Nov. 11, 2009 - Issue #734: Hanky panky
LOUD & QUEER CABARET: Finally legal
The Loud & Queer Cabaret celebrates its 18th year of LGBTQ-themed writingWith the Exposure Festival turning three this year, its big brother (or sister, if you prefer), the Loud & Queer Cabaret, is now in its 18th incarnation. Over the past two decades, the storied LGBTQ-themed variety night has grown from a single-evening showcase of eight local writers to a two-night extravaganza that features 15-minute works by 30 different artists.
"We've got everything from lesbian mandolin stuff to queer rock and pop bands. It's a bit of music, theatre and dance. We've got singers and a burlesque dancer, and a couple drag numbers," lists Darrin Hagen, the event's perennial director and host.
Both L&Q nights have different line-ups that showcase 15 artists each. Saturday's show boasts an exciting match: pornstar Buck Angel will sit down for a chat with our own glam-gal, Susanna Patchouli. "We've got a woman who's become a man but kept her vagina so he can work in porn, and then you've got a straight man in a dress who completely denies the fact that he's a drag queen because she's actually Susanna Patchouli, a Eurostar, and there's nothing drag about the way he presents that. There's just so may levels of gender dysphoria going on I can't even comprehend—I'm thrilled to see what's going to happen," Hagen laughs.
What's important about L&Q in Edmonton, Hagen notes, is that it has provided a welcoming and constructive platform for many local artists to take the stage and experiment. If you need proof that the L&Q format has helped foster growth in the community, look no further than playwright Nick Green.
"It really started for me in 2004 when I went and saw [L&Q] for the first time," Green says. "I was blown away by the community that was in the audience and in the artists being presented, so I kind of made it a goal of mine to write for Loud & Queer," Green explains. "In 2005 I submitted my first piece of writing that would get any sort of public reading. From there Darrin sent me back some dramaturgical notes, and then next thing I knew I was watching three of my favourite queer performers perform it onstage," Green explains, those actors being Hagen, Trevor Schmidt and Nathan Cuckow.
Green submitted a 15-minute monologue to be workshopped for L&Q in 2006, and that eventually turned into a series of three. The resulting play, Coffee Dad, Chicken Mom and the Fabulous Buddha Boi, was a surprise hit at the 2008 Fringe, and swept up three Sterling Awards this spring, including one for Green's script and another for actor Trevor Schmidt's performance.
Green has prepared a piece for this year's cabaret entitled Darling, I Hate You, which shares the story of two elderly, bickering lesbians. "What L&Q offers is like a one-night stand: your show is read once in front of a bunch of people, and it's a supportive crowd who's there wanting to like what you wrote," Green says.
"It's just not about being queer, it's about the politics that you support and the community that you envision," Hagen adds. "So we actually have a few non-gay writers in the event, and not all the content in the show is about gay issues—it's more a kaleidoscope of the queer experience, and the queer experience includes a lot of straight people." V
Fri, Nov 13 & Sat, Nov 14 (7:30 pm)
Loud & Queer Cabaret
La Cité Francophone, (8627 - 91 St)
$25 – $30
New comments for this entry have been turned off and any existing ones are hidden. We apologize for any inconvenience.