Sunday (6.5.2022)

SUNDAY (6.5.2022) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

  • CLUB CUMMING: Chevy Lace’s “Villain Edit” feat. Alex the Meh, Ash Blight, Bad News Bear, Bri Joy, Sam Bam Thank You Ma’am & Xaddy Addy (9pm)
  • PHOENIX: Adonis Lounge (10pm)
  • COCK: “Sloppy Sundays” (10pm)
  • NOWHERE: TBA

TRIBECA / LITTLE ITALY / LOWER MANHATTAN

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY

BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Full Calendar | Pride 2022

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

Saturday (6.4.2022)

SATURDAY (6.4.2022) Your daily guide to New York queer nightlife.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST / FLATIRON

CHELSEA

MEATPACKING

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

  • THE LIVING ROOM: Anne Lipuma & Crazy Maria’s ladies party feat. Nikki Lions (6pm)

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Full Calendar | Pride 2022

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

Friday (6.3.2022)

FRIDAY (6.3.2022) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Full Calendar | Pride Events 2022

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

On Point With: Emily Maresca

The creator and boss behind Hot Rabbit–one of New York nightlife’s most popular and inclusive brands of kiki–Emily Maresca balances business, pleasure and family life like few others in this field can. And this Pride Month will be one of the Rabbit’s most prolific and fun AF yet!


Thotyssey: Hello Emily! It’s summertime, which means both fun times and crazy stress are about to go down! How are you processing it all this time around?

Emily Maresca: I’m thrilled it’s Pride month, and we’re finally hitting a summer where we only have to worry about silly things like rain and (hopefully!) not any more global pandemics! Fingers crossed!

All the way crossed! Your queer party brand Hot Rabbit always has so many major events every year… it must have been incredibly awful to have all that stop for a year and a half during lockdown! Did you try to do any sort of HR digital content during that time?

We did, and mostly we did a few smaller things for fun or for charitable causes… but honestly, I found the virtual party space to be a bit lonely. I applaud what many others did in creating new ideas to supplant the need for gathering that we all had in that dark time, and I think some did it really successfully — like my friend Vito Fun. But for me, trying to recreate the very visceral thing that we do at Hot Rabbit on a virtual platform felt artificial — even impossible — and eventually we just went on a hiatus for a while until we could reopen live. It was a very challenging time for us, and for everyone who makes their living full time in nightlife.

Well thank goodness we’re on the other side of that… for now, at least! Since the reopenings, Hot Rabbit’s reclaimed many of its old rabbit holes while acquiring new venues for branded events. We’ll get to the specifics of those in a bit, but what’s your process like in finding new spaces? Is it a word of mouth thing, lots of research, hitting the pavement with an open mind, et cetera?

NYC seems to be going through a new venue boom, which is amazing! Especially considering how many independent venues were shut down over the past 20 years. I’m here for it! We’re so lucky to be back with our faves Lot 45 Bushwick (second Saturdays for our vogue party “Bad Habit”) and Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg (third Saturdays for our “Hot Honey” party with Honey Burlesque).

Finding good venues that are the right size, in a transit friendly location, that an audience will love, and that are willing to work out mutually beneficial deals with promoters is as I always say “the hardest part of my job.” Thankfully, it’s been getting easier. Yes I do, a ton of research… and I literally have hundreds of stars on my Google Maps. But also, venues hear about our events and reach out to us wanting to do LGBTQ events in their spaces… which is always a really great sign of a place that will be a good partner.

Unlike most nightlife folks, you actually have a family… as in, a spouse and children! How challenging is it to juggle the bizarre demands of this business with day to day family stuff… especially since you live out of the city now?

You know my secrets, lol! No, I’m kidding… I’m very open about having a family, it’s the best part of my life. I moved out of the city in 2018 when we had our first kid, and luckily that turned out to be a great decision and didn’t affect my ability to keep doing nightlife at all. It did cut back on my ability to go out and network and see new performers and DJs as much as I used to, which is the one thing I miss (so please, keep reaching out to me! I love getting booking requests from talent). But having a family is the best thing I ever did, and I really owe it all to my wife for doing the hard part of actually giving birth! I will be doing whatever she tells me to do for the rest of my life in return.

So let’s backtrack a bit to the beginning: where are you from originally, and how did you ultimately find yourself in the nightlife biz?

I grew up in the Hartford area, and came to the city often as a kid with my father who is an abstract painter. He took me to many galleries and concerts, and I was a “music head” through college. After college I moved to the city and stayed for 15 years, and I’ll always consider it my real home. I started throwing house parties in 2006, and would just invite random people I would meet out to make friends. I did that for years, and in 2010 I moved to a new a building that didn’t appreciate those parties so much. So I decided to throw my first event in a bar, which was a “confession” themed event at Mission Dolores with DJ TRX where we would read peoples confessions aloud between tracks. Then in 2011, I started Hot Rabbit at Heathers in the East Village, and things just grew from there.

