Archive | Nightlife

Winner Crowned At Drag Wars “Queen of Queens” Competition

Winner Crowned At Drag Wars “Queen of Queens” Competition

By D. David Kinney

Seven talented entertainers took the stage at LIPS Atlanta last night to see who would be crowned the “Queen of Queens” at FENUXE’s Drag Wars 2013 competition. Leading up to Tuesday night’s event there were thousands of votes cast during the initial online contest. The top ten drag entertainers with the most online votes were invited to participate in the live competition and they put on a fantastic show!

All of the entertainers who performed were absolutely incredible, but it was Angelica D’Paige who was crowned this year’s Queen of Queens. The level of competition was a testament to how strong Atlanta’s drag community is. We have highly talented drag artists and entertainers in our area and they continue to wow us every week. 

We would like to thank the wonderful and talented Nicole Paige Brooks for hosting the “Queen of Queens” with FENUXE’s own Anita Richcock. Additionally, we would like to thank our panel of judges: Joey Helton (AID Atlanta), Jim Marks (P.A.L.S.), Wes Berry (Joining Hearts), Dino Thompson-Sarmiento (GLAAD), and Jeff Carrico (Open Hand).

Here are some pictures of the fun on Tuesday night:

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Out Photos: Taylor Dayne and Bonnie McKee At Atlanta Pride

Out Photos: Taylor Dayne and Bonnie McKee At Atlanta Pride

By D. David Kinney

A large crowd danced and set up tents in the Piedmont Park Meadow for Bonnie McKee and Taylor Dayne’s performances during Atlanta Pride on Saturday night. Here are some photos we snapped of the fun:
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Tail End Of Summer

Tail End Of Summer

By Karen Hirsch, Contributor

Meet Calvina, a one-year-old female dilute calico, who is beautiful both inside and out.  This sweet and loving cat has huge green eyes, a lovely, soft coat, and loves people.  She gets along well with other cats, loves to play, and would make a great new family member.  To meet this sweet kitty, please email adoption@dekalbanimalservices.com or call (404) 294-2165.  

DeKalb County Animal Services Tail End of Summer Promotion – Dogs Only $20!  Cats only $10!

If you’ve been thinking about adopting a dog or cat, now is the perfect time!  DeKalb County Animal Services (DCAS) is offering a ‘Tail End of Summer’ promotion during September, where all dog adoptions are only $20 and all cat adoptions are only $10!  This price includes the pet being spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated, heartworm or combo tested and dewormed – services with a retail value of over $200!  Standard adoption screening criteria still applies. 

Eat, Drink and Save Animals:  Attend the Murder-Mystery Dinner at Agatha’s to Benefit LifeLine Animal Project 

Do you like theater?  Like murder-mysteries?  Like helping animals?  Then attend a murder-mystery dinner benefit at Agatha’s on Sunday, September 29th at 6 p.m.  Agatha’s will generously be donating every dollar of every ticket to LifeLine Animal Project!  The cost is $50 per ticket and includes a five-course meal (vegetarian meals available), a glass of wine and a great show!   You’ll have a fun evening while helping the animals!  Agatha’s is located at 161 Peachtree Center Ave, Atlanta, GA 30303.  Click here to purchase tickets. 

About DeKalb Animal Services

Managed by LifeLine Animal Project, DeKalb Animal Services provides humane care for the animals at the shelter, veterinary care including spay/neuters, pet adoptions, animal reclaims, volunteers, foster homes and rescue group coordination.  To learn more, please visit dekalbanimalservices.org.

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Ticket Giveaway Time!

Ticket Giveaway Time!

By D. David Kinney

Want to win a ticket to Atlanta’s hottest new Pride after-hours party? Just correct answer the trivia question below and you’ll be entered to win a ticket to the Tab Pride After-Hours Party on Friday, October 11th! We’re going to pick two winners tonight! You can enter using the form below:

Join Jujubee, Alexis Mateo, Mariah, and Nina Flowers (who will be spinning in the DJ booth) from RuPaul’s Drag Race for this exciting new Pride after-hours party at the Tabernacle. Admission also includes access to the Sky View Ferris Wheel next door. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

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The Ultimate In Drag Dining Comes To Atlanta

The Ultimate In Drag Dining Comes To Atlanta

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

This Friday Atlanta will be crowned with what can only be described as a drag queen jewel as Lips opens its doors to the public. Lips is the ultimate experience in drag dining where a great restaurant meets top-of-the-line Vegas-style drag performance in a bedazzled show palace fit for only the best of queens.

