My Chicago Cultural Extravaganza Part Deux

After experiencing the most amazing theater performance of my life, I had some concerns the other theater events scheduled for the rest of my week would not measure up. How could they possibly compete?

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The next show was Ecstasy, which did have full frontal nudity, but even that wasn’t enough to impress me. The first act was weak and I was totally distracted by their constant attempts to fake light up their electric cigarettes. It was the UK in the 70s, they smoked, I get it. But, my God, it seemed like they lit a new cigarette every time they had a line. Also, the fake British accents were terribly distracting. Bob and Angel liked it, I was less impressed.

Sunday we attended a show from the Hypocrites.

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But not just any show! It was all known Greek tragedies (there are 32) combined into one 12 hour play.

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That’s right, 12 hours. The show started at 11:00 am and ended at 11:00 pm. I had no idea what to expect, it was my first Hypocrites experience.

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But it blew me away! Seriously! The cast was amazing, the story pulled me in and even during the many breaks, all we could talk about was the show. I laughed, I cried, I drank, I ate vegan food. What did I learn? Everybody dies.

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THAT show was the greatest theater event of my life. I mean seriously, it was like doing the Iron Man of theater! Afterwards, we walked to a nearby cash only bar. I think it was in the Polish neighborhood because their very old school jukebox had an interesting mix of old rock, oldies, and old polka music. We listened to a few Madonna songs and then headed up the street to an eerily similar bar. That was where most of the Hypocrites cast was hanging out so we chatted with them for a while and congratulated them on an amazing performance.

On Labor Day, we headed to the Chicago Art Institute. They were having an exhibit of Magritte. My favorite piece was This Is Not A Pipe, but we weren’t allowed to take any pictures so you’ll have to google it for yourself. Bob and Angel seemed to think everybody knew that one (I didn’t!)

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That night we attended a dinner party. I wish I’d taken some photos because that house was beautiful and the food was fantastic!

On Tuesday, night Angel and I were going to pick up Justin Honard at the airport and drop him off at the Soho House. Justin is a drag artist and is better known as Alaska Thunderf*ck, runner-up on the 2013 season of RuPaul’s Drag Race (I’m a fan of the show). Bob’s concept was that instead of holding up a sign with Justin’s name, we would hold up an iPad with an image. We decided on an image from Alaska’s ice bucket challenge.

While we were waiting Angel kindly taught me how to make Belizean Potato Salad, which is the finest thing I’ve ever put in my mouth.

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After a lovely dinner on the deck, we headed out to the airport.

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I had the best sign there.

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Justin finally arrived and he was absolutely delightful. We all enjoyed the short ride to his hotel and chatting about his experience on the Drag Race and his incredibly powerful video for Your Makeup is Terrible.

After work the next day, Angel and I rode over to the Empty Bottle where the IHC Now What? discussion was going to take place.

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The Now What? event was a part of a series of events. This event focused on drag performance and its impact upon perceptions of gender along with the artistic disciplines of theatre and music. The first part of the evening was a discussion about drag. Angel was moderating the discussion and with Justin and Daniel Alexander Jones. For those of you who haven’t heard of Daniel yet, he does a theatrical piece as Jomama Jones. And you should make her New Year messages a new tradition in your family like me.

I am a huge fan!

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Daniel was pretty impressed that I’d framed the signed 8×10 he gave me when I caught his performance last year! We were early enough that I could watch the Baathhaus sound check.

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Angle and I had arrived early so he could put the full length mirror and organic fruit in the green room (Justin has some amazing riders in his contract!)

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When Bob arrived, he and I walked to Leghorn Chicken to get some dinner. Sorry Chik-Fil-A, even if I weren’t protesting you, you could never compete with Leghorn Chicken. You can’t tell from this picture, but that chicken sandwich was nearly as big as my head!

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So, Angel moderated the panel and did a fantastic job.

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Justin and Daniel were very interesting and offered some incredibly insightful comments about drag and gender. Next up was Salonathon, a drag and drag inspired performance. I particularly enjoyed the Drag King, and when she bit the head off of the plastic bat she pulled from her pants, it was fantastic!

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There was also a great dance piece. And Bob and I were lucky enough to be standing front and center.

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I got some tips on how to construct a very dramatic flower and ice castle crown, which I may incorporate into my look for my pending Bammy Awards Viewing Party…

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The next performer was The Big Dipper, a gay rapper.

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His raps were very amusing, he had great timing, and it turns out he’s a never nude!

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Between acts Bob, Justin and I spent time at the bar.

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The final act was Baathhaus.

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It was the second time I’ve seen them, and they were even better than I’d remembered. And so dramatic!

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It was an amazing week. I was terribly sad to leave. Not even an upgrade and all the cocktails I could enjoy could cheer me up as I made my way back to DC. I’m already planning my next visit!

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About isherri

I'm the Director of Consultative Services at big time education publisher and a half hippy, half clown, latte sipping, brunch munching, MINI driving, rabid social media enthusiast.
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