Daddy MPLS Variety ShowcaseFeb 11, 2018
If you seek Daddy, you are in the right place at Minneapolis’s notorious 1st Avenue. A popular destination among college students and scene veterans alike, the mainroom of 1st Avenue was home to the Daddy Queer Variety Show. Countless patrons flocked adorned in sequins, glitter, leather, and in many cases not much else. The crowd slowly trickled in around 9 o’clock, cult dance hits such as Brittany’s Work B**** consuming the room as vendors set up their booths. Face to Face was available to provide onsite HIV testing and complementary contraceptives ranging in color, texture, and flavor. As the room swelled with more guests the speakers began to blast Latinx Disco; Sólo Tú, Ikki, and others. The dance floor began to fill with apprehensive dancers until about 10 when Marcel Michelle Mobama, the MC for the night, came to energetically open the show and introduce the first guest.
Marcel stunned in a velvet jumpsuit, in line with the disco note the night appeared to start on. JP Brammer was the first to the stage, reciting bits from his Hola Papi advice column. Brammer shared two editorials that sunk under the noise emanating from the crowd. While the object of the evening was information in addition to art, Brammer’s segment felt out of place, coming as it did between two stunningly energetic acts. The next performer to the stage was Catherine Charles, whose enthusiastic energy and presence could not make up for her repetitive drum structure coupled with a shallow percussive sound that left the performance lacking. The music failed to meet the energy Catherine brought and the somewhat flat lyrics made it hard to sink into the set.
Catherine was followed by Will Sheridan, a brooklyn based hip hop performer. Sheridan’s performance was every bit as cheeky as their black teddy with belt clip appliques and nearly floor length braids. The set itself began with mid 2000s hip hop motifs and aged into a mixture of hip hop and the sex charged energy of dance and disco music. Sharadon lived on the apron of the stage and was one of the most engaging acts of the show, as he rapped explicitly sexual lyrics over driving hip hop beats. Thunder Thighs Latex fashion show followed, mimicking Sheridan’s sex charged repertoire, with models giving off a flirty casual and energetic vibe. The brief fashion show of about six looks ended with the fashion designer herself death dropping on the catwalk.
Finally it was time for Marcel Michelle Mobama to take to the stage. Opening in a tent-like glimmering cape and dancing out of it and into a bra thong combo, Marcel began numerous acrobatic dance feats as New Order’s Blue Monday played. Finally Marcel was left vulnerable and open to the audience in nothing but pasties and pride.
It was only fitting that Marcel’s transformanal drag performance be followed by what can only be described as extraterrestrial. Symone Smash It emerged from what resembled a holographic cellophane hut, throughout her performance utilizing a techno alternate reality aesthetic much like what can be found on Janelle Monae’s 2010 concept album The Arch Android. Pulling the crowd in with her evocative appearance and 80s Techno Pop, Symone quite literally lit up the stage with her LED eyelashes and glitter strap on.
Toning down to more family friendly vibes Nick Jordan engrossed the stage, his skilled back-up dancers making it clear why he won the Star Tribune’s Best Live Act Award in 2016. Nick seems to understand the ever present need to keep visuals at the peak of performance in live sets as the performance world grows more obsessed with appearance. The four background dancer’s stole the show with their impressive choreography and mastery of the art.
Marcel Michelle Mobama closed out the night with one last cabaret performance. Michelle sashayed out in what appeared to be a latin inspired red dress costume which she proceeded to strip away revealing nipple tassles and a red glitter pasty below. She expelled her energy in one grandiose gesture accented by shimmying and more impressive body configurations. The stage was then handed over to DJ Keezy who continued to liven the atmosphere of First Ave as many guests stayed to bump and grind for the remainder of the evening, never forgetting the call and response that Marcel opened the night with: “Consent is? Mandatory!”