What was the “mission statement” of Hot Rabbit then, and how did the party evolve as a scene over the years?

Well, when I started Hot Rabbit I wanted to create a place for groups of friends of all genders to go out together and all feel safe and comfortable in one environment, where anyone could walk in the room and feel like they belong. So there was always a specific intention about diversity when it came to the talent we booked and the messaging we put out. Other events at that time served as the inspiration for that as well, like “Hey Queen” and “That’s My Jam.”

A lot of the queer scene was built in Brooklyn, and we have eventually found our home their too… but we intentionally made inroads in the West Village when it used to feel more segregated. We were given the opportunity to produce Hot Rabbit at Nowhere Bar and Monster when they had been extremely male-dominated spaces, and I think that helped us grow into the reputation we sought as an “everybody” space… and hopefully expanded the mindset of the people who normally occupied those spaces, too.

A lot of venues and event producers think they are doing the right thing and being inclusive with their talent and their audiences, but Hot Rabbit is one of the few brands that’s is often accredited for actually getting it right! That must require a lot of close observation of what’s going down at your events, and in the world.

It means so much to hear things like that, thank you! It’s been honestly blood, sweat, and tears to make the vision happen… but it’s been a group effort. We have regular people who work with us for years like some of our emcees, photographers, door people, and management staff. And then we have had a cast of hundreds of different performers, DJs, dancers, and artists who have not only brought their friends and audiences to our shows, but also spread the word to other talent to seek us out. It’s this networking through nightlife and a commitment to making sure every one of our lineups over the years represents diversity that has made us successful. That, and some perseverance through the rough times.

I do think producers especially hold a responsibility to prioritize a wider representation of gender and race in their event lineups, and I’d really like to see more of that all across the nightlife scene. And in awards shows, too! Hopefully the people who need to hear this get past the boring suburban mom part of this interview!

Lol!


This will be a challenge, but do you have an all-time favorite Hot Rabbit moment or memory from all these years?

Omg, that is too hard! My first thought is when somebody proposed at Hot Rabbit to their partner, but that wasn’t a personal moment for me. It definitely has to be World Pride 2019, when I was on the mezzanine with [Hot Rabbit photographer] Grace Chu in a unicorn costume, and she was making me jump up and down over and over again to try to get a photo of me in the air. And then we were looking down over the railing at the stage, and all sixteen of our dancers and performers were on stage doing a finale for the night at the same time, and everyone was vibing so hard and [Hot Rabbit emcee] Andrew Barret Cox was singing… and it was such an epic moment of family and love and togetherness. It makes my heart swell!

I love that! Well, let’s talk about June stuff. First up, I understand you’re collaborating with Dave’s Lesbian Bar for an event in Brooklyn on June 11!

Yes, we’re very excited to expand our annual Brooklyn Pride party at Lot 45 into a night of music, vogue, beauty, and all around queer fabulousness with Dave’s! Dave’s has been producing pop-up outdoor music events to raise money to eventually open a brick and mortar lesbian bar in Queens, and they’ll be producing the first part of the night featuring the bands MONTE, Lily Mao and The Resonators, and THEMME from 6pm to 10pm. Then we’ll be producing [a dance party] from 10pm to 4am with DJs Boston Chery, Chaotic, and MEDUUSA, vogue by the Houses of Oricci and Babylon, and performances by Ash B, Brandon Looney, and more! We’ll also have a cute beauty table in the garden by the new beauty company GirlBoy Beauty. I’m so psyched for this event!

Later in the month on NYC Pride Friday, the Hot Rabbit gang will be at 42 D’Or in midtown!

It’s our first time at 42 D’Or, which is the former XL Nightclub and Playboy Club. We’re excited to be there! This is also our only Manhattan event for the weekend, right near Times Square. We’re bringing a huge crew of talent including DJ Mary Mac (who, did we mention, opens for Madonna!?), DJ Monstar, performances by Sevn, Cain, Saint, Scarlett Snow, and of course our famed emcee Andrew Barret Cox. We’ll also have free haircuts by Hairrari Barbershop and other fun queer vendors in the front lounges. It’s an amazing four room venue and we’re planning lots of surprises and free giveaways!

Then on Pride Saturday, you’ll be at 3 Dollar Bill in Brooklyn for Bad Habit Pride!

Yes, it’s our annual Dyke March After Party starting at 11pm, indoors and outdoors in their giant backyard! All genders welcome, of course! We collaborate with the NYC Dyke March to provide free entry for the dyke marshals, and donate a portion of proceeds as well. We have a stacked lineup for the night including L.A.’s DJ Les Ortiz and NYC’s DJs Illexxandra and Kandylion, performances by Vanity Q, Honey Burlesque, and World Beatboxing Champion HerShe… and of course gogo and vogue-go dancers all night! This event always sells out early, and it’s such an amazing queer venue! We’ll be partying late, ’til 5am!


