Nearly two decades after the New York drag-night documentary Paris Is Burning pushed the Vogue beyond Harlem ballrooms, Madonnas favorite dance form has once again tripped the light fantastic. Competitions between Houses collectives of dancers who work under a godfather have grown increasingly more athletic and more beautiful. While L.A. is known as the city to walk out West, Mama Calizos Voice Factory is pulling out all the stops -- not to mention the queens, kings, butches, and femmes for the Battle at Ground Zero. This weekly battle is but one aspect of "Crash Cabaret: Where Queers Collide (hetero-sexuals encouraged to apply)," Mamas extravagant YBCA residency. The many-faceted event kicks off each Friday night with Crash Pad, a snappy hour where the fabulous and freaky unwind. Later in the night comes Crash-Out, a multimedia post-punk speakeasy; this week features Sean Feit and Seth Eisen, who created Mamas lavish solo show Blackbird: A Queer Vocal History; Ejector-SF, an electro-pop duo for Dore Alley fashionistas and Depeche Mode worshippers; and members of S.F. Buffoons, who worship the crude, lewd, and riotous. The artsy trifecta concludes each evening with Crash Cabaret, a showcase of Mamas most beloved DIY artists, starting with the Dr. Seusslike neon harlequins of Fou Fou Ha! and the sensual decadence of the all-male SF Boylesque.
Fridays, 5 p.m. Starts: Aug. 7. Continues through Aug. 28, 2009