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3.27.13 #42

The Armorettes Are Off to the

DRAG RACES at Burkhart’s Amber Reneè and Josette Face Off for

‘Sing for Your Life’ FINALE SWING IN TIME with ‘Mary Poppins’


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m o r f e t o r N o t i A the Ed 3.27.13 Issue #42

STAFF MANAGEMENT David Thompson Publisher | david@davidatanta.com Elijah Sarkesian Editor in Chief elijah@davidatanta.com Joe Ragsdale Art Director ragsdale@davidatanta.com Bob Gunby Sales Director | bob@davidatanta.com

EDITORIAL Rian Ashlei Chris Azzopardi Sam Gabel Van Gower Emma Harger Richard Marshall Dustin Shelby Brent Star Taylor Trimble Lucas Witherspoon Joseph Brownell Dylan Michael

SALES Steve Tyrrell steve@davidatanta.com

PHOTOGRAPHY Vandreena Cotton Brian Hughes

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DISTRIBUTION Lateasha Hall

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The Power of Coming Out

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s the Proposition 8 and DOMA cases go before the Supreme Court this week, I’ve seen a slew of articles published online that discuss not only the cases themselves, but the shift in American culture that’s now favoring a positive outcome for our community. If there’s anything that’s helped make America more accepting of the LGBT community, it’s the ever-increasing rate at which we’re coming out. While I could write more here about the importance of being out, I think Harvey Milk said it best: “Gay brothers and sisters… You must come out. Come out… to your parents… I know that it is hard and will hurt them but think about how they will hurt you in the voting booth! Come out to your relatives… come out to your friends… if indeed they are your friends. Come out to your neighbors… to your fellow workers… to the people who work where you eat and shop… come out only to the people you know, and who know you. Not to anyone else. But once and for all, break down the myths, destroy the lies and distortions. For your sake. For their sake. For the sake of the youngsters who are becoming scared by the votes from Dade to Eugene.” As the cases are heard this week, it’s worth thinking about the power we have as a community when we make ourselves known.

Elijah Sarkesian

Rivendell Media 908-232-2021

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TOC

3.27.13 Issue #42

Cover > Sing For Your Life 18 Armorettes Drag Races 40

Feature > Mary Poppins Atlanta Ballet

22 46

Seen@ > Burkhart’s12 Jungle30 Atlanta Eagle 58

18 40

The Rest > Untucked with Brent Star 14 the Scene  34 Bartab36 Datebook37 Fairyscopes  56 Classifieds  57 Bitch, Please!  60

10 // davidatlanta.com

22

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Burkhart’s FAB FIVE Fridays A fter a long photo shoot for an upcoming show, I needed a nice, long, stiff cocktail…oh, and a drink. It’s Friday night, and I’m feeling very

frisky.

Speaking of Shavonna B. Brooks, I’ve always loved her, that’s my sis! She came out on stage looking like the beautiful Wessland Grand Empress 2013 that she proudly is (what? she paid me for these kudos). Um, I need another drank.

I went to Burkharts, and let me just say this much—in case you’ve forgotten, it’s St Patrick’s Day weekend. Their storefront’s super glittery green awareness decorations will remind you real quick, it’s time to get green! I wasn’t worried though because not only was my G-string green, but also I’ve been doing “green” all day, #puffpuffpass.

Standing by the bar waiting to go on next was the legendary “size double D” Heather Daniels. I wanted to chat with her, but I got distracted with some big manly hands grabbing my “peanut butter”. I didn’t get his name, but let’s just say he was cute, nice, and disappeared.

As usual, it was packed when I went in and the first thing I heard was a loud but recognizable voice of their weekly fabulous host, Angelica D’Paige. You can tell the crowd loves her. She started off with her roll call, “All the straight people make some noise”, and there were a lot, and they were just as…gay!

When I came back inside, the fabulous Regina Ryan was onstage in her trademark theatrical costume bragging about being big and blonde. A few minutes later, Angelica was back on the mic and had the crowd applauding and encouraging her to get some random patron to squeeze some milk out her tits.