And finally on Pride Sunday you’ll be at Elsewhere in Brooklyn!

Our first ever Pride Sunday event! We’re thrilled to work with Elsewhere for the first time. We’ll be chillin’ on the rooftop (or inside the main hall if it rains) all day from 3 to 10pm with some incredible DJs, dancers, and performers including L.A.’s DJ Tatiana, NYC’s Roze Royze and Natural State, Miz Jade, Jayse Vegas and many more! It’s the “Triple Crown” to a very packed Pride weekend!

Wonderful! So aside from your two prior-mentioned monthlies in Brooklyn, is there anything else you wanna tell the children about?

I feel like I have gone on and on, lol! Sure, I’ll also mention to save the date for our Brooklyn Beach Bash at 3 Dollar Bill, Saturday August 13th! It’s a daytime party in the backyard where we bring out astroturf, a dozen inflatable swimming pools, giant beer pong, cornhole, other fun games, drink frosé, and just have a wet n’ wild time!

Fun! Okay, lastly: what’s your best advice for baby queers experiencing their first Pride this year?

Oooh, good one. Well safety first! Have a buddy system, and make sure you know your friends get home at the end of the night! Travel light, don’t bring big bags with you… keep it simple. Buy your tickets early (like, now)! They are cheaper, and the best events will sell out!

If you’ve never done Pride, it will feel epic… but it is also a long haul of many incredible events, so pace yourself and make sure you get to enjoy absolutely everything… because there is so much fun and joy to be shared with your fellow queers! Happy Pride, Bunnyfuckas!

Happy Pride, Emily!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Hot Rabbit’s upcoming events. Follow Emily Maresca on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Follow Hot Rabbit on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and their website; get tickets to their events here.

On Point Archives

Thursday (6.2.2022)

THURSDAY (6.2.2022) Your daily guide to New York queer nightlife events.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST / FLATIRON

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE / LES

LOWER MANHATTAN / CHINATOWN / FINANCIAL DISTRICT

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY

ONLINE CONTENT


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Full Calendar | Pride 2022

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

On Point With: Sam Gee

Gogo boy turned DJ Sam Gee is one of New York’s (and, frankly, Earth’s) most desired and desirable nightlife professionals. This is obviously Sam’s busiest season, but read to learn where New Yorkers can dance to his beats on Pride Week!


Thotyssey: Hell Sam, thanks for chatting with us today! You are a busy man of the world, flying all over the place to DJ some truly colossal events. Do you ever forget for a minute where exactly you are in the world, or where you’re going, lol?

Sam Gee: Honestly, yes! Especially after a long night, I can definitely have a moment where I draw a blank on where I am, lol! Now ask me what city I was in two weeks ago… I’ll have to go back and sort through party promo pictures to figure that one out!

Partying is a strange business! Do your crowds feel different from city to city, or is it all the same vibe?

Crowds absolutely feel difference city to city! I have cities where the energy is off the charts, just pure positivity and release. Then there are cities where the energy level is lower, where people are more reserved. Either way, it’s a great time; you just need to adjust your sound to cater to each audience’s needs.

You’ve been in the biz for a minute now, with a long career as a gogo boy before you started DJing. Can you tell us a bit about where you were from originally, if music and performing were always a part of your life, and how you ultimately broke into nightlife?

I was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada; my parents immigrated to Canada from Iran about a year before I was born. Growing up, music always had a huge influence on me. I was taught how to play the piano at a young age, and loved to sing (only when nobody was around, lol).

I didn’t get into performing until I came out at about 20 years old; I had just started venturing out into the gay scene in Vancouver, and recently discovered circuit parties. After one of my first ever circuit events, the producer of the party asked me if I wanted to gogo dance for his next event. After my first on-stage performance, I was hooked! From there, I hustled to get myself into the US circuit nightlife scene, as it was much larger with more opportunity.

After my retirement from dancing, I had a conversation with my good friend DJ Cindel; he had suggested that I should start to DJ. That sparked the flame for me to learn all I needed to be a DJ, from mixing to production. A few years later, here I am!

You had at least two reality TV / media moments in recent years! You were on a MTV: True Life docuseries installment about gogo boys (early in your US career in that field) along with Vinny Vega, and you were part of a fun web series that Covid cut short called The Circuit, detailing the business, glamor and drama of the circuit scene. I’m sure those were two very different experiences, but how did you enjoy them?

I really enjoyed filming for both of them! The True Life episode was a lot of work, more than I ever expected… but totally worth it. I’ll still go back and watch the episode every so often. The Circuit was more laid back and easier to film, which was nice. Although film and TV is not easy work, I’m hoping to have a few more moments in the future!

