They Know They Can Do It

Nearly two decades after the New York drag-night documentary Paris Is Burning pushed the Vogue beyond Harlem ballrooms, Madonna’s 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 Calizo’s 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)," Mama’s 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 Mama’s 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 Mama’s most beloved DIY artists, starting with the Dr. Seuss–like 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

 
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