by the old fruitcake he had eaten earlier. In a twist of fate, and after throwing a rather large tantrum, the doorbell rang. The War on Christmas Dancers had bought him his long-lost Cabbage Patch Kid from so many years ago, thus reinforcing all of the crappy behavior he had exhibited for the entire show.

Right after I left Re-Bar, I realized that I could watch that show again and again (I’m still strongly considering buying another ticket). It was not only fun and hilarious but in a season when everything down to the tv commercials you watch on tv has a message to convey, the one presented by Scott is by far my favorite. Despite there being so many people in this world that have holidays around this time of year, some people think that it can only be separated one way and any deviation whatsoever is seen as a war against Christmas. Those people are morons and you can celebrate any damn way you please. Whether you choose to decorate a Christmas tree, or you choose to watch a raunchy Christmas show every year (my new tradition), it’s your choice and it will always be the right decision.

For more shows at Re-bar click here!

Lady Bunny -Hung With Care at The Triple Door, Seattle Dec. 5th

Today I have the distinct honor of asking the one and only Lady Bunny a few questions about what she’s been up to lately and about her upcoming Holiday Show, “Hung With Care”. Lady Bunny is a Southern Queen originally hailing from Chattanooga, TN. As a young performer, she started doing drag in Atlanta, Ga. and subsequently crashing the New York City drag scene in the 80’s, the city, that she’s called home ever since. She made a name for herself as the reigning comedy queen of NYC, where she spews her unapologetic brand of humor. It is that humor which has made gays roar with laughter for ages. Lucky for us, she is headed to Seattle’s Triple Door on December 5th.

Lady Bunny, thank you so much for taking the time to answer this poor meager gay’s questions. I seriously, am not worthy, but since we’re here, and you already agreed, I suppose we should just jump right in.

You are very welcome and let’s do it!

You’re no stranger to Seattle, having performed at Julia’s on Broadway in 2011, Neighbors in 2014, the Egyptian Theater last year for Trans-Jester and earlier this year for National Treasures (and those are just the ones I know about). I’m interested to hear your take on Seattle’s drag Scene, given your extensive history in drag culture. Have you noticed any differences or similarities to other cities where you’ve performed?

Seattle does have it’s own spin on drag, but it isn’t limited to any one type of performer. Julia’s, is a bit more traditional with celebrity impersonations and the like, but then there’s also the zany Dina Martina, who has carved out a very mixed crowd in Seattle and now has a large national following. BenDeLaCreme is part of the vintage burlesque scene popular in those parts, while Jinkx screams ALTERNATIVE with her live singing and original tunes. Mark Finley, is lovable trash with a hint of theater. Mama Tits, shares Mark’s theatrical vibe, but she isn’t at all lovable. KIDDING!

I haven’t been lucky enough to see one of your shows in person yet, but from what clips I’ve seen and articles I’ve read, I think it’s safe to say not all of your jokes can be described as “P.C.”. I can imagine, it is received very differently depending on your location, the audience, and even night to night. Has this ever affected your humor and the jokes you decided to include, or do you think it’s important to stick to your brand now more than ever?

A lot of people connect my name to organizing Wigstock and DJing, without necessarily knowing what to expect, if they get tickets for a one hour performance. I’m definitely not PC, and am definitely too twisted to receive even an R rating. But my sense of humor was developed in front of drunken nightclub audiences, who appreciated filth. The challenge was to shock them, so I rose to it. And as much as I enjoy raunch, I know that everyone doesn’t. So, I typically put a warning on the ticket link, warning people that my humor is not PC and does not want to be. That way they aren’t unpleasantly surprised. I even urge people to skip my shows—including my mom—if they don’t enjoy offensive humor. I’m too blue for even some gay pride outdoor events. Seattle can be very PC, but I think over the years, I’ve found my audience there. From The Cuff at Pride, working with Qurb magazine and roasting my pal Mark Finley.

What bugs me is this notion, that I’ve seen applied to other queens who are picketed or protested due to their content. My attitude is if you don’t like something, don’t go see it. Why try shut it down? Are you that bored? I don’t like seeing football players getting their heads bashed in on a field which develop into serious health issues later. But, I have better things to do with my life than picket stadiums.

