A night of burlesque and costumes at Hamburger Mary's
Do you enjoy serenades tempered with the catty, witty, and outlandish lyrical stylings of dazzling drag queens? Have a hankering to be called ‘Sugar' while chomping on a hamburger of epic proportions? Ever thought your Sunday night would simply be better if it were infused with the risqué performances of burlesque dancers under a disco ball?
If you arrive early to Hamburger Mary's Bar and Grille in West Hollywood on Sunday night you can have all of the above, and even play a little bingo.
"Follies Burgere's," produced by Jeffrey Bolman, is a free two-hour weekly show that starts at 9 p.m and is hosted by Detox Icunt. She states, "Just like the detox center, I'm open 24/7."
The experience is one part stand-up comedy mixed with shots of singing, female burlesque dancers, intricate costumes, and heavily garnished with false-lashes to make a tasty and unforgettably strong theatrical concoction.
Calpernia Addams, a curvaceous mainstay of the drag queen community, takes the stage in a brown faux-fur coat, a short blonde wig, jeweled bra and panties, with heels that help her reach the sky. She proclaims, "All right girls, I'm looking to get laid tonight."
One after another, performers take the spotlit red-carpeted stage. Venus DeMilo (her stage name), is a student of Santa Monica College's Cosmetology program and a burlesque dancer of five years. She is all-woman by birth, and stunning as well. DeMilo showcases Snow White's naughty side and literally takes a bite out of the apple of sin, while provocatively performing for the audience.
As expected for a Sunday, there isn't a huge crowd of patrons. However, those in attendance are eclectic and lively. Patrons keep it classy by tipping the performers with dollar bills placed into the entertainers' creative ensembles.
Every day of the week offers something different to restaurant goers, from "Monday Movie Night" to Karaoke Thursday nights. So even though Jacy McRae and his girlfriend Yasmin Santis have been to Hamburger Mary's before, they have never seen anything quite like this. "It's a questionable morality thing, I would definitely come again," McRae said. "It's sex in a martini glass," Santis quipped.
Deborah Longcraine, dressed in drag, came to California from England with a group organized by Jodie Lynn, owner of The Boudoir London, a dressing service for cross-dressing men. Longcraine stated, "The costumes are very professional and everyone was gorgeous. You can tell a lot of work went into it."
Eddie Delgar, one of the performers, unlike some of the other entertainers, has no interest in being a woman. He sees his work as being akin to Japanese Kabuki theater, a classic art of dramatic performance that has a strong emphasis on make-up. Delgar stated, "We are the abomination of drag."
At Hamburger Mary's, bingo cards litter the ground, the lines for the bathrooms get long and a little venomous, the french fries could stand to be a lot more crispy, and if you're not a gay man, the waiters may not be so attentive.
But in the red-light sexy, atmosphere where plastic fish-netted legs are displayed as art, and with screens playing music videos by drag queens' favorite triumvirate: Cher, Madonna, and Britney Spears well, Sugar, it's hard not to have a good time.