Monday, January 9, 2012

Dinner, Show and A Gay Bar

My older son left the unusually balmy Northeast to come and visit over the holidays.  He was staying until New Year's Day, so there was New Year's Eve to plan. When he was younger and would visit, the pace was a mile-a-minute with plans on top of plans.  Now he's a little older and a little more mellow, so we spent time relaxing and talking.  I'm a reality show junkie, and I heard that a Top Chef judge had a restaurant in Houston where I live.  I wanted to go.  My son is a foodie and obviously agreed.  The 6:00pm seating for New Year's Eve was regular menu at regular prices, I made the reservation.  I read that one of our local theaters, Stages Repertory Theater,had a naughty panto. For those of you who may not know what a panto is, it comes from English Christmas tradition where children attend a musical re-telling of a classic fairytale.  Panto is short for pantomime, but doesn't have the "mime" part in the English definition.  Instead, the production is directed at the children who participate by booing the villain and cheering on the hero and heroine, but woven throughout the show is double entendre, and political and social commentary. This dialogue sails innocently over the heads of the kids, but delights their parents.   Our  evening was set...but not quite yet.  The last piece of the evening puzzle I kept to myself.  I saw that a gay bar around the corner from the theater was featuring Raja Gemini, winner of the 2011 RuPaul's Drag Race. How I came to be interested in drag queens is another story.  Suffice to say my son and I are both straight, but having seen Raja before, I wanted to see her again.   We ate a delicious dinner at The Reef and drove to the theater to see the show.  By intermission we had our fill. All the subtlety had been left behind for not-so-clever dialogue in this naughty version written by one of the company.   It was only 10:30pm.  "Up for going to a bar? It's right around the corner."  And, again, my son agreed. As we walked the short block I explained we were going to see the same drag queen I had told him about before. He was up for it.  We went in, ordered some drinks and within about 10 minutes I was having a perfectly nice conversation with some guys who had admired my designer purse.  Then the show began.  One drag queen did her thing, lip-syncing and grabbing the dollar bills pushed her way.  Then it was Raja's turn...handsome as a man, gorgeous as a woman, Raja  pranced, preened and entertained the crowd at this small neighborhood bar. I was excited to see her the second time and my son enjoyed the show.  So much fun!  I'm sure I was the oldest one in the place.   The next morning, we had breakfast at a Mexican restaurant on the way to the airport.  My son says, " Mom, I really had a good time last night"  "Didn't you know how much fun I am? " I said. "I love bars, and music and dancing.  I need to open The Old Farts Bar for boomers like me." He laughed...but I'm serious.

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