Comedy aside, there is another side to your drag that really entices me. In all of your previous interviews you came off as kind of a wise motherly figure, (albeit one with daggers in her teeth). You’re a wealth of information regarding LGBTQ history, and you have been very outspoken regarding inclusion in the drag community. In a time when it seems like everyone wants drag queens to fit into a specific mold, you encourage people to turn off their tv’s and experience their local queens in person. What advice do you have for people looking to experience drag, or even gets their hands dirty and put on a wig themselves?

I’m sick of cookie cutter drag. If RuPaul wears a flower in her hair, every queen in the nation does. When Bianca won with heavy lower lashes, many queens aped her style. Now, they will do Trixie Mattel-Inspired make-up. Cookie cutter is the opposite of creative. I’m not here to fit into anyone else’s mold. Instead of copying other queens, why not develop your own style? I also find it odd that I’m often approached by younger performers begging for tips. Well, I was given wonderful tips before I even knew that drag would be my career. The older queens took me under their wing because I clearly needed help, but also since they could recognize a kernel of talent in me. If their instincts about me were correct, they hoped that I might add something to a craft which was their livelihood. So while I didn’t have a specific drag mom, I was grateful for these time-honored tips from much more established peers. To some degree the older queens must have felt I’d earned them. Now these tips are readily available to all in endless youtube makeup tutorials, which I never want to see another of. If you spend hours on your make-up and look ridiculously gorgeous, that’s step #1. But step #2 is walking on stage. If you have less talent than looks, you won’t hold my interest beyond that first burst of applause, based on your look. I’m more interested in performers than Instagram stars with flawless make-up.

You recently revived Wigstock with Neil Patrick Harris of all people. What was it like to work with him and his husband and what does it mean to you to resurrect this iconic event after 17 years?

Wigstock is my baby, but after 20 years of the festival, I needed a 17 year long break! Neil and his boyfriend David Burtqa approached me, and I think we all found that we worked very well together. They’re good people, but we hit a road bump during the Wigstock reboot. Both helped us soar right through the process, with their very positive attitudes and their own considerable connections. So, the show in September was a hit! I loved working with them. Neil and David are genuine drag fans. Like me, they’re NYC residents who just want to bring that some of that freak factor back to a very corporate and slick city, which could use some grit like the kooky queens of Wigstock. (Dina came up from Provincetown and was a highlight.) I think Neil also wanted to show an edgier side of himself after starring in Hedwig. Sometimes that drag bug can be highly addictive.

Now on to your holiday show! In the hilarious promo video, you got yourself into some precarious situations with Santa Claus. Can you give your future audience a little sense of what to expect when they roll up at the Triple Door?

The perfect antidote to Xmas songs, which are inescapable from the day after Halloween through New Years is to butcher every holiday tune with demented parodies. So prepare for dirty ditties like, I Saw Daddy Fisting Santa Claus, A Holly Molly Christmas and The Restroom Door Said Gentlemen. I also screen a banned from youtube video, while changing costumes, which I consider my very best comedy. But it is filthy!

I’m not a huge fan of Christmas myself and I feel like, based on your comedy, you could go either way. Either you purposely love to make a mockery of the overly commercialized holiday, or you love it and your holiday show is a labor of love. Can you tell me what made you want to do this show?

I love Thanksgiving, since it’s not a religious day and if you’re even alive you have something to be grateful for. While I’m in agreement with your take on Xmas, and my show is celebrating “Jesus’s birthday” with an atheist potty mouth, I do see Christmas, as a time for people to be nicer to each other. Call it “holiday magic”, or whatever, but the lights and the holiday cheer—ie desserts and alcohol—do eventually seduce me. During the month of December, I’ve noticed that people do tend to be more likely to make eye contact, hold the door for someone or strike up a conversation with a stranger. Even though others (especially my age group) hates Santacon, and see it as a millennial drunkfest, I absolutely love it. How can I put on a drag festival and frown on people hitting the streets to bug out with their Santa costumes? (Even if they are vomiting in doorways during the daytime.) The more we actually get together in person, the less time we spend on social media with friends who we’ve never met.

As far as why I want to do the show, I already have some Xmas material which can only be performed around this time of year. And along with my co-writer Beryl Mendelbaum, I’ve added a ton of new stuff this year. Last year’s NYC run sold out every show, so I must be onto something. And Dina Martina advised me to do an annual holiday show years ago. Hers has certainly become a smash, so I took her advice. Just not her make-up tips!