As far as what you play today on the dance floor, what does a Sam Gee night sound like when you have full creative control of the set?

Well, that’s the best part of being the DJ: you have full creative control of the music! My play style varies slightly based on where I’m playing, and the demographic of my audience. Overall, you’ll hear lots of high energy beats with lots of vocals. Depending on the crowd, I also like to include some other genres of music that are “circuit adjacent.”


What makes the circuit scene so important and fun in your opinion, and what are some common misconceptions about it?

Well, I feel like the circuit scene is really one giant family. Once you start going to the events, you see some of the same people and you start building some lasting relationships. The funnest part of the party for me is the dancing, music and meeting new people and reconnecting with friends!

A common misconception about the circuit scene is that the guys are all shallow and that the parties are not inclusive to all body types. That’s not true at all; through my travels around the world to pretty much all the circuit parties, all I’ve seen is positivity and inclusion (for the most part).

When you’re in town, you often spin weekends in Hell’s Kitchen. Might we see you there again soon?

Pride month is fast approaching, and I’m playing in a different city pretty much every weekend in June. So I’ll be back in New York during the week for a few days each week to do laundry and work on new music! I won’t be playing in NYC before my Pride Afterhours; I wouldn’t want to oversaturate myself in the NYC market before a big event. I have a residency at The Spot called “The GEE Spot,” but that has been more difficult for me to do lately because I keep getting booked for larger scale events in the city.

We’ll take all the Gee we can get! So on Pride Sunday night / Monday morning you’ll be spinning Eric Michael’sTribal Fever After Hours” at Polygon BK, alongside DJs Breno Barreto, Ugene, Alain Jackinsky, Figge and Danny Kim!

I think it’s going to be an incredible experience! Eric may be a newer producer, but he throws parties like he’s been doing it for years. The production and the thought that he puts into his events really stand out to me. The DJ lineup is very diverse, and hits all the marks. Alongside this super fun venue, I think this event will be one for the books!

Have a great Pride month! To close: what’s your favorite track to play these days?

It’s hard to say what my favorite song is to play right now, as it really depends on the crowd… and it’s constantly changing. My favorite mix to play of all time, though, is “Timebomb” by Kylie Minogue.

Thanks, Sam!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Sam Gee’s upcoming area appearances, and follow him on Facebook, Instagram and SoundCloud.

On Point Archives

Wednesday (6.1.2022)

WEDNESDAY (6.1.2022) Your daily guide to New York nightlife.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

MEATPACKING

WEST VILLAGE / SOHO

EAST VILLAGE / LES

TRIBECA / LOWER MANHATTAN / FINANCIAL DISTRICT

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Full Calendar | tHOTlist 2021

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

Thot Stuff: Manila Sells Vodka, Thotyssey is Old & the End of Lady Liberty?

Our latest column is up at WERRRK.com, and that site’s editor Chiffon Dior sums it up well: “Thot Stuff Is back as the award-winning Jim Silvestri realizes Thotyssey NYC Is aging, Manila Luzon sells SERV Vodka and wonders what is next for Lady Liberty at The Q NYC. All this and more In the latest edition of Jim’s featured column, exclusively here on WERRRK.com!” Read it here.

Tuesday (5.31.2022)

TUESDAY (5.31.2022) Your daily guide to NYC nightlife programming.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

MEATPACKING

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

LOWER MANHATTAN / FINANCIAL DISTRICT

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Full Calendar | Pride 2022

On Point With: Cynthia Russo

A former proprietor of popular lesbian bars who now co-produces some of the city’s largest queer women’s events, Cynthia Russo’s got your Queens Pride and NYC Pride covered!


Thotyssey: Hello Cynthia thanks for chatting! The summer is nearly upon us, are you excited?

Cynthia Russo: Yes, very excited and looking forward to some warmth and a bigger social life.

Yay to that! As a major producer and nightlife host, you must’ve been out of your mind during lockdown, stuck at home.

Absolutely! We had so many things lined up that first year, that of course had to be shelved. Actually, last year on Pride weekend was our first post-Covid event!

Excellent!

What’s your day job, if I may ask?

I work in furniture and interior design at Bloomingdales 59th St in NYC–16 years!

You can have your own throne built, lol! Are you a native New Yorker?

I grew up in the beautiful Hudson Valley, and moved into Manhattan right after college… so I’ve been here many more years than I spent in my hometown.

Were you immediately drawn to the queer nightlife world here?

I definitely enjoyed nightlife, and music was everything to me. So way back in the day, I loved Palladium, Sound Factory and Paradise Garage just to name a few! That, however, was before I started my own career as a producer of events.

Lots of people talk about “the decline of the lesbian bar” over the past few years across the country, although NYC itself still has three going strong. What do you attribute this alleged decline to?

