Review//Vogue Trash

By Sophie Keane

“Sexy! Freaky! Loud!” screamed the flier for Patrick’s Cabaret’s Vogue Trash Costume Ball. On the night of Saturday October 20th, Patrick’s Cabaret, an experimental performance venue that encourages artists of all kinds, hosted a different kind of crowd: high-fashion, with a bit of edge­—a funky and eclectic group, to say the least, with an omnipresent devil-may-care mentality. The event was a benefit for the Cabaret’s upcoming season, but first on the night’s docket was something for the handful of fashion photographers and critics in attendance: “African-inspired urban fashion” by Linda Danielle Jones and Judy Cooper Lyle, in their affordable high fashion line, Urban Rainment. Gorgeous, dancing models took diverse looks to the runway. As the night progressed, the energy in Patrick’s became sexier, louder, and certainly freakier. A few suitably strange characters strutted their stuff on the runway after the models­—a shirtless man with a colorfully painted stag headpiece, a woman in a tutu, knee socks, and a CareBear hat. Some of the models were spontaneous audience members-turned-performers, while others had clearly choreographed their Vogue moment in front of a previous audience (including, I presume, a man who decided to strip down to his briefs and dance; he was not available for comment). But the show didn’t stop there. Two girls stumbled on the runway wearing nothing but bandeaus and skirts made out of garbage, slurping Target Slurpees messily and falling over each other. A tap-dancing mummy shuffled about. A girl with plastic cylinders affixed to her face and hands took the runway holding a long, thin, winding tube; a man proceeded to pour wine down the tube so that it filled up a plastic bag where her heart would be. Three pole dancers took the stage multiple times to dance. A lithe, curvaceous showgirl performed a tomato-themed striptease. Mingling with the patrons before this original show, I got a sense of the community that Patrick’s Cabaret has built­— the community that enabled it to put on a spectacle like the Vogue Trash Costume Ball. What started as a single evening in 1986, hosted by Patrick Scully for his artist friends, expanded to a venue that supports all artists—“from emerging to experienced, from teenagers to seniors” (in Patrick’s Cabaret’s description), particularly those of color and those who identify with the LGBT/queer community. The space also hosts dance classes and two weekends each month it fills with themed cabarets that are sometimes curated by guest artists. White Ash has been a part of the Patrick’s community since nearly the beginning, as an audience member, performer, and a board chair. The night of the show he wore a loose, revealing white tank top and shorts with a velvet vest and gold pendant. “To perform here, you don’t have to audition. The only requirement is to see the space,” said Ash. “The audiences can become the performers—you can cross that line very easily.” “It’s an opportunity for artistic expression for a lot of people who may not have otherwise had the opportunity,” added Tim Springer, another long-time member of the Patrick’s community. He donned Christmas garlands over a bright collared shirt for the night’s festivities. “It’s queer, experimental, and fun!” Springer gushed. A Mac grad in attendance, Dan Handeen, recognized the importance of places like Patrick’s. “It’s affordable, it’s intimate, it’s central,” said Handeen. Not to mention, “hilarious, thought-provoking, and inspiring.” And essential, to a vibrant community of artists and appreciators of art. Stop by Patrick’s on one of their performance weekends ( and engage in this colorful, non-conventional, welcoming group of creators and entertainers—don’t wait until next year’s Costume Ball (but mark it on your calendars, just in case). refresh –>