On Sunday, February 23rd, 16 teams will pit their gumbo recipes against one another in Tennessee Equality Project's fourth annual Mardi Gras Party and Gumbo Contest.
They'll be vying for both the People's Choice Award (voted on by attendees) and the Judges' Choice Award (judged by a panel of made up of Memphis Police officer Virginia Awkward, Chef Kelly English of Restaurant Iris, Memphis City Councilman Edmund Ford Jr., former State Senator Beverly Kay Marrero, and Chef Gary Williams of DeJavu Restaurant). A $25 ticket allows patrons to sample and vote for their favorite gumbo. High Cotton Brewing Company and Yazoo Brewing Company will provide craft brew for sale, and the Mighty Souls Brass Band will play New Orleans jazz.
Pat McCooter, Queen of Mystic Krewe of Pegasus Memphis, will act as Mistress of Ceremonies.
Call 901-301-3306 or visit http://tepgumbocontest.blogspot.com/ for tickets.
Full disclosure: I'll be competing in the gumbo contest this year.
Friends of Georges and the production team behind George's Truck Stop and Drag Bar will present a new drag-themed musical, The Dragnificent Variety Hour, this weekend at Evergreen Theatre.
The original sketch comedy production will feature local drag queens and plenty of over-the-top production numbers.
"We all love shows like The Carol Burnett Show and Sonny and Cher,” says Friends of George’s Tracy Love. “Those shows were so much fun because of all the amazing guest stars and production numbers. We really wanted to create something in that genre.”
Sketches will include "The Tea (a parody of the The View) and "Drag in a Bag" (a parody of the Home Shopping Channel) among others.
The show will go on at 8 p.m. on Friday, January 31st and Saturday, February 1st. Tickets are $20 and are on sale at friendsofgeorges.org and at the box office while they last.
Earlier this month, long-time bartender Lisa McNeil, who most recently worked the bar at Dru's Place, passed away. McNeil's partner Tami Montgomery owns Dru's Place.
On Sunday, January 26th, Dru's Place is holding a celebration of McNeil's life. "Celebrating Lisa McNeil" starts at noon and runs through 5 p.m. with performances by Tiffany Shae (1-2 p.m.) and Ashley Mcbryde (3-5 p.m.). There will also be a raffle, games, and food.
All proceeds from the event will go toward McNeil's funeral costs.
This month's installment of Cherry, a party for LGBT folks and their allies, combines the usual burlesque show with a few rousing rounds of bingo.
The text from host Julie Wheeler's promotional email is pretty swell with its references to bingo-loving old lady names. So we'll let her explain (below) how the night will go down. The party starts at 9 p.m. on Saturday, January 25th at Side Street Grill's RedBar. Also, this month's event will feature a newly built stage for the burlesque performers.
"Get ready to kick off your fuzzy slippers and put on your party clothes, Pearl! It's time to come down to CHERRY's Burlesque Bingo Show in the RedBar at Side Street!
Now don't get us wrong, Hazel, this isn't serious Bingo. But you will have a chance to win fun prizes — all while you watch a burlesque show! I'm sure you're saying, ''Deloris, this is right up my alley!'' Well, Betty, in honor of the new year, we've decided to do things a little differently. We're going to start off with a smaller show of burlesque mixed with bingo and then we have an intermission. This will give you time, Ernestine, to mingle with the other players and performers while partaking in an adult beverage or two.
And just when you start to lose interest in the person flirting with you, Petunia, it's time for the final small bingo burlesque show with different prizes and some of the same stars doing a completely different act!
And don't worry about being able to see all the action, Gertrude, we're building a little stage to put it up high for all to see! All this plus, in between shows (and afterwards!), we'll have some of the hottest dance music & drink specials to get you off of your feet and dancing! So, whatever your name is, just make sure you get down to the RedBar at Side Street (35 S Florence) on Saturday, January 25th for CHERRY's Bingo Burlesque Show & Party! Doors@8pm Shows@9&10:30 21+ $10 (cash only at the door). See You There!"
The Mystic Krewe of Pegasus will hold its annual Mardi Gras Ball on Saturday, January 25th at Minglewood Hall.
"Mardi Gras in Ol' Nawlins" will feature Queen Pegasus X Ashlyn Tyler and King Pegasus X Shayne Rachels and a drag show with outrageous Mardi Gras-themed costumes. The cocktail reception kicks things off at 7 p.m. in the 1886 Lounge with free appetizers from Jack Magoo's. The drag show begins at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $50 per person or $375 per table (seats eight people). All proceeds benefit Friends for Life. For ticket info, go here.
The Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) is hosting a "Red Alert" party to kick off the season of lobbying for pro-equality legislation in the Tennessee General Assembly.
On Monday, January 13th, TEP is urging their supporters to wear red clothing to Side Street Grill's Red Bar from 5 to 7 p.m.
The meet-up is intended as a symbolic "red alert" to let people know that the General Assembly will reconvene on Tuesday, January 14th, and TEP supporters should expect to be prepared to support pro-equality bills (such as a bill that would add "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to school policy on bullying) and anti-gay bills (such as Knoxville Senator Stacey Campfield's "Don't Say Gay" bill that would ban discussion of homosexuality in schools).