There are a few contributing factors, I believe. One reason — and it isn’t a bad reason — is the fact that times have changed, and a night out with visibility no longer has to be in a lesbian bar! You can now feel free to go anywhere with a date or significant other, and not face ridicule or be gawked at, etc. Our progress with equality and gay marriage has taken us to rooms where we no longer feel afraid to be demonstrative about our sexuality.

Secondly, the whole host of gender norms and new ways of identifying gender have brought a whole new aspect to nightlife! “Lesbian only” identified establishments are becoming a thing of the past, especially with the younger generation who are embracing queer, non-binary and trans [identities]. It is all good, and as far as I am concerned, everyone is welcome at my events.

But the label “lesbian” now has the connotation of not being all inclusive. I often try to make the remark in defense to that by asking people to remember that the first letter in LGBTQA+ is an L, lol… L stands for lesbian, and I am proud of that. Lesbian contributions toward strides in equality have been huge and important. Women were responsible basically for the passing of marriage equality in this country — something to never be overlooked or forgotten.

Henrietta Hudson no longer labels itself as a lesbian bar, but more like a queer bar.
Cubbyhole welcomes everyone always, and really doesn’t label itself; and the other bar is Gingers in Brooklyn.

I will never stop using the word “lesbian” in promoting my events, although I do include that we have events for lesbians and for queer, trans and non-binary as well. We are in uncharted waters, lol, but still swimming upstream!

Tell us about how and when you started producing your own events.

It was the very early 1990’s and I was a bartender at three of the lesbian bars in NYC, which enabled me to acquire quite a large following. I also ran a very successful women’s bar called Pandora’s Box for three years, and when it closed I knew it was time to begin.

I decided to try to put together parties on a much larger scale than what was being offered in the bar scene; I wanted big sound systems, space for gogo dancers and entertainment. I wanted to create the atmosphere that I loved when I first started going to the clubs that I mentioned before. Women deserved more than just a bar scene!
So along came a weekly at The Octagon and a weekly at HerShe bar, both drawing about 600 to 800 hundred women each week. Those were the days!

After that I opened Krash NYC in Astoria with JR Valdes where we reigned for 11 years. Krash was men and women, and it’s a phenomenon that has never been able to be repeated! It was an amazing time in Nightlife in NYC.

Right now I do maybe two events a month at different venues, focusing on providing a safe, attractive and welcoming space for my community. I have also created a constant source of entertainment for the Latina community, and imagine that is what I am most known for. I do a very successful Latin Night once a month at a place called Katch in Astoria. I also produce probably the largest Pride event for women every year, “Re-United,” which brings over 1000-plus women together each year on Pride Sunday!

You often work with a group called LasReinas, especially for Latin Night. How did you all come together?

[LasReinas founder] Lori and I met years ago, and both of us had the same passion and commitment to bring Latin music to the Latina community. We also worked together each year on Pride events; we bonded and started working together! It’s a wonderful collaboration, and we both have different talents that we bring to the table!

Latin Night returns to Katch on Saturday, June 4 with DJs Lena and Triple 9!

We are expecting a packed house! This party is fire!

Then the very next day LasReinas, yourself and hostess Crazy Maria present a Queens Pride party at Kabu in Jackson Heights. That’s always the big ticket every year.

Always jammed! June gets everyone excited, lol.

And then on NYC Pride Weekend — Saturday, June 25th — you are all back at Katch Astoria for “Katch Me If You Can!” How insane is Pride gonna be this year?

I think everyone will be very successful. People are always excited about Pride, and considering what we have all been going through these past few years; we’ll be celebrating some semblance of freedom, and chances to come together as a community!

And then of course on Pride Sunday at HK Hall (formerly Stage 48), it’s your main annual Pride event that you mentioned earlier: “Re-United.” What a great place for a Pride kiki!

It’s a gorgeous venue, big stage, state of the art lights and sound…we are psyched!

Anything else to mention?

Our Latin Night at Katch is monthly, and we have just started a monthly Friday night at The Vegoist in Long Island City — next one is in July! We aim to keep providing fun and safe events, and hope people will spread the word and come out to support!

Yes! So finally: what is a song that you need to hear this summer to give you your entire life?

“Free,” Ultra Naté. Always for Pride!

Thanks, Cynthia!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Cynthia Russo’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

On Point Archives

Memorial Day (5.30.2022)

MONDAY (5.30.2022) Your daily guide to New York City nightlife programming.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Full Calendar | Pride 2022

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

On Point With: Tiresias

Much like their mythical namesake, performance artist and curator Tiresias does not let their visual condition interfere with their life’s work: which in this case is dramatically expressive art. And this summer, major players in Brooklyn nightlife will be on board for their latest creation.


