Good morning kids!
And holy winter solstice-how the hell is it December already? That time again to get in gear for all of your favorite, pagan holidays…and to let your boss know what religious background you are in order to get that holiday vaca and time off from work!
As you know and probably hate, Jews like me celebrate Hanukah for eight days and get a gift for each day. So we require A LOT of time off. And yeah the holiday seems to fall on different days each year, but that’s only because we all meet up and decide when it would be the most inconvenient days to celebrate for everyone around us that isn’t Jewish. But don’t be jealous or mad, we always get shitty gifts while everyone else is waking up to brand new Xboxes. That’s our thing-you can’t have it all can ya…
But whether you light candles, celebrate Jesus’ birthday, read some hadith about Ramadan, or give your evil kids to the Krampus, December gives us a lot of parties, food, and the biggest night of drinking-New Year’s Eve. And with the good comes the bad-the “All I Want for Xmas is You” performance that is gay law mandatory for every drag show through the entire month (ahem NAVAYA SHAY)-but congrats on becoming Miss Tabu 2016!). But the good is that I’m back from Dragcation and back to working’ dem streets and bars again-and so are a whole bunch of other dragons! So here’s a list of the buzz and what’s a happenin’ for December! Yep a Jesus Christ Superstar reference-it’s the holidays! Make it nice and come see the tree!
Dec. 3rd-Code Red 7pm @ The Theater of Living Arts
In 2008, I met a timid (and thin haha), little boy who was hired to be my backup dancer for Shampoo’s Boy Bar. We quickly bonded and he became one of my gay children. Now he has grown into one of the city’s most beloved drag queens and a powerhouse in the lgbt fundraising community-the diva known as Cherry Pop. This Saturday night, join Cherry and Brandon Bartlieb-the producers of what has grown into one of the biggest charity events of the year-Code Red. As both a producer and a performer that has been in the last three, I’m so excited to see what this year’s event brings to the TLA stage, and the energy this show brings to the city. I had a few minutes to chat with Cherry Pop and get the scoop on this year’s event…
This is your fourth year for Code Red-tell everyone a little about how the show has evolved?
Cherry: I like to say that Code Red is literally a dream come true. It all started with an idea, a vision, that I had after I was diagnosed with HIV. Even though I had support from my family and friends, I felt alone. I was not aware of the resources that were out there for me to help me handle my HIV. Hiv was not talked about and I did not know anyone else with HIV that I could talk to for advice. One night I thought, “I have a voice and a platform in the community that I can use to make a difference, so nobody else who is newly diagnosed will feel alone or lost.” I reached out to my friend Brandon who I worked with on producing shows in the past and he was immediately interested. We collaborated ideas and came up with “CODE RED”- a night where local talent could get together to entertain an audience to raise money for hiv organizations while sharing important information about HIV resources for prevention and treatment. The first year was extremely emotional for me. It was the first time I was publicly coming out as HIV+, I was only diagnosed a year. I was not sure how the city would accept my open status, but I quickly noticed that it was with open arms. Standing on stage that night I was overwhelmed with the amount of support and love that filled the venue. My vision came alive that night. We raised $2,500 the first year. The following year gained more attention and we were able to double our profit and got $5000. Last year we successfully raised $8,800 in one night. This year the event has grown so much that we needed to find a bigger venue to hold the growing audience and thankfully we found the TLA. I cannot believe I’m hosting at TLA and performing on that iconic stage!!!!. I never thought, but I always wished that this event would get this big. I’m so thankful for my Code Red family for helping me make a difference for our community, and I’m grateful for the devoted Code Red audience for coming out and supporting the cause. This is huge. It’s a dream come true!
It’s your vision and dedication that makes this event happen-and you have a natural loving and giving spirit that draws both performers and the audience to this show. What is the message you would like people to leave with at the end of Code Red?
Cherry: Code Red is a night to raise awareness about HIV prevention and treatment options. I want people to learn about the importance of regular HIV testing. I will discuss the new advanced safety barriers to protect yourself from contracting HIV such as PrEP and PEP. I will also stress the importance of safe sex with condoms and not using PrEP as an excuse to have unprotected sex which is dangerous. I want people to learn that communication is the first step to safe sex, to talk to your partner about safe sex and learn about their sexual history. I want people to know about the treatment options that are available in the city thanks to the Mazzoni Center. There’s affordable healthcare and medication. There’s free HIV and std testing. It is also a night to show it is ok to be known as HIV positive to end the stigma surrounding the virus. I also have such a supportive group of family and friends, but not everyone has that, so Code Red is a place where someone who is HIV positive can come and feel welcome and meet others who are positive and make friends with people who are accepting and comfortable with someone who is positive.