“All the bisexuals make some noise!” Yeah, Angelica Yea, this show is wild…and apparently so was I, has no problem telling the crowd she loves the bisexu- because the last thing I remember before I blacked out als…she believes love is love. was watching the avant garde Gia Sunflowers wearing a huge black wig with a big “black” ass doing a fun Speaking of which, the dating scene for the drag crowd pleasing number. I must come back; why not, I queens isn’t what you think. First of all, not to mention have five fab reasons! any names, quite a few drag performers (including some in this show) these days are tops or versatile like Brent Star’s Performance Schedule: me. As a matter of fact, I can’t wait to get untucked Mondays—Cowtippers (Bingo) 8pm with Angelica and Shavonna B. Brooks, because those Tuesdays—Joe’s on Juniper (Adult Trivia) 8pm two fabulous “ladies” have been known to date… Thursdays---The Laughing Skull (“No Live Animals (gulp), girls….wait…”studs”, you know, masculine Variety Show”) 10:30pm lesbians who don’t mind dating pretty girly drag queens who…wait, this is confusing, does this make them straight? 14 // davidatlanta.com


Sing for Your Life: The Final Showdown S

By Daniel Jones

ing for Your Life (SFYL) is a local competition that has provided many of Atlanta’s undiscovered musical talents with an opportunity to get their big break. If you haven’t had an opportunity to check it out at Jungle Atlanta, you could be missing the career birth of the Atlanta music scene’s rising stars. Here is your chance to catch up just in time for the finale.

The winner of Sing for Your Life will receive a cash prize, a plethora of media coverage, studio time to record original music, a guaranteed single release, bookings for live performances and a booking at a Bedlam event. So who will win? The audience decides. Don’t miss the exciting finale on Thursday, March 28 at Jungle. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 9 p.m.

Meet the two powerhouse females who have fought their way to the top using the skills they naturally possess while accepting the growth and change that a competition like this can nurture. With the help of mentors Barry Brandon, JL Rodriguez, Michael Robinson and the entire SFYL production team, they have successfully worked towards creating a marketable brand for their amazing talents.

To catch up on all the excitement, check out singforyourlifeatl.com. You can also read our weekly online recap at davidatlanta.com.

18 // davidatlanta.com

Photographs provided by Whitney Fields Photography www.whitneyfieldsphotography.com www.facebook.com/fieldswhitney


Josette Pimenta From her original submission video and throughout the entire competition, Josette has set herself apart from the others through her ability to put on the best show possible. With extensive training in dance and involvement in two Burlesque troupes, this vixen is no stranger to the stage. “I am a performer with every fiber of my being,” Josette proudly states. This strength has allowed her to give memorable performances that truly get the crowd going. Having already mastered the skill of showmanship, Josette has been able to spend time perfecting her singing voice to match the pizazz. With very clear vocal improvements from week to week, she has proven to herself and others that she is not only a great performer. “This competition has made me see that I’m a singer too,” she said. Win or lose, Josette’s future holds no bounds. As long as she continues to be on a stage doing what she loves, she is fulfilled. “My job as an artist is to put on a show for people, and if I’ve done that, my job is done.” A self-perceived weakness that she must remind herself to overcome is second-guessing her decisions. She has thrived most as an artist by just going with her gut. “Win or lose in this competition, it’s going to be me that did it... It’s gonna be 100% Josette.”


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Amber Reneè With a unique sound that is all her own, Amber Reneè has repeatedly impressed both the judges and the audience by making every song her own. She has a distinct voice that clearly bares her signature on every note. Having received the most weekly audience votes several times during the competition—more than any other contestant—she has shown that she clearly not only has musical skills, but also the following to back it up. Amber was hesitant at first about trying out for SFYL due to concerns of putting her art out there for others to judge. She realized early on, however, that these mentors truly just want success for each and every contestant. Amber views her ear for music and the support from her friends and family among her greatest strengths in this competition. “I feel like I’m a medium through which music is conveyed to people,” she says. Her admitted quirkiness also makes her interesting and entertaining, but she worries that she might be playing it too safe at times. Her strategy moving forward is to take some more risks and step a little out of her comfort zone. She is excited about the positive exposure that winning SFYL will produce, and she hopes the other resources she could gain can provide an opportunity to make an eventual album. No matter the outcome, she said, “I feel like I’m already a winner!”


Swing in Time

By Nicholas Grant

M

ost people don’t know what its like to be a “swing,” but that is what Curtis Schroeger’s livelihood is. A swing, in theatre, is a person who learns multiple roles in a show and can perform any of them (sometimes with very little notice.) Currently touring in the hit Broadway musical Mary Poppins, which flies into Atlanta’s Fox Theatre April 2–7, Curtis covers eleven different tracks in the show—meaning he knows everything it takes to play eleven different roles.

It takes learning and knowing an enormous amount of information to swing Mary Poppins, but overall it is staying mentally organized and focused when I go on for different tracks. What roles have you performed in the show? I have performed Robertson Ay and the Constable and then eight other ensemble roles. My last track (I cover 11) I will have done in Dallas.