Lady Bunny, thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions, but more importantly, I want to thank you on behalf Seattle itself for gracing us all with your presence. I’m looking forward to seeing you this Wednesday for a night of filth and raucous laughter. There are currently no upcoming events listed on her website so if you haven’t purchased your tickets, do it now before you miss out!

Follow Lady Bunny:  Facebook or visit her website.

Get your Tickets now!

REVIEWED – Rupaul’s Drag Race Werq the World Tour, Seattle

By Adam Fehn

I had the immense pleasure of attending RuPaul’s Werq the World Tour in Seattle last night and let me tell you… if you haven’t yet had the chance to catch this show, you’re missing out.  Every year the most popular and talented queens from recent and past seasons get together to throw the world one hell of a performance one city at a time, and on September 23rd it was Seattle’s turn.  Unbeknownst to me while I was in attendance, it’s was a rotating cast of performers that show up each night.  So while they advertised 16 queens, only 7 performed. Which now that I think about it, makes sense. These queens held nothing back, so of course, they’d need to sit out a show or two to collect themselves (we certainly don’t want any stiletto related injuries).  Not to mention, 16 acts of this caliber on the same night would most likely mean a 6 or 7 hour long show and I’m not sure my heart could take that much adrenaline. I did feel bad that I didn’t get to see some of the queens like Alyssa Edwards, Latrice Royal, Shangela, and Peppermint, but word on the street said that some of the queens went to R-Place to make some of those boys scream as well so it was totally for a good cause.

Let’s dive right in and start with the venue.  We had the good fortune of being able to not only enjoy some of the most talented queens ever to come out of RuPaul’s Drag Race, but we did it in the historic and exquisite Paramount Theatre.  This was my first time at the Paramount (a statement that would make a lot of Seattlites shake their head in shame), but I say better late than never. It was quite a spectacle to see these new world queens perform in juxtaposition to the old world charm of the Paramount, but the golden accents and brilliant chandeliers complimented most of their outfits perfectly and only added to the queens’ regal characters.

Packed inside this exquisite theatre were audience members that seemingly spanned every aspect of the LGBTQ spectrum in addition to many of our straight allies.  I have attended quite a few shows now that attract such an audience that celebrates and brings out the best in our community, and I will never take for granted every opportunity to be out in the general public and feel completely safe.  I am not naïve enough to know that horrible things can happen even in safe places, but there was definitely something about this particular audience that just made you feel good. All states of drag were represented from simple eyeshadow and fake lashes to full on beat faces with gowns.  It certainly was beautiful to see. So exuberant was this audience that many of them could hardly contain themselves and their excitement. There was dancing in the isles and cheering from the balconies, this was before the show even started! You could just tell we were all in for the time of our lives.

Ok now it’s finally time to get to the show, the very thing that you, dear readers, are here for and I will do my utmost to give you a sense of what it was like to be there, though such an experience really should be seen in person.  The stage was flooded with pink and blue lights right before they went dim. When the lights came back on we were introduced to our endearing host for the night, Bob the Drag Queen, wearing the most delicious ladies sparkling blue pantsuit I have ever seen.  I have never done drag, but if I did, I would want this outfit so bad. She looked spectacular! She did a little number to a remake of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” just to get our whistles wet, but at this point, I was already shook. Soon each of our queens started descending from the flashing staircases one by one to deafening cheers.  What an introduction! Performing tonight was Asia O’Hara, Eureka O’Hara, Kameron Michaels Kim Chi, Valentina, and last but proven not least season 10 winner Aquaria.

Our Queens quickly left the stage, but Bob came back to pick up our dropped jaws.  She addressed the audience with all the elegance and grace that only she… I’m sorry this is Bob the freaking Drag Queen we’re talking about!  “Seattle, you hummus eating Mutha Fuckers!” she exclaimed. It has been a while since I watched Bob on Season 8, but she obviously still has it and will never lose it.  She made us all roar with laughter the way only she could. I think my favorite part was when she described Sascha Velour as Voldemort and Aquaria as Jimmy Neutron. Her humor always proves to be spot on and she never slowed down as the night progressed.  Bob was as funny as she was gorgeous, which is saying something because her looks are leagues ahead of what I remember from season 8, but more on that in a bit. After talking us through what we had in store that evening, it was time to travel to our first destination.  Our televised plane departed and landed in Seoul North Korea, where Kim Chi was waiting for us in her best Sailor Moon drag.