The venue has already sold out for Friday and Saturday, but you can still experience a drag-a -licious good time this Sunday with their opening celebration benefiting Joining Hearts. Join the talented ladies of Lips and guest hostesses Mr. Charlie Brown and Phoenix who will no doubt be serving up their most jaw-dropping performances for Joining Hearts.

Tickets are $30 in advance ($40 at the door) and alongside the spectacular show you’ll also get some delicious bites, their world famous frozen cosmo, beer, and wine.

For tickets to the Joining Hearts event, click here. For reservations at Lips, click here.

Want to see a sneak peek inside Lips? Here you go:

Lips Atlanta Buckhead Drag

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It’s Britney In Vegas B**ch!

It’s Britney In Vegas B**ch!

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

Britney fans worldwide must be going bonkers right now. First, her single “Work Bitch!” was leaked online and its release moved up a day. And then, Britney took over GMA Tuesday morning to announce her two-year contract with Planet Hollywood for a total of 50 shows that will premiere on December 27th of this year.

With her new 30-million-dollar contract Britney is following in the footsteps of Celine Dion who also has a so-called residency contract. So, what is Planet Hollywood saying about Brit’s new show?

“… Britney launches her most spectacular show ever at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Las Vegas. “Britney: Piece of Me” is a celebration of one of the most illustrious careers in music history, featuring 20 worldwide smashes from one of the most iconic artists ever to grace the stage.  Audiences of all ages will be thrilled as Britney re-imagines her greatest past performances and offers a glimpse of brand new material from her highly-anticipated eighth studio album.”

After the GMA announcement the artwork for Britney’s new single “Work Bitch!” suddenly makes a lot of sense with a dressing room scene and the singer wearing Vegas’ signature ostrich feathers. And the title of the song pretty much sums up the enormous effort and amount of work it will take to put on a larger-than-life show. Britney is reportedly rehearsing five hours a day to get ready for her big Vegas premiere.

If you want a piece of Britney in Vegas you need to start planning soon because tickets go on sale on September 20th–that is after an Amex and Total Rewards pre-sale event. Of course there are always VIP packages and some include a meet & greet with the star herself. Pricing for the VIP packages hasn’t been released yet, but general admission pricing will range between $59-179.

There is no doubt that Britney is – oops! – definitely doing it again!

For more details and the GMA interview, check out the clip below:

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“Harmony” Brings Broadway To Peachtree

“Harmony” Brings Broadway To Peachtree

By D. David Kinney

Harmony, a new show by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman, premiered at the Alliance Theatre at the Woodruff on Sunday. It’s about the Comedian Harmonists, the first world famous boy band. They performed from 1928 until 1934 when their music collided with Hitler and the Third Reich.

I’ll be honest… I didn’t know what to expect before the curtain went up. I had googled the show before I went, read through press releases, and researched the Comedian Harmonists, but I didn’t know what a Barry Manilow musical would be like. How would soft-rock translate to a Broadway-style musical?

barry Manilow HarmonyI immediately knew I was in for a musical treat as the orchestra began tuning their instruments before the show. There was nothing soft-rock or pop going on tonight. This was classic Broadway. Manilow explained the musical change in an interview with the New York Times: “I’ve been kind of imprisoned in the pop music world, very happily, but there are these rules that you need to adhere to in pop music. There is a certain brick wall that you hit. But this gave me the opportunity to go way, way beyond what I’ve been doing for 30 years.”

And did Barry Manilow deliver? I think he hit the ball clear out of the ballpark. Several songs are still stuck in my head and I’ve been belting out “Where You Go” in the shower for the past three days.