Touring the country in a huge Broadway musical is daunting to say the least, and we were fortunate enough to steal a few minutes from Curtis’ busy schedule to find out How does life on tour across the country impact your personal life? Is there someone “special” what life is like for a swing on the road. in your life and how do you (or others) make that work while you are traveling? Where did you grow up and where did you I’ve dated on other tours I’ve been on but have been single begin your career and training? on this tour. Having a relationship long distance can be reI grew up in Merriam, Kansas near Kansas City and went ally challenging but definitely doable with the right person, it’s all about good communication and making time. to Florida State for a BFA in musical theatre. My first professional show was Jesus Christ Superstar at Seaside Music Theatre. They say it takes a village and as I was What has been your most memorable moment bouncing around with the idea of playing French horn while performing on the tour of Mary Poppins? and also diving on the swimming and diving team, that it wasn’t until my freshman year of college that several Performing for my family when the tour goes through Kansas City hands down. It will be the first time many of different factors guided me into this career. my extended family and hometown friends will have been able to see me in a show as well as one of this magnitude. I What is the most challenging part of being a am beyond excited for my nephew who is five to see Uncle swing for a huge stage musical? Curty up on stage. 22 // davidatlanta.com


How do audiences react to the stage version of Mary Poppins having some elements of the well known movie, and some new parts? I’d say the audience as a whole enjoy it and are open to it, however, because of the nostalgia associated with the movie audiences tend to be a little confused by the new additions to the stage adaptation and miss moments that were a part of the film. Over your career, what has been your highlight and what is your dream performance/role? The highlight has definitely been performing on the opening number of Tony Awards with Neil Patrick Harris in 2011. It was like being shot out of a cannon and beyond a dream to perform live for all the legends that were sitting in the audience. There are many roles that I’d love to play, however, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the play of Amadeus has always been one that I’ve been itching to do, as well as Alan Strang in Equus, both by Peter Shaffer. Are there any funny stories from the tour that you would like to share? Hahaha! Probably when I went on in Richmond and my chimney sweep hat wasn’t secure. It ended up falling off in a Riverdance type step that we do as an entire company where our arms are linked and before I could retrieve it, I may have punted the hat over the orchestra pit into the second row of the audience. The lady that caught it was kind enough to return it to the musicians in the pit. Why do you think gay men, specifically, are attracted to musicals? And why will they love this show in particular? I think musicals and opera in general have always appealed artistically to the gay community for its heightened aesthetic as a mode for story telling through song and dance, which can be very poignant as well as exciting and raucous. I think Mary Poppins the musical is especially appealing for many because of the childhood nostalgia surrounding the movie with Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke and the infectious music by the Sherman Brothers. Mary Poppins, presented by Theatre of the Stars, will be performed at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre April 2 through April 7. For tickets and information please visit foxtheatre.org.


Announcing this year's local award winners

Dan Bradley Humanitarian Award: Joining Hearts

Winston Johnson and Leon Allen Community Leadership Award: Michael Shutt

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April 6th 1st Stop 4pm - 6pm

Mister Center Open House MISTER will be open 10am-6pm for HIV testing and STI screening. Attendees to the to the open house will receive a golden ticket.

2nd Stop 6pm - 9pm

Las Margaritas & Joes On Juniper Join us at either Las Margaritas or Joes for dinner. Discount of 15% and free tapas at Las Margaritas or 10% off at Joes on Juniper with a golden ticket!

Last Stop 9pm - 2am Jungle

Golden Ticket dance party with performances, awards ceremony from 10pm-11pm and DJs Vicki Powell and Diablo Rojo spinning after! $10 cover Free entry with golden ticket!

For more details please visit us online at www.mistercenter.org/celebrate


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theScene 1

10th & Piedmont 991 Piedmont Ave. NE

14 Cowtippers

27 Las Margaritas

40 Tripps

2

Amsterdam 502 Amsterdam Ave. NE

15 Daiquiri Factory

28 Manifest 4 U

41 Urban Body Fitness

3

Atlanta Eagle 306 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE

16 Einstein's

29 Mixx

42 Woof's

4

BJ Roosters 2043 Cheshire Bridge Rd.

17 F.R.O.G.S

30 Oscar's

43 XS Ultra Lounge

5

Blake's 227 10th St. NE

18 Felix's

31 Opus 1

6

Bliss 2284 Cheshire Bridge Rd.