Kim Chi’s dancing certainly has improved since season 8, but even though it isn’t quite on par with the other queen’s performing that night, Kim Chi’s drag to me was never really about busting a move.  Kim Chi’s drag is campy, creative, fun, artistic, and sharp. No one could turn a look quite like Kim Chi that season, and she’s certainly still got it. Halfway through her performance, she tore part of her costume away to reveal a beautiful sparkling gown.  Sailor Moon had transformed into Princess Serenity and left us all gagging. It was a strong start to the night and we had so much more in store.

Our next destination was London, where Eureka O’Hara was giving us Queen Victoria realness. I mentioned the queens being regal earlier, but Eureka had this quality in spades.  She emerged in a dress fitting of her royalty and had she had not one, but two reveals. Eventually leaving her to perform in one of her customary bodysuits, but no one can wear a bodysuit as well as Eureka O’Hara.  The thing that I liked most about Eureka’s performance was that it was not just a show, it was a statement. Part way through her show videos and recordings of some of the derogatory remarks made against Eureka were played after her regal gown was stripped away.  Eureka’s inner queen was revealed and she was completely exposed. Suddenly Keala’s Settle’s “This is Me” started playing and Eureka gave all of her haters an unabashed look at what she’s capable of. Her performance was an unforgettable one and served as a reminder to all that we should never let anyone extinguish our light.  Eureka sure hasn’t!

The third place we visited was the fictional town of town of Storybrooke, the setting of the popular tv show, Once Upon a Time.  Here we met the fiercest and most wicked witch queen of them all, Kameron Michaels. In a stunning entrance, she emerged from an elaborate vessel (of her own creation no doubt).  In no time at all, her dancing had put us all under her wretched spell. If dance could kill, we’d all be six feet under, but luckily this spell was more of an enchantment than a curse.  Kameron, season 9’s lip sync assassin, never disappoints and this night was no exception. She was sharp, deliciously evil, and she donned one of my favorite costumes of the night! After Kameron’s stunning performance the audience got a much-needed break.  I for one was still dazed by Kameron’s haunting routine and needed a second to compose myself.

On the other side of the break, we got even more of the effervescent and hilarious Bob the Drag Queen, except this time around her comedy included audience participation.  She had three members of our lively audience get up for none other than a lip sync for your live performance. But true to form, Bob didn’t choose just any old audience member.  No, she had criteria. Her first pick was someone that had to be over 40 years old and of course, she chose a lady that midnighted as a customer (leave it to a queen to find the dressmaker in a crowd of 3000 people).  Her second pick was the gayest boy in the room, but not just any gay. This boy had to be a drag superfan: drag race, local drag, back alley drag, absolutely all of it. Lastly, she looked for the most annoying white girl in the crowd: The Becky of all Beckys.  When she had her picks, she gave them wigs and it was off to the races. It ended up being a tie after the drag superfan and the annoying white girl put on two performances that were too close to call. It was pretty fun and watching Bob play stand-in drag mom to three audience members was absolutely hilarious.

Now that our three contestants had collected their prizes, it was time to get back to it.  We were about to watch three drags queens duke it out in an all-out lip sync battle, but first, as with any fight, the national anthem had to be sung.  There to do us that honor was none other than the season 10 winner herself, Aquaria. I have to be completely honest with this one. I find Aquaria to be an immensely talented queen whose looks can rival former champion Sasha Velour (a bold statement if I’ve ever had one), but tonight Aquaria left me wanting more, and not in a good way.  While her performance was pretty funny, I wanted so much more from her, especially after seeing the first three queens. It’s possible that her performances in other cities had been and will be different, but I wasn’t exactly satiated after her visit to Seattle. I wanted sickening looks and fierce lip-syncing, but what I got was something that I’ve seen other queens do multiple times before.  I definitely missed that spark that she brought to season 10.

What I missed in Aquaria’s performance was more than made up for with her season 10 costars and runner-ups to the crown Asia O’Hara, Kameron Michaels, and Eureka O’Hara.  They each wore slightly different gray and black sequined body suits, a uniform that foreshadowed what was to come. After all, fighters don’t wear flamboyant gowns and make no mistake, this was a no holds barred beatdown.  These ladies held nothing back as they lip-synced, danced, and death dropped their way to victory. So devastating were their punches that I was legitimately worried for their safety. These three fought till there was nothing left, and I loved every crazy second of it.  It was about this time in the show that my voice started getting hoarse, but I rallied because it definitely wasn’t over yet!

