Pride week is June 5 through12. Pride is a time when bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgendered people in the area join with each other and their friends and families to celebrate their bisexuality, gayness, lesbianism and transgenderedness. This year, Boise's Pride events are as diverse as the people attending them. With a rally, a parade, a keynote speaker, dinners and more, there is something for everyone at this year's celebrations. All of the events are important to the cause, but what would a celebration be without live performances? This year, the line-up of events is one of the best yet and everyone gay, straight or in-between is guaranteed a good time.
Thursday night's Karaoke Cabaret at the Balcony Club promises to be a really fun event. Men and women unite in celebration of fun and song and attendees are encouraged to dress up and perform their favorite songs as their favorite singers. Everyone over 21 is encouraged to come out and enjoy this show whether you plan to perform or not. Queen Alisha will be the karaoke mistress for the night, the venue has been generously donated by the Balcony Club and the karaoke system and CDs are on loan from the ever-supportive Neurolux. The fun is at the Balcony Club again on Friday night with even more entertainment.
The Portland Drag Kings (DK PDX) and comedian Sean Hetherington come from afar to entertain us folks here in the Valley. Hetherington hails from Southern California, and according to www.yffn.org, "[Hetherington] has performed over 1,000 times in just three years. He's also just finished his first full-length book wrote a one-man show and has had a successful career in television production that began at age 19. Somewhere in between all of that, he managed to lose 100 pounds and come out to his Northern California suburban family. With a stand-up act that reflects his constant change, from living poor in San Francisco to living poorer in Los Angeles, to growing up with Republicans and all those pounds, and a few crazy dating experiences along the way ... he truly captures the neurotic tendencies of a 20-something in 2005."
As if that weren't enough for one night, the DK PDX is an all human group that comes down the pike to us from Portland. They take the lines that separate genders, tie them up in little knots and toss them out with the trash. Performing as both male and female identities, they confront political and social issues including homophobia, sexism and gender bias all the while promoting feminism. There is also a raffle with gifts from local businesses that support Pride and all it stands for. Raffle items include car rentals, gift certificates, wine, a computer tune-up and more. And as if that weren't enough, get ready for Saturday.
On Saturday, following the rally at noon on the Statehouse steps, there is going to be a party and everyone's invited. Bring your friends, your family, the kids, the neighbors and the neighbor's kids down to the Boise Centre on the Grove at around 1 p.m. With emcees, DJs, drag and live music performers, this event will be so fun, no one will want to go home. Sean Hetherington performs again at 1:30 p.m. and Sudden Impact plays their brand of melodic, thought-provoking tunes at 2:05. At 2:50, Mansi Loya brings his high-energy, Latin pop to the stage and you won't be able to keep your feet still. At 3:35, the Imperial Sovereign Court does their little dance on the catwalk with some of the most regal drag performances you'll ever see. Rebecca Scott takes the stage at 4:15 to perform with her mesmerizing music and lyrics. Crash Four closes out the party at 5:20 with a rocking set. At 1 p.m., 5:50 p.m., and between each act, Miss Minerva Jayne and DJ Brooklyn emcee the show, giving the entire event serious cred.
Pride's chair of the entertainment committee is Boise Weekly's own Sales Assistant, Jessi Strong. Now, I know from working with her that Jessi is very organized. And that's a good thing, because only the most organized of people could have pulled this whole thing off. With little money and little time, Jessi, Your Family Friends and Neighbors and plenty of volunteers have put together an event that the entire city can be proud of.
Karaoke Cabaret, June 9, 8:30 p.m., $3 singles, $5 couples, $1 in costume or drag, The Balcony, 150 N. 8th St.
Sean Hetherington and DK PDX, June 10, 9 p.m., $5 at the door, The Balcony, 150 N. 8th St.
Festival, June 11, 1-6 p.m., FREE, Boise Centre on the Grove.