19 Flex Spa

32 Roxx

7

Boy Next Door 1447 Piedmont Ave. NE

20 Friends

33 Sam's Hair Salon

Le Buzz 585 Franklin Rd. SE Marietta, GA

8

Brushstrokes 1510 Piedmont Ave. NE

21 Gatsby's

34 Southern Nights

Mary's 1287 Glenwood Ave. SE

9

Bubbles Salon 1579 Monroe Dr. NE

22 Gilbert's

35 Ten Atlanta

My Sister's Room 1271 Glenwood Ave. SE

10 Bulldogs

23 Heretic

36 The Den

Rush Lounge 2715 Buford Hwy. NE

11 Burkhart's

24 Hobnob

37 The Fifth Ivory

Sister Louisa’s Church 466 Edgewood Ave. SE

12 Capulets

25 Joe's on Juniper

38 The Hideaway

Swinging Richard's 1400 Northside Dr. NW

13 Club Eros

26 Jungle

39 The Model T

The Bar Fitness 908 Bowen St. NW

893 Peachtree St. NE 1492 Piedmont Ave. NE 1510 Piedmont Ave. NE 2219 Faulkner Rd. NE

1600 Piedmont Ave. NE 889 W. Peachtree Str. NW 1077 Juniper St. NE 931 Monroe Cir. NE 1510 Piedmont Ave. NE 76 4th St. NW

1842 Cheshire Bridge Rd.

1931 Piedmont Cir. NE

2103 Faulkner Rd. NE

500 Amsterdam Ave. NE

1492 Piedmont Ave. NE

2425 Piedmont Rd. NE

1510 Piedmont Ave. NE

708 Spring Str. NW Not Shown: Cockpit 465 Boulevard SE

1086 Alco St. NE 1824 Cheshire Bridge Rd.

736 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE 931 Monroe Dr. NE 219 10th St. NE

2000 Cheshire Bridge Rd. 2205 Cheshire Bridge Rd. 990 Piedmont Ave. Ne

2069 Cheshire Bridge Rd. 1551 Piedmont Ave. NE 1049 Juniper Str. NE 2115 Faulkner Rd. NE

2135 Liddell Dr. NE 794 Juniper Str. NE 1544 Piedmont Ave. NE 699 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE

Bar/Cocktails

Retail

Dining

Billiards/Darts

Dancing

Dancers

Non-Smoking

Leather

Hair/Beauty

Fitness

Drag

Baths/Spa

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@DavidAtlantaGA // 35


Bartab

got an upcoming event? calendar@davidatlanta.com

MONDAY

hideaway 1/2 Price Beer jungle All-Stars Competition with BLAKE’S Game Night - Brain Freeze Trivia Phoenix 10pm & Family Feud back to back 11pm model t Party with Elvis - 9 pm BURKHART’S Blue Monday Karaoke w/ oscar’s Ruby Redd’s After Party - 10 pm Angelica D’Paige 11:30pm swinging richards 2-4-1 VIP Room COCKPIT  Big Red Cup All Day, specials tripp’s Free Taco Bar 5pm EAGLE Music Videos with Scotty xcess ultra lounge Raquell Lord’s FELIX’S  Free Pool Talent Show @ 10:30pm, Sophia Mcintosh FRIENDS Manic Mondays DJ opens - 2 pm & Fab 5 +1 @11:30pm, 18+ Gilbert’s Half Priced Entrees 5-11PM woof’s Food Special, Trivia 8pm HERETIC Play w/ Eddie 4pm-11pm HIDEAWAY  $2.50 Domestic Beer hobnob Date Night 19.95 3 course dinner blake’s Texas Hold’Em Poker 7pm, “Guys for two 5-11PM & Dolls” with Shawnna Brooks. 11pm JUNGLE Stars of the Century Show 11pm BURKHART’S Twisted Thursday w/ MODEL T Monday Night Madness Free Phoenix 11:30pm Pool - 10pm - 2am cockpit  Dirty Boy Bingo w/ Ruby Redd OSCAR’S Midtown Martini Club - 4 pm | eagle Balls Deep Karaoke w/ Mikey Service Industry Night - 9 pm felix’s Karaoke w/ Brett & Tyler 10pm swinging richards Hip-Hop Night, friends  Where Girls would like Girls Sponsored by Hennessy 6:30pm meet Girls with Regina Simms 8 pm TRIPP’S Monday Night Madness with Gilbert’s Wine tasting 6-10pm Tana - 9 pm heretic  3 Legged Cowboy Night 9pm WOOF’S Texas Hold ‘Em Poker 8pm hideaway  Service Industry Night hobnob Live Music 8-11PM jungle Sing For Your Life with Barry BLAKE’S POP! Karaoke with Sasie Monroe Brandon 8pm and Suzanne Gleeson 11pm mIXX Gentlemen Cocktails with Aaron & BURKHART’S Trivia Tuesday Karaoke w/ Matt at 6pm Angelica D’Paige 11:30pm model t Party Time with Michael - 9 pm COCKPIT  80s Party 9pm, specials 5-8pm oscar’s The Charlie Brown Show - 10 pm EAGLE Tuesdays w/ Tony swinging richards 2-4-1 VIP & Entry FELIX’S  Smirnoff Martini Night xcess ultra lounge Turnt Up Thursday FRIENDS Let’s Make A Deal with Ken 6 pm woof’s Food Special, Country Music 7pm Gilbert’s Industry Night (complementary pizza after 10pm) HERETIC 2-Step Tuesday, dance till 11pm 10th & piedmont Live DJ 10 PM HIDEAWAY Trivia with Wil 9 pm blake’s 5-9pm TGIF, Charlie’s Angels w/ HOBNOB Trivia 8:30 Charlie Brown 11pm JUNGLE Camp with Ruby Redd 8pm BURKHART’S Fab Five w/ Angelica MIXX Piano with David Reeb at 8pm D’Paige 11:30pm MODEL T Wii Tuesday Afternoons 2pm cockpit  DJ Diablo Rojo, guest VJ/DJ’s 9pm $2.50 beer / $3.0 well vodka eagle DJ Dance Party OSCAR’S Show Tune Tuesday - 8 pm friends Happy Time Friday Kelly & Ken 6 pm SWINGING RICHARDS 1/2 Price cover heretic no cover B4 11pm WOOF’S Industry Day Free Wii 5pm hideaway  Kick Back Fridays! jungle The Other Show with Edie Cheezburger 9:30pm; Jungle POP 11pm BLAKE’S 5-9pm Doug’s party pop hits, mixx Ron’s End of the Week Party 4pm | The Men of Swing Richards 11pm-1am Grown & Sexy Dance 10 pm BURKHART’S Humpday Karaoke w/ model t Friday Bagels - 10 am | Texas Darlene Majewski 11:30pm Holdem Poker 8 pm COCKPIT Balls Deep Karaoke 10pm oscar’s Spotlight Karaoke at 9pm EAGLE Underwear Night with Tony swinging richards T-Shirt Review, Friends Test Your Smarty Pants Trivia $10 with “Boom Boom” 8 pm tripp’s Afternoon Delights 4pm Gilbert’s Karaoke 10pm-2am woof’s Atlanta’s Best Social Night 6pm heretic  25¢ Keystone Light ,No Cover!