Not to be outdone, Bob the Drag Queen took the stage again in my absolute favorite outfit of the night, a fiery number full of reds, yellows, and oranges which would later get wings.  Bob proved that, like a phoenix, she is eternal. Next up was Asia O’hara in a stunning dress that would later reveal a neon green jumpsuit. She is milking her butterfly scandal for all it’s worth and, honey, it’s not tired yet.  Her performance was hilarious, artistic, and just the kind of special that I expected from her. Last was Valentina, who took us to our last destination in Mexico City. She and her backup dancers got all close and personal with this one as they performed all manner of fiery Latin dance moves.  Valentina looked stunning and she moved effortlessly across the stage. It was certainly one of my favorite performances of the night and I’m surprised she didn’t burn the whole place down with her smoldering dance moves.

As the Queens took to the stage one last time to dance their faces off, the crowd cheered with absolute gusto, a testament to what we witnessed this night.  I find myself lucky to not only see some of the most talented people ever to perform on one stage, but to experience it with a crowd of people that were so ecstatic to be there.  The venue, the people, the queens, were nothing short of amazing and it made for an absolutely unforgettable night. I would love to thank everyone responsible for making this night happen as it couldn’t have been easy.  The production value of the performance was phenomenal from the choreography to the lighting and the sound. It all just came together amazingly. My last and final shout out goes out to the backup dancers. Four amazing dancers that were as talented as they were good looking.  At times I found myself watching them more than the performing queen! This truly was an electrifying night and a show that I plan to keep seeing for as long as they keep touring. I look forward to next year and the next round of wonderful queens!

2018 Seattle Pride Parade Judges

We are honored to introduce the 2018 Seattle Pride Parade judges panel. They bring years of experience from the arts, entertainment, and journalistic disciplines. Our judges will select the best walking contingent and the best float in this year’s parade. The winners will be given free registration for the 2019 Parade along with other prizes.

 

Angelina Villalobos aka 179

“My name is Angelina Villalobos, my art superhero name is 179. I’m a Seattle born art activist and partner with communities connecting art with action. My work strives to engage viewers to partake in their environment through observation & participation. I believe community engagement is vital to successful art planning and that art should be accessible to all.” Angelina’s art graces the cover of the 2018 Seattle Pride Guide.

 

Amanda Bearse

Current Seattle resident, Amanda Bearse has enjoyed over thirty-five years in the entertainment industry, twenty-five of which have been directing comedy. She began her acting career in New York on “All My Children”, and after moving to Hollywood, Amanda was cast in the cult horror film “Fright Night” opposite Chris Sarandon, followed by another cult classic, the role of Marcy D’Arcy on the Fox sitcom, “Married…With Children”. She directed numerous episodes during the final six seasons and has since directed over a hundred sitcoms as well as the sketch comedy series, “Mad TV”. Amanda executive produced and directed “The Big Gay Sketch Show”, helping to launch the LOGO network.
In 1993, at the height of her acting career, Amanda came out as a lesbian to the public with a cover article in the Advocate. Amanda’s activism for the LGBT community began as the first poster child for HRC’s National Coming Out Day. She has served on the boards of The Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt and the LA Gay & Lesbian Center and has often spoken on behalf of the LGBTQ community, promoting visibility and equal rights, including Seattle’s World AIDS Day. In January, Amanda made her off-Broadway directing debut with “Party Face”. Here in Seattle, she is lead instructor in the Acting for Film program at the Seattle Film Institute.

 

Melissa O’Hearn

Melissa O’Hearn is an international product and fashion photographer and stop-motion animator. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Spin, the Seattle Met, and currently, is a contributing photographer at Starbucks. She lives in Seattle via Wyoming, with her partner, two cats, and two part-time chihuahua-cha-chas. Her keen eye and queer spirit capture the beauty in everything and everyone. Her work can be found on instagram.com/melissaohearn and melissaohearn.com

 

Michael Strangeways

As the Editorial Director/Co-Owner, Michael Strangeways writes, edits and does about a million other jobs for Seattle Gay Scene, Puget Sound’s most visited LGBTQ news, arts and entertainment website now celebrating its 10th year as a media outlet. A semi-proud Midwesterner by birth, he’s lived in Seattle since 2000. He’s also a film producer who would like you to check out the Jinkx Monsoon documentary, “Drag Becomes Him” now available on Amazon.com. In his spare time, he gets slightly obsessive about his love for old movies, challenging theater, “otters,” vodka, chocolate, “I,Claudius,” Lizzie Borden, real books made out of paper, disaster films, show tunes, Weimar era Germany, flea markets, pop surrealistic art, the sex lives of Hollywood actors both living and dead, kitties, chicken fried steak, haute couture  and David Bowie. But, not necessarily in that order.