With all that said, I want people to have fun and coming back for more. I want them to talk about this event for weeks after the event, because IT HAS THEM TALKING!!! We need to talk about HIV. We are at a time where HIV is at an all time high. Especially Philadelphia which is five times the national average of HIV infection. We need to TALK about HIV . We need to TALK about sex. Sex is natural, we shouldn’t feel embarrassed.
Oh our goal is to try to top last year’s total, reaching for $10,000. I have ideas for next year to expand the code Red event, more details to come.
So help my kids and all your gayborhood faves raise some much needed coins for a great cause-check out Code Red’s event page here:
TLA-334 South St.; (215) 922-1011
Dec. 4-Miss Icandy Pageant at 8pm at Icandy
Come and play with me and Miss Icandy 2016 Aloe Vera as we take the crown off her head and put the title of Miss Icandy onto a new diva who will represent Icandy in 2017 and get to march with the Miss Fancy Brigade on New Year’s Day! Make it gay!
Icandy-254 S. 12th St.; (267) 324-3500
Dec. 7-Release party for the Morris Animal Refuge’s Fierce and Furry 2017 Calendar at 6pm @ Tabu
Twelve of the gayborhood’s favorite leading ladies have joined up with Morris Animal Refuge to create a fundraising calendar, “Fierce & Furry”! And most of us shaved for the photoshoot so you will hopefully be able to tell the queens from the adoptable furry babies in this GAYMAYZING calendar! Come by and grab a copy before they sell out! Makes a great ChrismaKwanzaHanukah gift for gays of all ages!
Tabu-200 S 12th St.; (215) 964-9675
Dec. 9-Fish Tank at 9pm @ Tabu
Ariel Versace has cast her fish net out and pulled in a great group of fishy queens for this month’s holiday show-Anita Manhattan, Roxi Starr, Chasity St. Cartier, and Pheadra Phaded all parade around the tank this month!
Tabu-200 S 12th St,; (215) 964-9675
Dec. 9th-Glitter and Garbage at 7pm @ L’Etage
Shannon Turner serves, “Cabaret Realness with a side of angst and a filthy mouth”. With five dollars of every cover going to benefit The Trevor Project (Preventing Suicide among LGBTQ+ youth), Kevin Lutz on the piano, and special guest Mistor Fahrenheit performing, L’Etage is going to fill up quick-so grab an early seat kids! And be ready for Miss Turner’s mouth-she’s been known to make truck drivers blush.
$ 12 cover.
L’Etage-624 S 6th St.; (215) 592-0656
Dec. 11-Golden Gurlz Live at 7pm @ Tabu
Golden Gurlz returns to Tabu after two sold out shows! This month, catch the Gurlz holiday episode-AND-a murder mystery episode-with guest star Angela Landsbury as Jessica Fletcher! (*Note: Angela Landsbury will not be there but we have the next best thing…) The murder mystery episode in very interactive so get seats up close to the stage if you wanna be a part of the show! My gay galpals Pissi Myles, Connor Michalchuk, Bella Cane, Aeryanah Von Moi, and Anne Allen return to reprise their famous roles (and then some) in this improv production of some of the Golden Gurlz funniest moments.
Tabu-200 S 12th St,; (215) 964-9675
Dec. 15-Xmas Kinky Quizzo at 10:30pm @ Valanni!
My big, gay ass gets extra kinky hosting a night of Kinky Quizzo. What makes it kinky and holiday? You should see what I do with the drinks and appetizers before they reach your table…Come anyway-and win some amazing kinky gifts to make any Scrooge loosen up this holiday season!
Valanni-1229 Spruce St, (215) 790-9494
Dec. 16-Very Sherry Xmas at 7pm @ Tabu!
This show was a big one on my holiday list-I had to put out early for Santa this year-and ALL HIS DWARVES. It was actually pretty fun! But who doesn’t want to see two gay Jews perform holiday material? Iconic, drag legend Sherry Vine joins myself, Ariel Versace, and comedianne extraordinaires Martha Salzman-Gay and Di the Comedian Hargrove. (You will want to see Di play Bill Cosby as we sing our rendition of “Baby it’s Cold Outside…”) Catch Sherry Vine on gaySVTV on YouTube for her collection of HIGH-larious videos and classics such as “Shit My Pants!” (Bad Romance parody). If you’re a cheap ass like myself and have Hulu instead of cable, check out her cable show, “She’s Living for this!”
