Performers

Strike a Pose: St. Louis has a storied ball scene — and its stars are ready to strut their stuff at Pride

Strike a Pose: St. Louis has a storied ball scene — and its stars are ready to strut their stuff at Pride

It was 2001 when Mechee Harper took her nineteen-year-old friend Meko Lee Burr to Chicago for his first ball. “We ended up taking over a KFC as our dressing room,” Harper recalls. “And the employees were like, ‘Well, alright!’”  The underground, largely black and Latinx LGBTQ ball culture has mostly existed out of mainstream awareness

Better Together: How Alicia Markstone and Janessa Highland saved each other — and rose to the top

Better Together: How Alicia Markstone and Janessa Highland saved each other — and rose to the top

When Janessa Highland became show director at Martha’s Vineyard in Springfield, Missouri, in 2011, she knew she was following in big footsteps. That included those of Alicia Markstone, the 2002 Miss Gay USofA at Large, who had gone from small-town Missouri to Florida to be the show director at the famed Suncoast Resort Hotel. But

For Chuck Pfoutz, New Show at Third Degree Glass Factory Is a Triumph Over the Haters

For Chuck Pfoutz, New Show at Third Degree Glass Factory Is a Triumph Over the Haters

Blacklisting is an art deeply woven into the culture of St. Louis, a city that produces cold winters, but even colder shoulders. The July and August 2017 efforts of a disgruntled rival to blacklist photographer and producer Chuck Pfoutz, however, completely lacked the hallmarks of our local style. There was no subtlety and intrigue, no

Ladies, All The Ladies: “The Queens” at Hamburger Mary’s

Ladies, All The Ladies: “The Queens” at Hamburger Mary’s

Spend Sunday evening immersed in the fascinating world of competitive female impersonation. Feature-length documentary The Queens, screening at Hamburger Mary’s, dives deep into the Miss Continental Pageant, based out of Chicago’s iconic Baton Show Lounge. Unique among female impersonation pageants, Miss Continental is open to transgender performers. Director Mark Saxenmeyer will be on hand to

Photos from Cabaret Risqué: FELLA-nies and MISS-demeanors

Photos from Cabaret Risqué: FELLA-nies and MISS-demeanors

Earlier this month, the Gateway Men’s Chorus held its annual major fundraising bash. The May 5 event at Mad Art Gallery featured louche and lovely performances, cocktails and a silent auction. Lovely Lola Van Ella produced and emcee’d. Ken Haller sponsored the VIP reception entertainment, Macspertise brought the dessert reception, and Michael Simon sponsored the

Jeez Loueez Is About To Give St. Louis Burlesque a Dose of Color

Jeez Loueez Is About To Give St. Louis Burlesque a Dose of Color

When St. Louis-born burlesque artist Jeez Loueez staged her first annual variety show here several years ago, she had to recruit performers of color from other cities. There weren’t enough locals. But this Friday, she says, about half the acts in her show, “Jeezy’s Juke Joint,” will be homegrown. With the Saint Boogie Brass Band

For This St. Louis Mom, Being a Bio-Queen is Both Liability and Liberation

For This St. Louis Mom, Being a Bio-Queen is Both Liability and Liberation

Charlotte Sumtimes talks, walks and acts like it’s the 1920s. She’s a middle-aged drag queen running St. Louis’ underground jazz scene, rubbing elbows with bootleggers and staying clear of the Klan. She drinks bathtub gin, she curses, she fights, she meanders on cobblestone streets past breweries and brothels. In reality, Charlotte shares a body with

Raised Voices: Gateway Men’s Chorus Performs “We Will Rise”

Raised Voices: Gateway Men’s Chorus Performs “We Will Rise”

Over its 30-year history, the Gateway Men’s Chorus has performed plenty of light-hearted tunes, but at their concerts this weekend, they’ll be trying something different: the 55-member chorus will use song to reckon with harsh truths. The show “We Will Rise” has music that touches on transgender rights, suicide, mental illness, and other issues. Perhaps

A Candy Crush

A Candy Crush

Justin Allen knew from a young age that the line between genders was blurry. Though plagued by social anxiety, he began spending time at Van Ella Studios, that well-known local workshop of burlesque, vaudeville and variety entertainment. While there, he transformed himself into a female-presenting character, Sugar Rush, who will be one of many artists

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