So, what about the play overall? I was in tears by the end of the show. Its message is incredibly powerful, the direction was engaging, and the choreography efficiently conveyed the strong emotions radiating from the show’s lyrics and score. However, I do think the show took a little too long to jump into the real meat and potatoes of the story. But once the ball gets rolling in this production there is absolutely no stopping it.

Barry Manilow HarmonyThe show also features talented members of our gay community. I would like to specifically point out Douglas Williams, who plays Bobby Biberti. Williams sings bass in the Comedian Harmonists and he’s an absolute theatre dreamboat on stage. His voice is like butter and he’s one tall drink of water. You definitely don’t want to miss the scene where he and the other 5 Comedian Harmonists do a musical number in their underwear.

Although there are no gay characters in the show there are several references to homosexuality. In fact, the song “Your Son Is Becoming A Singer!” so closely parallels the coming out process that I forgot midway through the song that the character Erich was coming out as a singer and not coming out as gay.

Conclusion? GO SEE THIS SHOW! Broadway has left the great white way and is sitting pretty on Peachtree.

Here’s a taste of the show:

And here is a video of Barry Manilow singing Harmony’s love song Every Single Day:

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Flying With Weed: The Fall And Rebirth of Shavonna B. Brooks

Flying With Weed: The Fall And Rebirth of Shavonna B. Brooks

By D. David Kinney

Everyone knows the feeling. It’s the feeling that grips you when you see blue lights in your rear view mirror and hear a siren getting closer. It’s dread, regret, fear, and anxiety crashing together into an emotional experience that can leave even the strongest among us with wobbly knees.

Atlanta drag performer Shavonna B. Brooks was sitting on a United Airlines flight when this terrible feeling consumed her. Through the windows she saw the cops boarding the plane and she knew they were coming for her. This is the story of her fall and rebirth.

Brooks was at the airport traveling to a benefit for a friend who was competing in the Miss Continental Plus pageant. She’s traveled all over the country for gigs and there was nothing particularly unusual about this trip. Checking in for her flight and going through security all went smoothly. With little hassle Brooks boarded her Chicago bound flight and quickly settled in. Cell phone, iPad, and headphones were safely unpacked and stowed in the seat-back in front of her. She knew the drill.

Buckled in and ready to go she noticed something happening at the front of the plane. The police boarded the aircraft and starting walking down the aisle. “I packed up my belongings as soon as I saw them. I knew they were coming for me,” Brooks said.

What the other passengers didn’t know was Brooks’ checked luggage contained an illegal drug – marijuana, Cannabis sativa to be exact. Despite the fact that Brooks was traveling to Illinois, the 20th state to legalize medical marijuana, she was arrested because this is Georgia. While other states are working on legalization, decriminalization, or licensure programs for medicinal use Georgia seems happy with its war on pot.

In a report from the ACLU looking at marijuana possession arrest rates from 2001 through 2010, Georgia had the sixth highest arrest rate in the country. “[These arrests have] needlessly ensnared hundreds of thousands of people in the criminal justice system, had a staggeringly disproportionate impact on African-Americans, and come at a tremendous human and financial cost,” the ACLU report said. “The price paid by those arrested and convicted of marijuana possession can be significant and linger for years, if not a lifetime.” 32,473 people were arrested in 2010 for possession of marijuana in Georgia. Ninety-three percent of those arrested in Atlanta were Black.

But none of that mattered to Brooks as she sat on the airplane waiting for the police to find her. “This was completely my fault. I’ve traveled with [marijuana] for years. This one particular time, I put it inside a grinder and stuck it in with some bracelets. Stupid mistake. I know they check jewelry because it shows up like foil,” Brooks confessed.

Brooks immediately packed her things before the police got to her seat. She sat collected, calm and ready to face what stood before her. With no delay the police escorted her off of the plane and began to question her. “It was like a movie,” Books said.

An officer quickly asked her if she knew why she had been removed from the plane. “Y’all found it,” Brooks told the officers with little doubt in her mind. A nod from one of the other officers was the only confirmation she needed.