 

Sarah Toce

Award-winning journalist Sarah Toce was honored with the 2017 Community Builder Award by
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. In June, she was recognized as one of the most powerful journalists of 2017 by Curve magazine. She was also the recipient of the distinguished 2016 LGBT Leadership Award from the Washington Diversity Council.

In 2014, she was named one of GO Magazine’s Red Hot Entrepreneurs. In 2012, the McCormick Foundation named Sarah one of their New Media Women Entrepreneurs for her work developing and publishing Seattle’s daily LGBT online newspaper – The Seattle Lesbian. In its first year alone, The Seattle Lesbian reached a threshold of one million readers on a global scale.

Sarah currently serves on the boards of the Society of Professional Journalists – Washington Chapter, GALECA -The LGBTQ Entertainment Critics Association, and is a founding committee member of Burien Pride.

 

Wendy Jo Carlton

Wendy Jo Carlton directed her first feature, Hannah Free, starring Emmy-winner Sharon Gless, in 2009. Hannah Free won several Audience awards and is globally distributed. Carlton wrote and directed her second feature, Jamie and Jessie are Not Together, (said to be the first lesbian romance musical), which film critics Roger Ebert and Michael Phillips giving glowing reviews. Her LGBTQ digital series, Easy Abby, received 50 million views for its 13-episode Season One, and both seasons are now distributed by Revry.tv.

Wendy Jo started her career in radio, producing fake travelogues for a weekly show. Her award-winning short films have screened internationally, including the American Film Institute and Sundance. Carlton founded a media literacy and filmmaking program for teen girls called Chicks make Flicks, and is committed to community collaboration. Carlton was an Artist-in-Residence at 911 Media Arts in Seattle and a recipient of the Navona Fellowship from the University of Illinois Chicago, where she earned a graduate degree in Moving Image.

Interview with Al Lykya From Seattle’s Boylesque Festival

by Adam Fehn

Since the 1930’s burlesque has been a way for the performers and audience to lose themselves in the fantasy of the mind and body. Over the years these tease shows have evolved to meet societies ever-changing needs, wants, and desires.

After 4 years Seattle’s Boylesque Festival continues to entertain, mystify, and drive the audience wild. The first night of Boylesque’s 2018 show Proud Times writer Adam Fehn got an upfront interview with Boylesque veteran performer Al Lykaya – here’s the exclusive:

Photo by Max Shaw

Seattle Boylesque Festival 2018

   By Ebb Rivers

Thirsty Girl Productions and Daniel Nardicio present a cirque du erotica drag extravaganza filled with fire, aerial performances, and sexy half-naked men. Boylesque is not something you’ll find at your cool uncle’s house. This festival spectacular features performances by world class artists and entertainers who specialize in the art of seduction. The festival is held annually in Seattle’s Historic Union District, hosted by The Triple Door on April 14th and 15th. Boylesque is in its fourth year now and the performances just keep getting better. We got in touch with Jen Gapay, the woman behind Thirsty Girl Productions, to discuss this upcoming weekend, here’s what she had to say:

For those that have not heard of Boylesque, could you explain what it is?

Boylesque is a version of Burlesque that is primarily performed by (but not limited to) those who identify as male.  It can take on many art forms including singing, dancing, circus performance and drag (both Queens & Kings), but most acts end up with a striptease as part of the performance.

At a glance Boylesque appears to be primarily geared toward the LGBTQ community, would it appeal to a straight audience?

The Seattle Boylesque audience is very diverse and attracts a very mixed audience and includes many members from the LGBTQ community as well as a large straight audience.

The Boylesque Festival is a relatively newer event/venue, this being its fourth year, what would you say has been the largest contribution to its success?

This is Seattle’s only burlesque festival and because of that I have curated the shows to include a diverse range of very talented performers and because of that,  the shows have built up a good reputation over the last four years . Also, The Triple Door is a great venue to see a burlesque show in, their curtain is amazing, their stage is gigantic, and they are rigged for aerial and allow fire performances so this makes the shows extra special.

