10 Things We Saw, Heard, And Learned At #Faymeproblems Starring Alaska Thunderfuck At Tabu Last Night
Tammy Faymous can host a party. She’s a qualified and talented emcee and last night she invited RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5 contestant Alaska Thunderfuck to grace Philadelphia with her presence. It was fun.
1. Tammy had a bit of a stage built up on the second floor of Tabu, a welcome addition to make better sight lines and create more of a performance space. It’s nice to have a living room feel to a drag show but last night was much more of a stage performance and it worked.
2. It started shortly after 11:30pm with Tammy wearing an unconventionally large, tall platinum wig with hints of pale pink in it. She started by toying us with the first few measures of Beyonce’s “End of Time” before she told us it wasn’t going to be that kind of show and if we didn’t like it, the door’s downstairs and Voyeur’s across the street before ripping into “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks.
3. Luna Lavey, Philly’s long-legged faerie princess nailed out a punk-flavored number and then the dark and beautiful Aeryanah Von Moi brought sultry R&B flavor. But then Maddy Milan delivered on bizarro beauty with her giant, swinging bush-anchored limp dick. Seriously, Maddy always brings it with her elaborately-handmade bodysuits and this one was perfectly over-the-top.
4. The Goddess Isis, who never disappoints, swooped in and did a Taylor Dayne song called “Original Sin,” the theme from The Shadow. She wore horns that made her look like the evil queen from Snow White. Isis always nails whatever vibe she’s trying to pull off and her witchy, Wiccan, Stevie Nicks enchantress ways were not lost on this audience.
5. Then something pretty sweet happened – Tammy did Weezer. She sang “Say It Ain’t So” and it was fantastic. Ms. Faymous always manages to inject a little bit of the unconventional, a little unexpectedness. Weezer at a drag show? Why not?
6. Alaska herself is a tall, weird queen. She had on a big, slightly natty wig and in the interview she did with Josh Middleton for G Philly, she confessed that her name came from doing drugs; weed, that is. She and some friends were getting stoned when they started talking about names of weed strands when she decided to adopt one as her stage name. Her presence is a goofy one; her face is pretty staid until she works those wild lips – it’s where she’s perhaps most expressive. She tends to pose for photos with a contorted mouth. For her first performance of the night, the crowd went ape and she did a pretty amusing mashup of RuPaul songs.
7. There were lots of straight people in attendance. Even Tammy joked throughout the show that she saw so many New Jersey names on the list of pre-ordered tickets. Even straight people love RuPaul’s Drag Race, this is a reality we live with. They even wore Alaska t-shirts. A few youngbloods went a little crazy, and even in the 10-minute set break they were dancing all over each other like they’d never had alcohol before. One lady kept pulling her shirt up and above her bra. Not cute.
8. After a typically spot-on Carrie Underwood moment from Isis with “Two Black Cadillacs,” a cute and quirky Roxxy Glamour came out and did Yelle’s “Safari Disco Club.” Lip-syncing French pop is not easy. Maddy nailed “I Knew You Were Trouble” by Taylor Swift, a questionable song choice because we all hate T Swift, we being the human race, but “Trouble” has that little bit of rage that Maddy channels so well. She took it to a dark and angry place that worked as well as her Limp Bizkit “Faith” moment at last winter’s Josh’s Drag Ball at iCandy. Her bandeau bikini top fell off her tits many times.
9. Tammy made a big announcement: JuJuBe’s coming to the gayborhood for Pride and Sinful Sundays. Yup, in June, the RuPaul’s Drag Race alum and America’s Asian Sweetheart is going to grace us with her electric charm. THAT’s a season I watched and THAT is a drag queen I will pay to see perform.
10. Alaska finished up with a sickening rendition of Lil’ Kim’s “How Many Licks?” in which she finished the lines with “How many licks does it take ’til you get to the center of Alaska Thunderfuck?” in a gold, lame tunic. Then Tammy sang “Glamazon” and all the girls came down with what looked like rolls of wrapping paper before they pulled the ends and they exploded with glitter and confetti. It was quite a night.