Thotyssey: Hello Tiresias, thanks for chatting with us today! So, summer is nearly upon us… are you ready for all that?

Tiresias: Hello! It will be my first full summer as a New Yorker, and, well… my body is ready for the heat.

Excellent! Where were you living previously, and where are you from originally?

I’m originally from Chicago, but I was living overseas for a while — a few years in the UK, and a few years in Indonesia.

Have you always been a performing artist of some sort?

Yes! I think I discovered early on that theatre and performance were arenas in which I could bring many of my interests — music, storytelling, visual arts, literature, video, etc. — into conversation. Interdisciplinarity was always kind of innate, as was the need to create. That being said, my background in theatre is primarily as a writer / director.
I think I bring a literary and theatrical sensibility to almost everything I do. Presenting work in nightlife environments is fairly new for me, and it’s been very exciting.

[Photo: Hailey Sipes / Tiresias]

“Tiresias” was a blind prophet who appeared in Greek myth and tragedy; he was very wise (although usually ignored or reviled by the rulers of his time) and lived a multi-gendered life. How did you come to claim that name for your own?

My theatrical work has always been inspired by myth, but I really became obsessed with the prophet Tiresias after I was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition a few years ago… I think because I needed to believe that there was an abundance of vision beyond ocular hardware. Tiresias is this wonderfully queer and transgressive figure who subverts and transcends all the binaries—between man and woman, gods and mortals, the living and the dead, blind and seeing. So becoming Tiresias was all about transforming a degenerative circumstance into a source of creative power. And also about embracing a multiplicity of gender!

Is it extremely difficult to navigate your eye condition while making art and just living life?

It’s definitely been a process of adaptation, and low light spaces can be difficult to navigate. Because it is a slow process, though, I have had time to reframe it as something other than a limitation. Hence, visions of Tiresias.

[Left photo: Tiresias; right photo: Leslie Kee]

What are the sort of ideas you want to convey in your work, and where do you get inspiration from?

Inspiration comes from all over the place: myth, science, music, natural history, cosmology, ancient literature, dreams. I am usually drawn to stories of epic journeys and radical transformation. I think I create toward the world I wish to live in, so, I want to convey a world of love, wonder, weirdness, wildness, hybridity, fluidity, abundance, multiplicity. So that can look like the prismatic utopia that is [my stage piece] HYPERFANTASIA, but it is also the chaotic darkness that defines [another work of mine] UNDERWORLD. Queerness has always involved monsters and freaks… and for me, that’s a very beautiful thing.

When you work with people in nightlife for your shows, are you incorporating what they do already into your themes (their pre-existing numbers, etc.)? Or are are you creating performances for them?

Typically, I am curating artists in nightlife for their own particular voices and styles, inviting them to bring their own work into the theatrical worlds I’ve constructed, to see how they respond to the themes. So it’s a very collaborative process. With HYPERFANTASIA, for example, I am struck by how some artists’ work resonates with the show’s ecological themes. And with others, it is about a proclivity toward extravagance and queer abundance. I am very particular about how I curate artists for each show.


HYPERFANTASIA has had a few previous incarnations in venues like Starr Bar, and will arrive at The Brick Theater in early June for an extended run (June 3rd-5th and 8th-10th), with different guest performers each night. What can you tell us about the history and themes of this particular show?

The inception of the show was actually an article about a medical condition called aphantasia, which is basically the absence of a mind’s eye. It briefly touched on its antithesis, hyperphantasia, which involves an over-abundance of mental imagery. So, as an artist thinking about vision beyond sight, I asked myself, what vision did I have to share with the world? And I thought hyperphantasia kind of sounded like a place, a utopia, a fantasy realm where anything was possible. And so I submitted the idea to the Interrobang festival at The Brick before it was written, and before I even lived in New York, and the absolutely incredible Theresa Buchheister decided to take a risk on me. And now we’re back at The Brick for a full run, so it all really comes full circle!

Eventually, I realized that HYPERFANTASIA was a creation myth of sorts, but for a world of fantasy and wonder very much our own. Its gods are quarks and ancestral bacteria, its mythological source material natural history and cosmology.

This latest version of HYPERFANTASIA will feature some folks quite familiar in the nightlife scattered throughout the run like C’etait BonTemps, Iodine Quartz, J’royce Jata, Tallulah Talons, Esther, Pixel the Drag Jester and Senerio, plus some newer artists. How did you pick these particularly folks to collaborate with?

Because they’re all so fantastic! But really, each artist is in the lineup for a reason. C’était, who brings such theatricality to his work, and always this sense of abundance, extravagance. Esther, with these weird and wonderful avant-garde interdisciplinary investigations—in a previous iteration of HYPERFANTASIA, a freewheeling history of magic mushrooms; this time, an archaeological excavation at the dawn of civilization. Then you have Iodine with the insane genius creatures and creativity. I could go on and on!