For the first time in the twenty years or so I have known Miss Vine, I was able to distract her and wrench the cock out of her mouth for a brief period of time, and ask her a few questions. Here’s what she had to say until she overpowered me and went back to work…
You have had a long and GAYmayzing drag career spanning centuries! As one of the original NYC premier queens, what’s the secret to keeping up with the two million new drag queens that have flooded the market since drag race began?
Sherry: LOL! Yes, back during the Ming Dynasty it was easier to draw a crowd – less competition! But now that anyone can put on a wig and be a drag star lol, But I just keep doing what i do and hope people want to see it. I’ve always been a hard worker and I still love it soooo much!!
Parodies seem to be your forte-do the lyrics just flow naturally to you? What’s your process as to which parodies go to your stage performance rather than the ones that you produce into one of your infamous YouTube videos?
Sherry: I have literally been writing parodies my entire life – even before Sherry Vine. I used to rewrite the songs to the musicals we were doing in high school. So I guess it does come naturally and I’m demented. lol. Some parodies come out very easily and I can write one in 3 minutes. But sometimes it can take days or weeks! If it’s a song that’s a big hit and I want to write a parody it can be involved. Especially a rap song like my new Nicki Minaj parody of Hey Mama – it’s a lot of words and rhyming. And trust me, for everyone that’s a “hit” there are 10 that flop!! Lol. I audition a lot of new material at my weekly show in NYC so when people see me out of town, like Philly, they luckily get the ones that have passed inspection!
Speaking of videos, tell the kids about SVTV and how that came about?
Sherry: gaySVTVworld is the brainchild of me and my creative business partner Josh Rosenzweig. We have worked together for over 20 years. He was the director of our theatre company Theatre Couture and he produced/directed my variety show She’s Living For This on Here TV. We wanted to create more content that was all LGBTQ and drag and own 100% of it so we re-branded my YouTube channel. It’s amazing to me how many people work so hard on it and all the content is free. It’s the gay Netflix but free! lol. Our next big project is Oy To The World – 8 new music parody videos by 8 different directors, one for each night of Hanukkah!
I see “She’s Living For This!” on Hulu-any chance of us seeing more Sherry Vine coming back to cable?
Sherry: Honestly, that show was my all time life-long dream come true! We definitely want to do something like that next year!! So many people have been commenting on it and seeing it on Hulu – praise goddess!
Tabu-200 S 12th St,; (215) 964-9675
Dec. 16-Drag Me To Landmark 9pm @ Landmark
Astala Vista brings all the kids up to Joisey for a night of holiday queers. This little spitfire has grown into such an amazing performer and host and can hold her own with the big girls! Special guests include Vinchelle, Pissi Myles, and Miss Terra Hyman. This place-much like my uterus-packs em in and fills up quickly-get your tickets before the show and tell em Brittany sent ya-I’ll be there with the kids in January!
https://www.facebook.com/events/328838110832386/Landmark-1 Mullica Hill Road Glassboro, NJ 08028
Dec. 17-Therapy Not Included at 9pm @ Front Street Drive
Brought to you by Sinnamon’s Spice Rac and hosted by Mistor Fahrenheit, this night of burlesque is a “burlesque show of ruined childhoods”. Ugh, I hear ya sister! I couldn’t even speak when they cancelled “Dancin on Air” and “Punky Brewster’. You can’t even find those on Amazon!
Front Street Drive-10 S Front St.
Dec. 21-VERA Xmas Show at 9pm at VERA!
VERA has become a hot showcase for the queens over in Jersey! The now infamous, monthly event is having its first holiday show-so show some holiday spirit by drinking some holiday spirits, and expect a fist bump or two with some high high by both the queens and the audience members. Hey-it’s Cherry Hill-whaddaya expect? Hosted by Ariel Versace, with performances by Phaedra Phaded, Chasity St. Cartier, and meeee Brittany Lynn! Sit on our laps and tell us what ya want in your stocking this year.
2310 Marlton Pike W, Cherry Hill, NJ.; (856) 486-1001
Dec. 24-The Nondenominational Super Fun HoliGAY Show! At 9pm @ Tabu!
The Gayborhood’s gayest gaggle of gays gather together to celebrate all the weirdness of the HoliGays. Join Aurora Whorealis, Eric Jaffe, and Abowla Dix and they celebrate ALL the holidays-just without the annoying family and extravagant gift giving. Well I’m sure Aurora has some things she can pass onto you-shes the gift that keeps on giving. You may need a shot after…of penicillin. But it’s fine because there’s no cover! So come on out and play and make it nice!
Tabu-200 S 12th St,; (215) 964-9675
Well that’s all for now kids-everyone have a safe and blessed holiGAY. Make it nice and come see my tree! It’s at Macy’s on the third floor…
Love and lashes,