For a more in-depth look at what to expect on gay rights issues in 2014, check out the Flyer's New Year's prediction coverage.
Looking for a place to toast to 2014 with your partner or group of friends? Here's a rundown of what's happening for New Year's Eve at the gay bars.
Club Spectrum is holding a New Year's Eve bash with free champagne for the first 100 people, a balloon drop at midnight, and music by DJ Krutch and DJ Space Age. $10 cover. Starts at 9 p.m. 616 Marshall (292-2292)
The Pumping Station is throwing an all-night party with champagne, hors d’oeuvres, and party favors. $10 cover. 1382 Poplar (272-7600)
And Dru's Place will ring in the new year with a drag show and a free champagne toast at night. They'll have drink specials all evening. Drag show starts at 10 p.m. No cover. Dru’s Place, 1474 Madison (275-8082)
Before you start making resolutions to swear off booze and spend your life in the gym, the monthly "Cherry" party is offering one more chance to party in 2013.
On Saturday, December 28th, the ''No Resolutions Ball & Burlesque Show" at Side Street's Magnolia Room will feature a burlesque variety show with performances by Kissame Suga, Squeaky Fromage, Foxy Fairmont, Somerset O'Neil, the sword-wielding, belly-dancing MAE Oui, and the final Memphis performance of Fiona Nix.
After the show, DJ Dozer will spin some tunes on the dance floor. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 9:30 p.m. The cover charge is $12.
Juicy Jim's, a pizza parlor and bar on the Highland strip, has been hosting LGBT Sundays for a few months now. And this Sunday, December 15th, they're dedicating the drag show party to evil Disney villains.
Performer Bella Duballe will be the Queen of Hearts and Maleficent, and Aubrey Boomboom-Santangilo is Ursula. Other performers include JackRock as Captain Hook and the party hostess, Adrianna LaGlamour, as a mystery villain.
Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 9 p.m. The cover charge is $5, but University of Memphis and Rhodes College students get in free with a college I.D.
The fourth annual Tennessee Equality Project Gumbo Contest still has a few slots open for gumbo teams. The contest will be held at Bridges on Sunday, February 23rd from 4 to 7 p.m.
At the contest, teams of any size present their gumbos, which are prepared off-site, to participants who purchased tickets to sample. Those participants vote on their favorite gumbo, and the winner is given a People's Choice Award. Gumbos are also ranked by a team of judges, and there's a team spirit award for the best table decorations.
Gumbo teams are given three tickets for tasting other gumbos for the People's Choice Award. Entry for teams is $25. For more information on registering, go here.
(Full disclosure: I participated in this event last year, and I've registered for the 2014 contest as well).
Australian-born singer-songwriter Anu Sava, who currently resides in Nashville, will be playing a couple of shows in Memphis this month.
Sava, formerly of the Aussie punk band Girl With Cake, is touring to promote her latest release "Buried." She combines live instruments and synthesizers to create a sound that is similar to Cat Power or Bat for Lashes.
Sava is set to perform with KockSmashR on Saturday, December 7th at 7 p.m. at Java Cabana. She'll also play at the P&H Cafe on Saturday, December 14th with the Zigadoo Moneyclips.
The monthly Cherry party will have a holiday theme this weekend at the Dublin House (2021 Madison).
The party on Saturday, November 30th will feature drag and burlesque performances by Kissame Suga, Will Ryder, Iris Le'Fluer, FreakNasty, Fiona Nix, and Bianca Bruchette. And as always, Julie Wheeler will host the show. There will be holiday food and drink special before, during, and after the show. And the party continues into the wee hours of the morning with live DJs.
Doors open at 8 p.m. Show starts at 9 p.m. Cover charge is $10.
Don't have anywhere to go this Thanksgiving? The Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center has you covered.
The annual MGLCC Thanksgiving potluck will begin at noon on Thursday, November 28th and run through 4 p.m. They'll provide the turkey and a vegetarian alternative, and guests are expected to bring sides and desserts.
MGLCC is located at 892 S. Cooper.
Since part of the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down by the Supreme Court in June there's been a fair share of confusion over what that means for LGBT couples.
Should you get married if you live in a non-marriage state like Tennessee? What rights are honored, and what rights are not?
Local attorney Susan McKenzie will answer these questions and others from the public about how the striking down of DOMA could affect their lives and marriages in "DOMA is Crumbling, and The World is Changing. What Does It Mean for Me and My Family?" The talk begins at 6 p.m. tonight (November 21st) at the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (892 S. Cooper).
McKenzie, a longtime supporter of LGBT equality, has represented clients in legal matters including divorce, breakups, child custody, family protection, misdemeanor criminal defense, and personal injury.
Today (November 20th) is the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, when candlelight vigils across the country are held to honor transgender victims of violence.
Perpetual Transition, the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center's transgender support group, will hold a local vigil tonight at First Congregational Church at 7 p.m. Names of victims will be read, and there will be speakers.
Perhaps the most well-known local transgender violence victim was Duanna Johnson, the transgender woman who was beaten and called demeaning names by former Memphis Police officer Bridges McRae in 2008 after he had arrested her on alleged prostitution charges. Johnson was found dead from a gunshot wound in North Memphis later that year.