Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Drag365: Show #13- Get Happy Hour at Pieces

Vita Summers, Cherry Poppins // photo by Michael Block
Day: Saturday, January 13th 

Show: Get Happy Hour  

Location: Pieces

Queens Seen: Vita Summers (@vitasummers), Cherry Poppins (@cherrypoppinsnyc), Whendy Whaxwood (@whendywhaxwood)

*Disclaimer: Drag365 is a series of articles depicting my experience as I attempt to attend 365 drag shows in 2018. I intend to write about my full experience in each of these write ups, which will include incidences that may occur during the show which that directly resulted in altering my experience. This is not a reflection of the performers or the establishment.*

While Moana plays, there’s a show on stage. Vita Summers and her special cohost Cherry Poppins guide the crowd through happy hour specials with shows paired with a little bit of mayhem. There’s an old saying that says you get what you give. Well this audience, present member excluded, was simply not in the mood for a drag show. Despite every attempt of engaging the crowd, even trying “If You’re a (Insert Sexual Position Here) and You Know It Clap Your Hands”, this crowd was simply here to take advantage of the happy hour deals. As well as partake in drunken debauchery. Once she started the show, Vita played her part. In a gig like this, Vita brings her pageantry and throws the good demeanor aside in exchange for a little attitude. It’s not all smiles and rainbows with this one. She’s got a bite. But she does manage to refrain from using it even when a very drunk patron took focus as she sang “She Used to Be Mine.” For the most part, Vita and Cherry went back and forth, offering whatever numbers they were in the mood for as this crowd was a lost cause. Even when Vita exclaimed she’d “do anything strange for a piece of change,” they weren’t receptive. Though Cherry was fully on board for this once she found the token straight man and made him her seat for part of the afternoon. There was a nice blend of lip sync and live vocals, but new life came into the room and the afternoon picked up during a late-in-the-game drag suicide offering. The afternoon also featured a cameo appearance by none other than Whendy Whaxwood. Once they revealed some personal facts about their bond, the banter between Vita and Cherry mirrored those dating contestants on TV game shows of yore as they playfully bickered and threw jabs at the others’ expense, often funniest if you’re inside the joke. Their only lip sync duet was appropriately “Take Me or Leave Me.”
Whendy Whaxwood // photo by Michael Block
Get Happy Hour was truly a show within a show. While there may have been a drag show billed, it’s what was occurring around the room that left the deepest impression. There’s a certain etiquette that should be instilled when attending a drag show. Whether you asked for it or not, if there is a performer on stage, it is your responsibility, as a decent human being, to show respect, sit down and shut up. If you’d rather find an establishment sans performance, kindly throw a dollar or two at the queens, tip the bar staff and see yourself out. There’s also a certain etiquette every person should have, regardless if you’re at a gay bar, a straight bar, hell even an office or the set of a movie. You do not have the right to inappropriately touch another person, especially when they ask you to stop. It is deeply unfortunate that my experience at Pieces and Get Happy Hour was tainted due to an unruly and disrespectful patron who physically and sexually harassed me. And the incident occurred twice during this four hour set. No means no. Just because it is a gay bar does not mean every person in there is looking for action. Some of us are simply “looking for a good time” by watching a performance. I am fortunate to have had the incident handled eventually. This won't deter me from attending the bar, but it will leave an impression.