What was it about the Boylesque Festival that sparked your fire and passion for it?

Well, I had been producing The New York Burlesque Festival for years and started noticing a growing number of boylesque performers in the scene, and really enjoyed what they were bringing to the table.

Many of the acts tended to be really campy and I love that and it just seemed like it was the right time to introduce a boylesque festival, so I started the New York Boylesque Festival with Daniel Nardicio in 2012 followed by The Seattle festival in 2015.

Could you explain to our readers what they can expect over the festival weekend?

We have 30 performers from all of the US and Canada.

The Festival kicks of Friday, April 13th with local Burlesque starlet and hostess, “The Showgirl Scholar”, Sailor St. Claire. This opening night features over a dozen performers  including Burlesque Hall of Fame performers 2 to Fly (NYC), Mod Carousel (Seattle), RedBone (San Francisco), EmpeROAR! Fabulous (Seattle), Paris Original (Seattle) and Ernie Von Schmaltz (Seattle). Also gracing the stage is a nationwide handful of hunky hotties: Ben Franklin (NYC), Jupiter Everhard (Bozeman MT), JD Hickcock (Houston TX), Devonaire (NYC), Al Lykya (Seattle), Burning Loins (Denver CO), Moscato Extatique (Seattle), Apollo Vidra (Seattle), Kiki Mustang (Seattle) and Phathoms Deep (Breaux Bridge LA).

The Saturday night spectacular is emceed by Seattle’s own infamous and always hilarious Ernie Von Schmaltz and features a cast of international all-stars including: Izohnny (Portland, OR), 2 to Fly (NYC), Devonaire (NYC), Joshua Dean (NYC), Luminous Pariah (Seattle), Isaiah Esquire (Portland OR), RedBone (San Francisco), Trojan Original (Seattle), Johnny Nuriel (Portland OR ), Indy Fire (Denver), Bobby Barnaby (Austin TX), Mr Valdez (Colorado Springs, CO), Dutch Loven (Victoria BC), Haywire (Minneapolis MN), Pistol Holliday (Amarillo Texas) & Curtis Carlyle (Portland OR).

Saturday’s late show benefits Burlycon Burlesque Convention, a non-profit organization of burlesque performers, producers, fans and aficionados.  Press ready images and interview arrangements available upon request. Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are available for both shows, please contact jen@thirstygirlproductions for more info.

BOTH NIGHTS Two Shows: 7pm & 10:30pm

Doors: 5:30pm & 10pm

Tickets

GA Seating $25 adv, $30 at the door

VIP Seating $40 adv, $45 at the door

WC Accessible, contact venue for information

The Triple Door

216 Union Street

Seattle, WA 98101

www.thetripledoor.net

www.boylesquefestival.com

If you had to pick only one act or performance from the festival, which one would it be?

I can’t pick just one!

IZOHNNY from Portland are spectacular, they do fire rituals, and amazing drag for starters and they are EVERYTHING!  

Also 2 to Fly from NYC are really amazing, very theatrical and circusy.

Plus, both of these duos are couples too so that adds to the magic.

What goes into determining what cities the festival will be held?

It’s helpful to produce a festival that has a healthy burlesque/boylesque scene in place already and also is a destination city for performers and for the general public.

Are there plans for expanding to smaller cities as the festival grows bigger?

We are currently planning  The 1st Annual New Orleans Boylesque Festival for February 2019!

The Boylesque Festival has a little of this and little of that, is there a message or feeling you would like festival goers to take with them after all is said and done?

I want to encourage new festival goers to come with an open heart, an open mind, and a good sense of humor, and leave with feelings of awe, wonder, love, lust, inspiration,  compassion, and exuberance!

Finally, if someone is interested in auditioning to perform in the festival, what advice will you share with an aspiring newcomer to the Boylesque Scene?

Newcomers should seek out the boylesque or burlesque scene in their community and start performing locally first before applying to any festival.

There are also many burlesque schools that teach boylesque 101 courses, so that’s a great place to start!

You heard the lady! Not only can you look forward this this weekend in Seattle, but New Orleans is coming next year! Grab your boy toy, or your girl toy, and enjoy two exciting nights together ogling the skills – and hot bods – of these wonderful performers!