THURSDAY

TUESDAY

FRIDAY

WEDNESDAY

36 // davidatlanta.com

SATURDAY

10th & piedmont Live DJ 10 PM blake’s Opens at 1pm, Daring Divas 11pm BURKHART’S Extravaganza w/ Shavonna B. Brooks 11:30pm cockpit  DJ Diablo Rojo, guest VJ/DJ’s eagle DJ Dance Party felix’s Karaoke w/ Brett & Tyler 10pm friends Free Pool and Cheap beer with DJ! 2 pm - 6 pm Gilbert’s All you care to eat brunch (cooked to order) 11-4pm heretic Varies: Club Night or 3 Legged Cowboy Night - 10pm hideaway Open at 12:30pm! Saturday Night Party jungle Foreplay with Lily White 9:30pm; Club Night, Various Guest DJ’s mixx Guest DJ’s Dance 10pm model t Texas Holdem Poker - 3 pm | Party with the M&M Boiz - 9 pm oscar’s Spotlight Karaoke at 9pm swinging richards T-Shirt Review $10 tripp’s Afternoon Cookout 3pm xcess ultra lounge 25+ FREE til 12am woof’s Game Day All Day

SUNDAY

10th & piedmont Bellini Brunch 11 AM & T-Dance 4 PM blake’s Open at 1pm - High Energy Music & Video w/ Bill Berdeaux & Daryl Cox BURKHART’S Armorettes Drag Show club rush Hip Hop w DJ Truz, no cover cockpit  PBR Beer Bust felix’s  Bloody Marys & Mimosas friends DJ’s Smirnoff B Mary Bar “A Garden in a Glass” - 12:30 pm Gilbert’s All you care to eat brunch (cooked to order) 11-4pm and Karaoke 6-11:30pm hideaway  Atlanta’s Favorite Bloody Mary Bar! 12:30 pm HOBNOB Brunch - $15.00 - Bottomless Mimosas 11 AM-3PM plus 1/2 price wings 4-11PM Jungle  The Day After with Knomie Moore 12-3pm; Sweet T with Bubba Dee and Wild Cherry Sucret 7pm las margaritas All You Can Eat til 3pm mixx Old School Sunday Dance 7pm model t Sunday Dinner with Ron 3:30 pm oscar’s Sunday Fun-day tripp’s Buffet of Goodness - 3 pm | Karaoke - 7 pm woof’s Bloody Mary bar, PBR special


Datebook

theRundown Exploring Feminist and Womanist Spirituality and Ethics March 28 • 7:30 p.m. • Charis Book (1189 Euclid Ave. NE) This book group meets tonight to discuss author Jean Shinoda Bolen’s Goddesses in Everywoman. For more information, visit charisbooksandmore.com.

