Tea Dance at Escuelita
“Who’s off tomorrow?” hostess Harmonica Sunbeam asks one Sunday night holiday audience. “Um-hum,” she responds to the resultant cheer. “And who’s off every day?” This kitten with a whip tames her rough trade crowd with a tongue lashing. Partner-in-crime Sugar Pie Coco (who’s been known to sweet talk bottles of vodka from the bar) is just as quick to quip. Together, this duo of divas contribute serious sass to a strip show long on talent if short on winningsa mere $10 at a recent night according to Sugar Pie.
301 W. 39th St., at Eighth Ave., 212-631-0588; 9:08pm; $10.
Money Wheel at The Urge
Cashetta has made a name for herself as a magician as well as a crossdressing comedienne but the $500 up for grabs at this weekly game night is no illusion. At the end of each of the six rounds of Bingo, the winner steps up to the glittery money wheel and spins for prizes: free drinks or cold hard cash.
33 Second Ave., at 2nd St., 212-533-5757; 10pm; free.
Man Whore at O.W. Bar
“I’m a gender illusionist technician,” proclaims Shaboom Boom to anyone who calls her a drag queen. But with all due respect to the mistress of ceremonies, the audience at this amateur strip contest is likely to focus on those men who display the full monty. The eight week competition culminates on October 25th with a $1000 grand prize.
221 E. 58th St., between Second and Third Ave., 212-355-3395; 10:30pm; free.
The ASS Is Tight at The Monster
Patrons line up to place CDs, DVDs, even boxed sets between their butt cheeks then jump up and down for a count of ten in order to keep their prizes. A twisted game show, The ASS Is Tight is a wacky mix of the pencil test and The Price is Right. Strippers, $3 Rolling Rocks and free hot dogs ensure that everyone is a winner, even those who don’t drop trou.
80 Grove St., at Sheridan Sq., 212-924-3558; midnight; free.
Gay Jeopardy at The Slide
Alex Trebek has nothing on Linda Simpson. Her categories are tough; her stage demeanor, even tougher. Just ask the contestant who got docked 30 points for responding in the form of a question a little too slowly. With sidekick Shania Rendevous taking on the Vanna White role, Simpson compensates for low production values with an extra dry wit. Even so, those back scratchers used to signal answers sure look disturbingly like toilet brushes.
365 Bowery, at 4th St., 212-420-8855; 11pm; free.
Area 10018+ at Club Shelter
This four-floor nightlife emporium has more fabulousness than you can shake a “back scratcher” at: Amanda Lepore and Sherry Vine co-host, Mistress Formika and Miss Guy dj and the legendary Kenny Kenny mans the front gate. But the real reason to visit this super club is found in the second floor’s VIP lounge. In a Pepto pink lair studded with backlit Toni Basil album covers and Baroque chandeliers, Mother Flawless Sabrina holds court as she recounts pre-Stonewall drag pageants chronicled in Frank Simon’s documentary The Queen (1968). As Kenny says, “They don’t call her Flawless for nothing.”
20 W. 39th St., between Fifth and Sixth Ave., 212-719-9867; $15.
Le Scandal at The Cutting Room
One of the many venues—including Billy’s Topless and Letterman—at which former wild child Drew Barrymore honed her striptease, Le Scandal has been a hothouse for the burgeoning neo-burlesque scene for as long as it’s been around. These vaudeville cats like to get pretty freaky yet host Bonnie Dunn admits, “We put on Rose Wood last because we don’t want to clear the room.” What’s so off-putting? Well, for starters, the Julie Atlas Muz vet begins her vulgar, boozy reverse striptease sprawled over a chair, naked, with a condom stuck to her ass. It goes downhill from there.
19 W. 24th St., between Fifth and Sixth Aves., 212-388-2988; 10:30pm; $20.