Some people would get upset in this situation. Others would get angry. It’s easy to get upset or angry when you’ve been caught doing something that bears consequences. But that’s not who Shavonna Brooks is. She held her head high, she told the truth, and she accepted the consequences. “It was my mistake and it hurt at the time. But my best friend and nephew were right by my side — all 13 dreadful hours of it,” Brooks said.

“The arresting officers were so nice. I asked that they get my bag with my wigs from underneath the plane and not make me walk through the airport being a public figure and knowing a lot of flight attendants. They honored my request and sent a car to the ramp,” Brooks said.

In handcuffs she was put into the police car and they made their way to booking. “I talked to the officers the whole way down Tara Boulevard. The female officer was asking where I bought the shoes I had on because she wore a size 12 in women’s,” Brooks remembered

And everything moved along smoothly until Brooks got to the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office for booking. In the Clayton County jail men wear orange and women wear green. If you look at Brooks it would seem obvious that she should get a green outfit. But Clayton County goes by the gender on your driver’s license. “The most horrible thing was when they made me put on the orange outfit. After that the boys went craaaaazy. When I moved to Georgia they changed my sex on my ID to male. Bitches. But you know, ignorance is beyond no one person.” Brooks explained

After attracting unwanted attention from the imprisoned men, the Sheriff’s Office put her in a cell by herself. When they didn’t have room for her to sit alone she was put with the female prisoners.

Eventually she was released and had her day in court. She pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge and a judge sentenced her to one year of probation, 40 hours of community service, and random drug testing. Instead of letting this defeat her or get her down she is using the experience to better her life.

“I wouldn’t have done anything differently. God has a way of doing everything in your life when you’re a believer. This was supposed to happen,” Brooks remarked. And her words aren’t ringing hollow. She’s turning her life around and getting sober. “I’m very proud of myself having smoked almost every day since the age of 16. I’m not messing this up. Any addiction in life can be overcome. It takes strength and belief in yourself and you can make that change. In my case I was forced. But it was what I needed in order to have a better chance at life. I’m ready to take on this new opportunity,” Brooks said.

Shavonna B. Brooks has been sober since July 22nd. You can see her perform at Burkhart’s Pub where she hosts the “EXTRAVAGANZA” on Saturday nights.

[This story was originally published in FENUXE Magazine's "Celebrating Atlanta Black Gay Pride" issue on August 29, 2013.]

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Win A Ticket To Tabernacle’s Pride After-Party

Win A Ticket To Tabernacle’s Pride After-Party

By D. David Kinney

Want to win tickets to Atlanta’s hottest new Pride after-hours party? Just correct answer the trivia question below and you’ll be entered to win a ticket to the Tab Pride After-Hours Party on Friday, October 11th:

Join Jujubee, Alexis Mateo, Mariah, and Nina Flowers (who will be spinning in the DJ booth) from RuPaul’s Drag Race for this exciting new Pride after-hours party at the Tabernacle. Admission also includes access to the Sky View Ferris Wheel next door. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

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Martinis & IMAX Unveils Hidden Universe

Martinis & IMAX Unveils Hidden Universe

By D. David Kinney

Martinis & IMAX is a unique event at Fernbank Museum of Natural History that shouldn’t be missed. With a great live band, dancing couples, delicious cocktails, towering dinosaur skeletons, and fantastic IMAX shows it’s easy to see why this is one of Atlanta’s favorite weekly events. It’s a recipe for fun and it’s an out-of-the-box date night opportunity.

Martinis & IMAX is boasting two fantastic new IMAX films: Penguins and Hidden Universe. I opted to see Hidden Universe and it was a great choice. The film (which is projected on a screen five stories tall!) lets you travel the world visiting rarely seen telescopes that will literally show you the edge of visible universe. Many of the images in the film have never been seen before.

If you’re expecting to see Sheldon Cooper and the rest of the gang from The Big Band Theory eagerly waiting in line… you’re out of luck. There was a hip, modern, and well-dressed crowd that was there to cut loose a little bit while placating their inner nerd.

Want to get tickets for this weekend? Click here.

Want to see a preview of Hidden Universe? Watch it below:

Want to check out Penguins before you see it at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History? Watch it below:

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