Sing for Your Life March 28 • 8 p.m. • Jungle (2115 Faulkner Road NE)

Amber Reneè and Josette face off in the first season finale of this singing competition. For more information, visit singforyourlifeatl.com.

Atlanta Sisters Karma Class

Easter Festivities In need of something to do this Easter Sunday? Check out the annual Easter Drag Races going on at Burkhart’s! This annual fundraiser for the Armorettes opens registration at 2 p.m., with events starting at 4 p.m. Planned games at this year’s event include Jell-O Shooter Toss, an Easter Egg Hunt, and the titular event, the Drag Races. For more on the Easter Drag Races, check out our interview with Ally Yankadic on page 40. Ten Atlanta’s also planning Easter activities this year with their firstever Big Hare Games. The event is being touted as their first Easter bonnet and big wig competition, with a $500 grand prize up for grabs. The event benefits PALS; registration opens at 5 p.m., and the games begin at 6 p.m.

March 30 • 10:30 a.m. • First Existentialist Congregation (470 Candler Park Dr. NE)

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence host this donation-based community yoga class. For more information, visit atlsisters.org.

Easter Bonnet Competition

March 30 • 2 p.m. • MISTER Center (60 11th St. NE) MISTER hosts their second annual bonnet competition, where attendees compete to have the best bonnet at the event. Judges include Ruby Redd, Ursula Polari and Edie Cheezburger. For more information on the main competition and other events, visit mistercenter.org.

A Coffee House Evening March 30 • 6 p.m. • First MCC (1379 Tullie Road)

OurSong, the Atlanta gay and lesbian chorus, host a fundraiser for the organization with music, coffee, tea and desserts, and a silent auction. For more information, visit oursongatlanta.org.

Network After Work

New Eagle Events The Atlanta Eagle is adding something new to the bar—a weekly drag show. Manic Mondays begins on April 1 at 8:30 p.m., with performances by Al’Meria Richman, Gunza Blazin, Ginger Vitis, Regina Cartier and more! All money raised at the Manic Mondays shows go to benefit Jerusalem House. Then on April 3, DJ Lydia Prim plays her first show as a regular DJ for the Eagle. Prim will play every Wednesday and Friday night, bringing her beats to one of gay Atlanta’s favorite dance floors.

March 30 • 6:30 p.m. • Fins Atlanta (84 12th St. NE) Black Gay Pride sponsors In the Life Atlanta host this networking event at Fins Atlanta. For more information, visit inthelifeatl.com.

Dazzle

April 3 • 9 p.m. • 529 (529 Flat Shoals Ave.)

Bedlam brings you this event, with Kyle Kirkland, Jean Kelley and Marcus Allen. For more information, visit facebook.com/ bedlampresents. @DavidAtlantaGA // 37


photo: Sara Hopkins

Gearing Up for the

ARMORETTES EASTER D By Emma Harger

W

hen the season changes, the trees begin to bloom and the shelves at every grocery and drug store are crammed with Easter trinkets and treats (I love Cadbury crème eggs), it’s time once again for the Armorettes Easter Drag Races in the parking lot of The Armory. If you aren’t in the know about the Drag Races, here’s an explanation of how the event was born from Ally “Queered Al” Yankadic, one of the Armorettes.

into three-legged situations and wearing high heels), Tops and Bottoms (“you put a plunger between your legs and have to get a PVC pipe from between your teammate’s legs,” Yankadic explained) and Snap Your Wieners. “Don’t worry, we don’t use real wieners, we use cocktail weenies. You tie them to your belt buckle and you have to catch a mouse trap on the end,” she said.

The games all have prizes that are donated by local community businesses, but the big main event is the drag race. Done in four different heats, here’s how it “It started as a group that said well, everybody gets orphaned on Easter, so why don’t we just have a big party works: participants start at one end of the course, then run to the other side and back again, over and over, while at the Armory in the parking lot and drink and do some crazy stuff?” she said. “Over the years, it got bigger and progressively dressing themselves in drag. They put on bigger, basically to where it is today.” By her estimation, wigs, shimmy into dresses, add balloons for fake breasts, add lipstick and then put on high heels. the Easter Drag Races have been going on for 30 years, although apparently no one is really sure of exactly when they began. About 30 years is the best guess. The event kicks off at about 3 p.m. in the Burkhart’s parking lot because most Easter celebrations are related to brunch, church services or just other things that happen early in the day. Attendees who want to participate in any of the games should get there about an hour early, though. There are festivities including an Easter bonnet contest, musical chairs (except with participants blindfolded, tied 40 // davidatlanta.com


disinterested Atlanta Falcons fans sticking around the Armory to watch games when the Falcons were bad in the late 1970s. They would perform during halftime, but eventually changed into being the main event every Sunday night.

