Dad’s Night Out
On the evening of Sunday, March 1, 2015, I had the pleasure of attending (and performing at) a fundraiser. “Dad’s Night Out”, for The Imperial Court of Toronto, organized and hosted by King Father James Pawley with real-life spouse, Queen Mother Divinesque, with MC Morgan James (sans drag) at Erotico Lounge, 461 Church Street in Toronto. One of the most notable features of this event was its timing – doors at 5:00 p.m., show at 6:00 p.m. and finish by 9:00 p.m. At first I thought, “5:00 p.m. start!!??! Oh My Dog, that’s SO early!” However, as it turned out, when everything was finished before even 8:30 p.m., I still had an entire evening ahead of me to go other places and still make it home at a “decent” hour. Someone deserves a medal for this concept!
First I must note that this was my first look at Erotico Lounge since its renovations of December/January. Previously, the space had been made up of two large rooms, each with a bar. Entry was, and still is made by a staircase which shares its street access with the Pizzaiolo of the same street address. Where previously the staircase brought one past a cashier and coat-check at the top of the stairs, through the first room, through a doorway and into the second room where the stage was located, one now enters past the cashier/coat-check to find a stage at the far end of the first room – a tremendously more efficient use of the space. Additionally, the sound system associated with the new stage is far superior. Although the space associated with the stage is more compact, the second room is now efficiently either closed off or available for secondary purposes, such as (in this case) a buffet table, displaying raffle prizes, and changing space for performers.
I arrived for this event shortly after 5:00 p.m. and was all set to perform at some point after the 6:00 p.m. show start time. Amazingly, the show started on time. The room was well populated with courtiers from not only Toronto, but also Hamilton, Kitchener, London and Buffalo. One of the less common aspects of this particular event was the focus on the male role performers. It is quite common for all the focus to be on the queens, however on this evening the focus, as one might suspect from the title “Dad’s Night Out”, was geared towards the male role performers. The queens were certainly welcomed with open arms, including Regent Empress Lauren Michaels, Empress 6 & 26 Michelle DuBarry, and of course me! All combined to present a truly entertaining show.
The show was not the only thing happening. There was a complimentary potluck buffet which included Chili, quiche tartlettes, salad, fruit and veggie trays, deviled eggs, a plethora of cookies, and a large sheet cake. Additionally, there was a 50/50 draw for a prize of $75.00 won by Empress Chantal of Hamilton who donated the prize back to the charity, and a raffle for an assortment of lovely (and valuable) prizes donated by various members of the different courts in attendance. One of the biggest money makers of the evening had to be the progressive auction for the winner’s choice of any one of four different lots of jewellery donated by Queen Mum Divinesque of Crystal Countess. A delegate from London, and one from Toronto, brought the auction to a tremendous climax with a back and forth battle at $20.00 per bid which had to have raised well over $200.00 alone.
In total “Dad’s Night Out” was a huge success, raising over $1,600.00 in just under 3.5 hours – that’s like $457.00 per hour! A fabulous success for The Imperial Court of Toronto and its beneficiaries PWA Food Programs, The 519 Community Centre, and The Sergio Appoloni Scholarship.
I’m looking forward to the next big Imperial Court of Toronto show which will take place at Statlers, 487 Church Street, Toronto on March 27, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.