Yup, that’s her (drag) name. And until I accidentally tuned into this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, which happened to be a roast of Ru, I didn’t know much about these goyles. I knew there was a new season and that the gays were gagging every Monday for a new episode. But for non-viewers, simply the name Alaska Thunderfuck is ear-catching. Then I saw her dish it. She’s got spunk. She’s got edge and she’s sharp as a tack. For Drag Race superfans? This is a pretty cool opportunity and you might as well dish out the $30 for the open-bar meet & greet.
That wild child Tammy Faymous is hosting and trying a new layout for a drag show upstairs at Tabu Sports Bar & Lounge. She’s gonna build a stage – no seats. General admission tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door and that includes one drink. She’s trying to fill this place up with advance ticket purchases because it’ll probably sell out. Thunderfuck’s Sharon Needles lover, and not for nothin’, but it’s made her and her performance on this current season just a little extra. But I will say this, watching Alaska was captivating and she is going to be such a sassy little visitor to the ‘hood next week.
DJs Xavier B (Fingerbanger/Stash) and K/ Rex (Factory Girls) will be spinning, and some serious local queens are slated to accompany Tammy on stage: The Goddess Isis, Aeryanah Von Moi, Maddy Milan, Roxxy Glamour and Luna Lavey.
At this point, Martha needs very little introduction. She’s one of the most talented and entertaining humans in Philadelphia. When not busy with making Pig Iron Theatre one of the most dynamic and successful theatre companies in the city, Dito van Reigersberg is getting his groove on in pumps and typically a dress or something that bears his hairy chest. With near clownish makeup and minimal wig game, Dito becomes Martha but in his performance of Martha Graham Cracker, it’s way, way beyond tits and ass. Martha’s a lady who likes to sing and vamp. Simple as that. And frankly, Martha can sing like Steven Tyler mixed with Robert Plant plus, ya know, Cher or Carly Simon or Karen Carpenter.
Martha is a presence. She towers over most men but with a wistful, innocence that says ‘I’m just here to sing a few songs and entertain’ and then just as quickly, ‘Will you buy me a drink?’ She’ll bat her long, fake lashes and then rip into a jazzy, lounge version of a pop standard from ANY era. That’s one of the best things about her; she knows good tunes. Ms. Cracker isn’t pop-obsessed and isn’t a drag queen (well, kind of). You won’t hear much Britney or Azealia at her shows, but you’ll almost certainly hear some Liza, Judy or a show tune. Whereas most drag queens vogue and pose and lip-sync, Dito flirts, enchants, makes you laugh your ass off and then belts out a montage of perfectly-worked over lounge-friendly classics.
With a band behind her at the upstairs lounge of L’Etage, she’s been bewitching straight and gay and bi and every shade of skin color forever now and it’s no secret. Better get there right when the doors open and save a good seat.
This week I brought to you some information on one of (if not THE) most fantastic drag queen in Philadelphia in the Stage section of the paper:
You might think “Sinful Sunday” is just a cutesy way to match a day of the week with an accompanying adjective, a la Thirsty Thursday, Frisky Friday, etc. But no. Thing is, Sunday night at Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar is a different kind of church. Or for that matter, you’re welcome to come hear The Goddess Isis preach from her pulpit 12 hours after dragging your hangover-havin’ self to service with Mom and Dad and listen to a preacher cut from an entirely different cloth.
Isis has only been in Philadelphia for about three years, after a long and edifying stint in the South. But that’s been more than enough time for her to get up and running with her own headlining weekly gig, which recently hit its two-year anniversary and is going stronger than ever. She’s more of a Carrie Underwood fan than a Rihanna queen. The first time she was in women’s clothes was when her parents dressed her up as Dolly Parton at the tender age of four. She doesn’t even remember it, but there are plenty of photos. The boobs, the wig, the dress, everything. You can’t be Dolly Parton without huge fake tits, can you?
