Within the last two years prior to 2020, the Philadelphia Fringe Festival would run its curated performance art showcases each and every night, close shop, get its audiences and artists out of its chairs and away from its front doors, wherein everyone would then head to Late Night Snacks. Presented by Philly’s The Bearded Ladies Cabaret, this after-hours pop-up would plop down in one area of town or another (last year was dangerously close to Cheesesteak Vegas in the Italian Market), offer drinks and scintillating comedy, music and performance art usually of a piece with the Bearded Ladies and its founder John Jarboe’s drag-based aesthetic.
Obviously, 2020 and the pandemic ensuing changes everything from an event warehousing prospective (“We were supposed to be in West Philadelphia this year,” said Sally Ollove, The Bearded Ladies’ longtime dramaturg and it’s Associate Artistic Director). So, the surrealist, scrappy Judy & Mickey in-a-barn-like crew will take like a whole month’s worth of late nights, and cram them into one sturdy, weird and decidedly global panoply with Saturday, October 17’s marathon drag-dare-and-more affair, Late Night Snacks 2020: FEAST.
From noon until midnight, 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., and all for free, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret works it, with FringeArts, for the sake of international cabaret, moving from and to a new city each and every hour with Philadelphia’s Martha Graham Cracker, “handling many of the cities in-between,” noted Ollove. And all in something of a “90’s MTV version of the international cabaret scene” style marathon with in-between hosting from Jarboe, Jess Conda and such, the Beards’ Associate Artistic Director pointed out.
Tickets are HERE.
You could have actually bought a Make-Your-Own Cabaret Kit with a 12-hour candle, table cloth, Reserved sign, Beards swag, and other goodies to complete your at-home-cabaret viewing experience – all with a FEAST TV Guide. Maybe someone will give one up. Check that address.
As far as for the silver linings to be found in a virtual world and Late Night Snacks 2020: FEAST with a pandemic raging around us, Jarboe said:
“Yes, ‘you can’t beat the commute,’ as one of our hosts Jess Conda says about virtual performance. But being virtual has also allowed us to really empower artists in different cities around the world to curate their own program, so, we are getting to work with artists that would normally not be in our spheres on an international scale. It’s incredible for us that our little 10-year-old company that started in our living room is now a host to over 100 artists from around the world.”
And John is still in her living room.
As far as the vision of the vision and scope of Late Night Snacks 2020: FEAST goes, Jarboe quickly credits that vision being created in collaboration with The Bearded Ladies director Sally Ollove, currently on the west coast. “Our vision is to curate and offer work by cabaret artists that are made with the virtual form in mind, that is watchable, and that has sustenance, that is made with the intention to feed, heal, and sate,” noted Jarboe. “We also wanted to connect artists and audiences around the world and pay as many artists as possible. Queer artists, cabaret artists are always imagining the future anew. We are making a platform to show this work across cultural and geographical barriers. I am the host. I am also a major connector. Over the past 10 years, I have traveled and met many of the hosts and curators on the project. FEAST is us all coming together around one virtual table.”
This is a loosely knit schedule of cities and appearances in no particular order that I grabbed from Forbes.
12 pm: Welcome with Jarbeaux, featuring Busty Beatz
12:30 pm: Paris with Malgorzata Gosia Kasprzycka, Viuex Belleville, Alive Bitemo, Ludmilla Dabo with Catherine Hirsh, Jerry FK, Prune Becheau, Gosia & the Flying Whales, Monsieur K & Cabaret Le Secret
1:30 pm: London with Le Gateau Chocolat, Jonny Woo, Séayoncé, Diane Chorley, Sanah Ahsan
Interlude: A Workout with Cherdonna Shinatra
2:30 pm: Berlin with Dieter Rita Scholl & Bridge Markland, Dieter Rita Scholl, I Am Very Confused, Sascha Sehr Schön, Liliana Velasquez, Sigrid Grajek, Camp Dad, Marilyn Nova White, Peter Frost & Size 45
4:00 pm: Around The World in 60 min (or more or less) with Martha Graham Cracker, Stephanie Blythe & Blythely Oratonio, Pioneer Winter, Twoja Stara, Justin Elizabeth Sayre, Dorian Wood, Clayton Lee, Be Steadwell, Betty Grumble
Catch Up with Jarbeaux, featuring Barbara Maier Gustern
5:30 pm: New York with Matt Ray, Queen Esther, CHRISTEENE, Nath Ann Carrera, Matt Ray & Kat Edmonson
6:00 pm: New York with Kate Rigg, Shelly Watson, Raven O, Jennifer Mudge
6:30 pm: New York with Jenn Kidwell, The Illustrious Blacks, Ikechukwu Ufomadu, nicHi douglas, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko
Catch Up with Jarbeaux, featuring Justin Vivian Bond
7:00 pm: Mexico City with Tareke Ortiz, Steven Cid Portal, Carlos Diaz Nunez, Goyo, Aymar Sahae, Yurief Nieves, Richard Lopez, Guillermo Gómez Peña, Itzia Fernandez, Jonathan Corral, Jorge Diaz, Julia Castillo
Anthony Martinez-Briggs with a disco ball
Anthony Martinez-Briggs Cass Meehan
8:30 pm: Philadelphia with Cookie Diorio & Jess Conda, Sapphira Cristál, Johnny Showcase, Eric Jaffe, Ani Gavino, Emyne AahLeah, Anthony Martinez-Briggs, Daniel de Jesús
9:30 pm: Seattle with Cherdonna, Roache, Queen Shmooquan, DANDY, Randy Ford, Woody Shticks, Angel Baby Kill Kill Kill
10:30 pm: Wellington, New Zealand Interlude with Murdoch Keane, Tayi Tibble
11:00 pm: Melbourne with Adrienne Truscott, Paige Turner, Yana Alana, Rhys Nicholson, The Kamilaroi Cowboy, Rhys Nicholson, Moira Finucane: Queen of Hearts, Marawa The Amazing, Tina Del Twist, Moira Finucane
12:00 am: Goodbye with Jarbeaux