DRAG RACES

From there, the show and group just grew and grew, changing venues over the years to Burkhart’s, where they perform a show every Sunday night at 8 p.m. They also perform one Saturday a month at the Heretic. Yankadic said that the Armorettes perform the longestrunning drag-show in the country and possibly the entire world. Plus, all donations and tips received during shows and events go to charities related to HIV/AIDS support services. Last year, the group netted about $40,000 and also surpassed the $2 million grand total. Head down to Burkhart’s at 1492 Piedmont Ave. on Easter, March 31, to enjoy a fine Atlanta tradition. Drag Race photos: Project Q Atlanta | www.projectqatlanta.com

“Then you walk like a lady across the finish line,” Yankadic said. The winner of the race is allowed to perform in the drag show with the Armorettes later that night and most winners choose to enjoy their time in the limelight. During the party, the Armorettes do perform some numbers for entertainment, but then later go inside to do the rest of the show in the evening. “It’s a chance to get out and have some fun,” Yankadic said about the event before estimating that about a thousand people will show up to play or just to enjoy the atmosphere. This year is the 34th year of the Armorettes’ existence. They originally started performing as a way to keep @DavidAtlantaGA // 41


At the

Ballet By Nicholas Grant

46 // davidatlanta.com


S

ince the age of 10, Brandon Nguyen knew what he wanted to do with his life—he wanted to dance. As a second year company member of the Atlanta Ballet, Brandon has been seen by Atlanta audiences in Four Seasons, The Nutcracker, Dracula and several other pieces, and soon he will appear in Carmina Burana at the Cobb Energy Center. Growing up in Fort Worth Texas, Brandon (now 24 years old) was often asked when he was “going to get a real job and make some money.” There was never a doubt in his mind what he was going to do with his life. His love for dance, and his training, began at the Margo Dean School of Ballet and continued at the Texas Ballet School and flourished with a full scholarship to the Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson Academy. Since then he has danced with the Orlando Ballet and was a lead dancer with Cirque de Soleil. Now he calls Atlanta home.

loves to do every day nor can it keep him from wanting to hit new heights as a performer. His dream is to dance as Prince Albert in the classic ballet Giselle, and his hope is that it appears in one of Atlanta Ballet’s upcoming seasons. Contemporary pieces take up a huge part of Brandon’s career as well. “Atlanta Ballet is getting a lot of great contemporary choreographers setting pieces on company members. Choreographers from Israel and Europe are working with us on exciting new works.” A modern spin on a classic art form is just one way to keep new audience members engaged, says Brandon.

“Dance has evolved and is evolving. It doesn’t have to have this only older people with money going to the ballet. A lot of choreographers now use lighting and projections; they are evolving with technology. They are presenting updated versions of a classical The life of a dancer is not an easy one. Dancing may ballet, like Cirque de Soleil. It’s not just about someone be Brandon’s career but it is also his life. “You’re not flipping—it’s about the whole picture. Nowadays we just a dancer in the studio,” he says. “You are a dancer have more contemporary ballets that are more edgy, 24 hours a day.” Even when he is not in the studio stronger movement, the dynamics of the movement— working on upcoming projects, he is rolling out his it’s a lot more movement. muscles at home after a long day of rehearsals and watching what he eats. Still, he wants people to know “When ballet started we didn’t have easy forms of that dancers do know how to have fun. entertainment. Theatre takes your mind off of every “A lot of people think ballet dancers are very serious because of how we have to take care of our bodies, but we know how to let loose and have fun, we can get our drink on! But you can’t be doing Pilates in the morning though and want to throw up. There are times to work and be focused 100%.” Performing through a stress fracture (which lead to a ride in an ambulance), having to learn a role in two weeks to replace an injured dancer and making his family proud and have his father recognize and accept his passion for dance are just a few of the struggles Brandon has faced during his career. Nothing, however, can deter him from what he @DavidAtlantaGA // 47


photo: Shelley Lake

day life, and as a dancer we want to take the audience somewhere else and out of their daily lives. Now we are faced with easy forms of entertainment, and people are too busy.” The dance community in Atlanta continues to grow and thrive, and does not end with the Atlanta Ballet. Many company members, including Brandon, are part of a dance troupe called Wabisabi. The mission of the group is to bring dance to under privileged sections of the city, so that people who would not normally be exposed to the art form can experience it. “I wish everyone could have dance in their lives and not worry because they can’t afford it. Dance should be affordable and accessible to everyone, and in Atlanta it can be,” says Brandon. Giving back to the community is Brandon’s way of paying forward what he feels is a gift everyone should experience. He finds himself constantly learning and inspired by his fellow dancers and wants to pass that feeling on to others. “I’m completely inspired by the company, always hungry and wanting to learn as much as possible. There are a lot of people to look up to here, male and female. We are a big positive dance family. In other companies you feel the competition and feel cliques. But when outside people come here they notice how well members get along. We just don’t have negative energy.” @DavidAtlantaGA // 49