As a youth, Isis grew up in the church. She loved the music, the pageantry, the fainting and outpouring emotion from folks moved by the spirit, whatever that may be. She loved it so much that she went and got herself an A.A. degree in Bible Theology. For real. At Lee University in Tennessee. Turns out Lee has an outstanding music program, so she traveled up and down North America with a gospel singing group. One of those rare drag queens who does more than put on a wig and a dress and give face like there’s no tomorrow, Isis can also sing. Musicality and performance is at the forefront of her drag. It’s what makes her one of, if not the, most successful and electrifying performers in the city.
Isis has come a long way since her first cognizant drag performance, at the age of 16, when she was pulled on stage in D.C. and forced to wear styrofoam falsies that kept falling down to her stomach. The song was “Make It Happen” by Mariah Carey. She can still turn out a mean Mariah, but she also dabbles in all kinds of divas, from Erykah Badu to Whitney Houston, and when Isis performs drag, she does it all the way. She knows every word, and you can tell. And every Sunday, she and her rotating cast of friends and queens give you show for days for a mere $5. And the great thing about Tabu’s upstairs lounge? It’s like you’re in her living room. A Sunday service in a drag queen’s living room. And she likes it that way.
She’s also heavily involved in Mimi Imfurst’s Dollhouse Revue at Voyeur on Wednesday nights and has been for years now, too, but that’s a whole different kind of drag night. The stage is high and narrow. The price of admission doesn’t buy you a drink. There’s four or five times as many people in the audience. On Sunday nights at Tabu, you might just get called up on stage and commanded to take your shirt off. (Especially if you’re straight, and it looks like you’re easy to fuck with.) As for the bang you get with your buck, there’s no better regular, steady night of wig-wearin’, heel-stompin’, lip-syncin’, face-givin’, arm-swingin’ entertainment in the Gayborhood.
Sunday nights. Doors at 9:15pm, showtime at approximately 11pm. $5. Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar, 200 S. 12th St. tabuphilly.com
Now that you know what Philly’s Ten Most Romantic Meals are, it’s time to start worrying about your Valentine’s gift. Here’s eight local shops and businesses definitely worth hitting up:
FOR YOUR FELLA …
If your beau isn’t afraid to rock a little pink, right now Duke & Winston is taking 20 percent off their entire selection of refined, yet appropriately festive pink and red menswear, both in store and online (promo-code: ILUVDUKE). For the more dapper of dudes, consider one of the brand’s gentleman polo ($65) and signature logo tie, in your choice of burgundy or pink ($68). For the more laidback dresser, there’s always their signature red hat ($22) and pink “Long Live Duke” tee ($32). (633 N. Second St.)
As long as you get the team right, you can never really go wrong with cool, vintage-inspired sports apparel and accessories. Hint: the Flyers and Sixers are both in the midst of their seasons. (1201 Chestnut St.)
Lingerie is over-rated. If you really want to get your man’s attention, how about sprucing up your vajay vajay with gemstones or hot pink dye? No, seriously—the chic, organic Old City salon is currently has four different V-Day specials going on, the two most interesting being their “Bedazzled Brazilians” ($85) and “Hot Pink Bikini Color” ($50, $95+ with Brazilian). Should you want to do something far less extreme for yourself they’re also offering a one-hour facial and complimentary blow-out for $100 dollars as well as a 30 minute scalp treatment and custom oil blend for just $37 dollars. (55 N. Third St.)
FOR YOUR LADY…
Rather than going to a department store and picking out some cheap, generic piece of jewelry, you’re gal is much more likely to appreciate a one-of-a-kind, handmade adornment. Though any of owner/designer, Sarah Lewis’ creations will do, you should definitely consider Adorn’s new Love Potion Necklace ($38), a tiny faceted, heart-shaped glass vial which holds a few drops of essential oil—your choice of lavender, rose, or jasmine. As an additional incentive, if you stop by the boutique any day before V-Day, you’ll save 10 percent. Meanwhile, if you shop online before Feb. 12, you can save 20 percent with the discount code: LOVE. (1314 Frankford Ave.)
