Are you ready for Philadephia’s “Circus of the Stars”?

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

When this event started popping up on my Facebook, I couldn’t help but be reminded of an amazing show that I watched as a kid called “Circus of the Stars”.  On this show, people like Phyllis Diller, Sammy Davis Jr. and Lucille Ball donned fabulous costumes and showed us talents that we never knew they had.  Last night, when I met with three of the driving forces behind Philly’s new talent show, it was clear that their “Circus of the Stars” was going to be just as varied and entertaining. 

Often on a Tuesday night,  I will say to myself, “Where can I go?  What is going on?  Where are my people?”  Tuesdays, starting on January 10th and running through February 7th (and possibly indefinitely, if things go as well as the early buzz seems to indicate), you will have to be at Tabu (200 S. 12th Street)  for this weekly talent show.  They need you!

Every week, for four weeks, they will have 5-6 performers competing against each other, with two people each week being chosen to compete for the grand prize of $500 on February 7th.  The inaugural week has a comedian, a drag queen, a singer, a female impersonator and a band.  The organizers, draghag extraordinaire, Brandon Barlieb of, and Nathan Walk, alter ego the fabulous Mrs. P, are trying to put together something new, fresh and exciting.  While we all love drag queens (hello, I am one), they didn’t want this to just be all drag performers, they wanted a space for anyone with any kind of talent to compete.  Mr. Walk will be hosting the event in true ringmaster style and will perform numbers (as a boy!) during the show.  I have been promised dancers and wicked choreography!

There will be three judges on hand at the competitions, Ms. Diana Dharling, one of Philly’s favorite drag ladies, Dan Mangini, educator and activist for HIV/AIDS (who promises to be the Paula Abdul judge for the Circus) and Di Hargrove, lesbian comedian.  You can go to Mr. Barlieb’s site for a full bio on each judge.  Along with the three of them, audience members will have a portion of the vote and so will online voters through Facebook.  Just go on and “like” Circus of the Stars at Tabu and after the shows each week, you can weigh in with your opinion of the talent, everyone will have a piece of it, that’s why they need you front and center on Tuesday night!

There will be a five dollar cover to get into the event, but, with that, you will get a free drink ticket or if you don’t want to imbibe on a school night, you can get two free tacos from Tabu’s famous “Taco Tuesdays”!  The event is sponsored by Avion tequila and they will have drink specials until midnight.  There will be event inspired cocktails called “The Big Top”, “The Mrs. P” and “The Ginger”.  You might want to tell your boss you will be in late on Wednesday.

This promises to be better than those lame high school talent shows that we have all been forced to sit through and it seems that we will have somewhere to be every Tuesday night.  The talent will be varied (do we have any fire-eaters out there?), the entertainment will be top notch and the drinks and tacos will be flowing.  What can you do?  Do you have a hidden talent?  See you there on January 10th, doors open at 9pm with the show to start around 10ish.

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