Oh, I would also love to mention that Afro-Indigenous trans chef Amun-Ra will have themed THC-infused edibles on offer during the run at The Brick, so get there early and don’t miss out. HYPERFANTASIA is meant to be a multi-sensory experience!

And this run won’t be the last version of the show this summer!

I will also be presenting HYPERFANTASIA as part of ANT Fest at Ars Nova on June 15th. It’s a really sensational lineup of new talent, and I’m ecstatic to be a part of it.

All amazing! Lastly: do you think the world of nightlife / drag and performance art are going to meld even tighter together in the future?

That is my hope! And let’s invent new forms and genres while we’re at it.

And now I’m off to help out with Tallulah Talons’ show at Club Cumming. Don’t miss her swamp creature burlesque on June 5th! No words needed.

Thank you, Tiresias!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Tiresias’ upcoming appearances, and follow them on Instagram. Also, check out their website.

On Point Archives

Sunday (5.29.2022)

SUNDAY (5.29.2022) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

TRIBECA / LITTLE ITALY / LOWER MANHATTAN

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY

BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Full Calendar | Pride 2022

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

Saturday (5.27.2022)

SATURDAY (5.27.2022) Your daily guide to New York queer nightlife.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST / FLATIRON

CHELSEA

MEATPACKING

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Full Calendar | Pride 2022

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

Friday (5.27.2022)

FRIDAY (5.27.2022) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Full Calendar | Pride Events 2022

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

On Point With: Adrena Lin

Having been recently crowned in an important pageant, young queen Adrena Lin is ready to take on the hosting duties of one of Chelsea’s biggest nights.


Thotyssey: Hello Adrena! Thanks for chatting with us on this gorgeous May Day! Are you looking forward to summer drag moments?

Adrena Lin: Hi there! Thanks for hitting me up, happy to be speaking with you! I’m super excited for this summer–it’s my first summer working fully in nightlife, so I’m eager to see all the looks, performances and tanlines people bring!

Amen! Congrats also on your recent win of the Miss Clini Trials crown for the “Vaccine-O-Licious” pageant at Hush! It was a great show, for a great cause. How did you enjoy that whole night?

Thank you so much! I’m very honored to be the current reigning Miss Clini-Trials (I have been going around telling people I’m “Miss Vaccine-O-Licious” though, because I just think it has a sexier ring to it). That night was so fun! I had found out that I was one of the selected contestants just a week prior, so I hustled like nobody’s business for seven days to get my package together… and it was very gratifying to bring it all to the stage. Meeting hyper intelligent HIV vaccine researchers and getting to perform alongside some of the premier, up and coming NYC drag performers? No complaints!

You came prepared–not just with looks and talent but also proof you did your homework about vaccines and HIV, as the pageant was a method to bring awareness to the issue! Isn’t it crazy, though, how much misinformation is still out there in the world about those things?

Well we certainly do live in unprecedented times, as everyone loved to say during Covid Lockdown #1. If there’s one thing that the general public is gonna do with an epidemic, they’re gonna sensationalize it and stigmatize the communities most impacted by it. That’s why we have to stay at the top of our game to defeat viruses and ignorance in equal measure!

[Photo: Jeff Eason]

So I’m assuming that prior to this pageant, you were doing the weekly competition circuit in our local bars as many young queens do.

Yes! The Vaccine-O-Licious moment was my first dip into a more pageant structure.

Do you have a preferred bar competition or two that you stick to?

Since I started performing in NYC in October, I’ve had the pleasure of participating in many of the weekly bar competitions. I have a big place in my heart for “Star Search” at Barracuda. Kizha Carr is my favorite drag queen, and getting to watch her perform and interact with her as a host is the exact kind of learning opportunity any rising drag queen needs. Furthermore, Barracuda provides a very laid back, friendly environment where performers can experiment, make mistakes, form connections, and learn how to slay on their own terms.

Where are you from originally, what have been your interests growing up that put you on the drag path, and how did you ultimately come to NYC?

I’m originally from a small conservative town in southern Colorado. As a kid, I was very into music, making funny videos where I dress up, and Lady Gaga… but somehow my ‘rents didn’t clock that I was gay. My freshman year of high school, I came out of the closet and immediately immersed myself in the internet drag scene, competing in digital drag competitions like Tumblr’s Drag Race and Reddit’s LSFYL. Acting as a drag queen in the nighttime kept me stable and confident through high school, and it led to me learning how to properly sew and assemble looks. It was a massive snowball from there–I ended up coming to NY to attend fashion school at FIT, and now I use my fashion expertise to supplement my drag and vice versa!

What was it like when you first started showing up in drag and performing in front of live audiences?

