Giovanni’s Room, Historic Marker Dedication
Unless you’ve been living under a rock or (insert gasp) you aren’t on Facebook, you know that Sunday is Philadelphia’s Outfest. During the festivities, one of Philadelphia’s most iconic institutions, Giovanni’s Room, will be unveiling a new historic marker. Giovanni’s Room is the nation’s longest continually operating LGBT bookstore. Mayor Nutter and representatives of the Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus, the Office of LGBT Affairs and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission will preside over the dedication. This will be Philly’s second historic plaque related to the LGBT community, joining the marker on Independence Mall at the site of our country’s first gay-rights protest—nearly a decade before the Stonewall Riots. Giovanni’s Room has provided a safe venue for LGBT authors, advocates and allies to tell their stories since 1968. Decades before Lady Gaga and the “It Gets Better” campaign, espousing a pro-gay position, or including an openly gay character in a fictional story, could damage a person’s reputation or worse. Stop by the dedication ceremony and show your appreciation.
Sun, Oct. 9, 2pm. Giovanni’s Room, 345 S. 12th St. giovannisroom.com
Alec Mapa, QComedy Fest
What do Suzuki St. Pierre, Uncle Bakla, Teddy DeSilva, Adam Benet and Vern Limoso have in common? They’re a colorful sampling of the more than 40 film and television characters played by one of Hollywood’s most dynamic and talented openly gay actors. Alejandro “Alec” Mapa skyrocketed to fame in recent years with roles on Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives , but he’s not new to the Hollywood hustle. Mapa has worked as a stand-up comic and actor since 1987. If you’re not familiar with his comedy style, search for “Alec Mapa Roasts George Takei” on YouTube and try not to wet your pants. He’s outrageous without being offensive, and insightful without being preachy (paging Margaret Cho). And he’s not just out, he’s unapologetic and uncompromising—proving that gay entertainers can be funny, successful and impactful. Mapa works on myriad LGBT-rights issues, including workplace discrimination, bullying, hate crimes and gay marriage. This month, Mapa heads to Philly to headline QComedy Fest.
Sat., Oct 15, 9pm. Voyeur Nightclub, 1221 St. James St. qcomedyfest.com
The Dharling Sisters’ “Spooktacular, Spooktacular”
If you’re not familiar with drag culture, it might seem odd when multiple performers in the same city share a last name. This phenomenon isn’t for lack of creativity—it’s because new performers often get into drag with the support of an existing queen. Sometimes, two drag queens that come up together opt to share the same last name, developing similar brands, styles and often performing together. The Dharling Sisters—Brenda and Diana—are coming together to present “Spooktacular, Spooktacular,” a Halloween one-night-only engagement, and every number is tightly choreographed and blocked. The Dharling Sisters have performed together on Fire Island for the last several summers, specializing in Broadway-inspired showstoppers with precise choreography. Brenda’s alter ego Brandon was a member of Philadanco for years, and Diana was the lead choreographer for Philly’s own Dragapalooza: Broadway Divas . The cast features several up-and-coming drag starlets including Kendra Sparks, the “Pop Princess”; Katrina Storms, the “Dance Diva”; and Tammy Faymous, the “Broadway Belter.”
Sun., Oct. 30, 10pm. Free. Tavern on Camac, 243 S. Camac St. tavernoncamac.com
Word on the Street: Just a tip or two about upcoming gay events
OffTo.com is a new website that provides amazing discounts on customized LGBT getaways. The site will be the first company to customize the popular model of bundled accommodations and activities/diversions for LGBT travelers. One lucky Outfest attendee will win a free getaway courtesy of OffTo.com, so look for the logo at Outfest and visit OffTo.com to learn more.
Calendar: Sept. 30-Oct. 7