The gift of pampering never goes out of style, and nor will your lady’s mane should you give her a gift card to Philly’s award-winning, cutting-edge salon. Their services start at just $25 dollars and range from blowouts and restorative treatments to makeup application and brow shaping. (258 S. 11th St.)
Though typically, men should not be trusted to pick out women’s attire, Arcadia’s sales associates will be more than willing to help you out. This is just a preview of the eco-friendly, V-Day appropriate fashions they have in store. (No Libs: 819 N. Second St. Rittenhouse: 265 S. 20th St.)
FOR HIM OR HER…
If they have a home, then TPF has the perfect gift—whether it’s a a mid-century sofa, an Indian Navi blanket, a set of Victorian tin cups or the 1940s kiss letterpress postcard set that you see above. Seriously, they have more truly unique home goods, décor and accessories than you can even imagine. (376 Shurs Ln., Building A)
In addition to their selection of rare designer shoes, the Fabric Row boutique has all sorts of lovely gifts and accessories, both for him and her. Even better, starting next Monday, several of those gifts and accessories will be 15 percent off including, handmade wallets from Cheap Monday and Patrick Michael, Betsy & Iya earrings and Lisa B. unisex socks, which have a hint of cashmere. (727 S. Fourth St.)
Generally a less publicized award show like the SAG Awards is an opportunity for Hollywood’s elite to be a bit bolder in their clothing choices and overall, I think they rose to the challenge.
3rd Place: Ellie Kemper
If you ignore her unflattering grandma-esque quaff and caked on makeup, you might be able to appreciate how gorgeous this dress really is. If Sofia Vergara wore it, everyone would be shitting their pants.
2nd Place: Kiernan Shipka
I’m a sucker for a vintage-inspired tea length dress, and when that dress happens to be an Oscar de la Renta number worn by an adorable 13-year-old starlet, that’s just pure, Hollywood magic.
1st Place: Anne Hathaway
In the sea of black, a bit of haute couture went a long way. It looks even better when she’s walking and not slouching. Also, I’m in love with her hair.
I can’t get past the boob issue to absorb the rest of the dress. It’s such a simple, yet important alteration! When she walked up to the stage to accept her award, all I could think is “Omg, her boob is gonna pop out.” Granted, her boobs are no surprise at this point.
There’s just no way around it—she’s looks like a trashy prom queen.
If your new year’s resolution was to spend more time pampering yourself or perhaps upgrading your look, now’s the time to start following through. For this one-day-only Mary Kay pop-up shop, guests will have a chance to receive custom makeup and skincare recommendations during a free consultation with a Mary Kay professional as well as bites, bubbly and a 20 percent discount on the boutique’s entire selection of dresses. Be sure to RSVP on the Facebook event page before you go as you’ll be automatically entered to win one of several raffles and maybe even score a free Three Sirens gift certificate. Saturday, 11am-4pm. Free. Three Sirens Boutique, 134 N. Third St.
If the company’s provocative and mind-bending annual Live Arts show is any indication, this annual bash benefitting Brian Sanders’ JUNK is likely to be a rather epic affair. Tonight, UArt’s Hamilton Hall will be transformed into a winter wonderland where partygoers can dance under falling snow and maybe even partake in an indoor snowball fight while enjoying the live beats of DJ Chip Dish, cocktails, beer, wine and creative “JUNK” food. In addition, great deals for local theater and dance productions will be raffled off throughout the evening and a silent auction will be held featuring “junk-inspired” artwork and lighting. Best of all, you’ll get to see a bit of JUNK’s holiday show at the Annenberg Center. Come donning your most creative winter white attire and fairytale-like jewelry as prizes will be awarded for both. Saturday, 8pm. $35-$50. University of the Arts, Hamilton Hall, 320 S. Broad St.
There may be a few appointments still open this Sunday at Lakshmi Hair Studio, where they’ll be offering $40 haircuts and $20 blowouts, all in benefit of the Friends of Kevin Neary Foundation. A dear and client, Neary was shot last year in a random act of violence leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. The foundation was established to help cover the costs of his long-term care. Sunday, 11am-4pm. Lakshmi Hair Studio, 21 N. Second St.