POSITIVE IMPACT

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THURSDAY APRIL 4 Dinner Zapata 15 Jones Street, Norcross

FRIDAY APRIL 5 Dinner The Fifth Ivory 794 Juniper Street NE

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SUNDAY APRIL 7 Brunch10th & Piedmont 991 Piedmont Avenue NE

10% OF YOUR CHECK WILL BE DONATED TO SUPPORT POSITIVE IMPACT’S WORK


IT’S OK TO BE A VOYEUR!

Join the Hotlanta Softball League

as we find the HOTTEST HUNK amongst us! Saturday, April 20 Doors open at 6pm JUNGLE CLUB

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52 // davidatlanta.com


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fairyscopes ARIES (March 20 – April 19): This week sees you

LIBRA (September 23 – October 22): Try to tread

reacting to old news—maybe incredibly old news—but you should be much more sanguine next week. In fact, you may see it all as just a big distraction and flush it.

water this week—otherwise, it may be time to sink deeper! Of course, that may be the only way you can get any help with your current big project, so don’t be shy about screaming!

TAURUS (April 20 – May 20): Your emotional security

SCORPIO (October 23 – November 21): That brain power of yours is all fired up and ready for some new challenges—so make sure that you’re applying all your resources to the right problem. Take time to ponder what’s most important.

is like a warm blanket this week—you may not want to get up and face the day! Once you’re out there, some weirdness at the office or with friends confirms your suspicions.

GEMINI (May 21- June 20): Deal with mundane stuff like budgets and task lists this week before all the good social energy floods in and overwhelms you by next weekend. You can’t balance your checkbook at a party!

SAGITTARIUS (November 22 – December 20): Your mood shifts are legendary right now. It’s vital that you let them guide you. It may be that your volatility shifts you away from someone who’s like poison to you!

CANCER (June 21- July 22): Your emotional state is usually pretty easy to assess—and this week, you can read yourself with great ease! It’s a good time for you to check in with others who might not be so lucky and see what’s going on with them.

CAPRICORN (December 21 – January 19): Big

LEO (July 23 – August 22): You need to try something new this week—it could be anything from a new restaurant to a new way of looking at your career. It may also be a good time for you to move forward with a romance.

AQUARIUS (January 20 – February 18): A new

VIRGO (August 23 – September 22): Your social life kicks up a notch this week—with or without your efforts. It may be a really good time for you to ask someone out, or to head out on the town with people you don’t know all that well yet.

PISCES (February 19 – March 19): Make something

56 // davidatlanta.com

changes are coming, and you may be the instigator. That might strike some of your friends as extremely strange, but it’s not so bad—you sometimes are given to pretty extreme shifts!

responsibility comes your way, and while you may want to think about it for a while, you’d be crazy to pass it up. Your energy is a bit out of balance now, but it realigns itself soon.

new this week—try a new recipe, start up a new flirtation or even write up a business plan. Your creative energy is still chugging along, and you really need to make the most of it.


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My life flashed before my eyes, and all I saw were vodka and penises! Sure, I was hurt the moment you looked me in the eyes at the bar. Honesty does hurt sometimes, bubba!

Yeah, I’m skinny—not coke skinny, though. Sorry, but I’m not sorry. Thanks for the anonymous shout-out. Your attempt to badmouth me was just the publicity “The Lohan Experience” needed. Who should I write this check out to?

Karma’s only a bitch if you are. 60 // davidatlanta.com

Go ahead, try and put my crazy ass in your narrowminded box…I’ll blow it away along with your mind.

You reckon some of y’all city boys could act like yourselves for a change? That tired drag has been hashed and hashed again.

To the bitch who only goes out to “feel pretty”: how can you stare in the mirror with your head so far up your ass?

If I have to be introduced and shake the hand of one more guy I’ve already banged, I’m going to leave this city.

Midtown is like high school, but with grown-ass men. *This page reflects the bitchiness of the community not David Atlanta or its publisher (although we’re bitchy too!)


David Atlanta issue 42  

Armorette's and Easter Drag Races, Sing for Your Life Finale, Atlanta Ballet, Mary Poppins and more!

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