Oh, it was petrifying! Digital drag is one thing–you can always do another take, you control the lights and angles and editing, and you don’t have to wear pants or heels, for the most part! On stage, there’s so much more physicality and presence to think about. I still definitely have a lot to learn in regards to performing live, but I have gotten better in recent days about enjoying myself on stage and playing with the audience.


You’re still a young queen as you said, but how might you describe the Adrena Lin experience to the uninitiated? What are your numbers and looks generally like, etc.?

The Adrena Lin experience is chaotic first and foremost, and then a grab bag of energetic, poignant, and dumb as hell. I like to make mixes that are zeitgeisty and on point with current events, such as my Greta Thunberg mix or this one time I performed as the Sexy Green M&M. Basically I strive to be the drag embodiment of Stan Twitter, grabbing onto passing trends and manifesting them into immersive on-stage experiences.

One place that folks can see you soon is this Friday at your home base Barracuda for a new monthly dance party!

I am so excited to tell you about “Nouveau Disco!” It starts at 11 pm, after our RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars viewing party, and basically we’re gonna be invoking the spirit of Studio 54 in Barracuda! DJ Max Rodriguez will be spinning old and new disco hits all night, I will be doing sporadic pop up numbers throughout the bar, everybody is expected to turn out a groovy look, and we’re gonna create the ultimate immersive disco dance experience! It’s gonna be the ultimate Friday night. And there’s no cover, so there’s no excuse not to come, really!

So fun! Anything else coming up for you, or anything at all you wanna discuss or mention?

Thank you, first of all, for asking me and countless other up-and-coming drag performers to do this interview. Putting aspiring performers on a platform like this is super beneficial for all of us as we spread our wings in the NYC space.

And other than that, if anyone has outdoor gigs this summer and wants a rollerskating Sonic waitress of a drag queen, I am down to clown.

Thank you and Werk! I’ll end with this… after beholding that excellent All Star Snatch Game on Drag Race this week, which celeb might you impersonate if you were on that Panel?

Ooh, what a great question! Well I’m certainly no expert impressionist, but I’d definitely have to go with one of my fave reality TV legends: Gordon Ramsey!

Lol! Thanks, Adrena!


Check Thotyssey’s calender for Adrena Lin’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Thursday (5.26.2022)

THURSDAY (5.26.2022) Your daily guide to New York queer nightlife events.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST / FLATIRON

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE / LES

LOWER MANHATTAN / CHINATOWN / FINANCIAL DISTRICT

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Full Calendar | Pride 2022

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

On Point With: Eric Michael

Originally a host of some of NYC’s most popular circuit parties in recent years, Eric Michael is now producing one of the last big kikis of May 2022. [Cover photo: Frank Carrasquillo]


Thotyssey: Hello Eric, thanks for chatting with us today! So, summer weather is here! Are you happy with that?

Eric Michael: I am so excited for the summer, because it brings a total shift in how we celebrate with one another. Bring on the tea dances, the Fire Island house parties, rooftop kikis. It’s magical, really!

I feel like you have been kiki’ing with the kids for awhile now, but we’ve really been seeing your own produced events a lot more fequently this year. Is that accurate?

Yes! As a host for many of the big events, it was my job to connect one another, and show everyone a great time. And we would always keep the party going somewhere, anywhere! Hence, the rise of the kikis. Now we are using that kiki energy and community involvement to create a renaissance in nightlife! Parties for the people and by the people. It takes a village to do this, and everyone gets their hands dirty with us.

So to back track a bit, where are you from originally… and what were your interests and experiences that may have ultimately led you to nightlife?

I’m from Miami, born and raised there, and left to NYC when I was 20. Nightlife is ingrained in the DNA of that city, so I’ve really been immersed in it from an early age.

Nightlife became therapeutic for me. Being LGBTQ, it’s so, so important to find your tribe: those we can relate to and be vulnerable with. We need that release. Many of us are richly creative people who don’t easily fit into general society’s norms. Nightlife gives us the chance to be whoever we want to be. You can get in a look, live your fantasy, and forget about the problems happening outside the velvet rope. And I think it’s that fantasy and the opportunity to connect that are what draw me in.

Same! How did you break into nightlife here in NYC?

Brian Rafferty and Xander Alexander gave me my first shot; Brian had created something truly special with Trade NY, and Xander brought me on as one of their hosts when they were expanding the brand. That’s where I got my course in Hosting 101 and grassroots event building. From there I went on to work with Jake Resnicow on Matinee, and John Blair and Jake Resnicow on M.E.A.T. They taught me production, marketing and operations and really are pioneers of their respective generations in the business of nightlife.


Hosting large circuit parties is a harder job than a lot of people give it credit for. Not only do you have to recruit a lot of people to come, but you really have to be a social butterfly and make as many people as you can feel welcome! Does that sort of thing come naturally to you, or do you have to turn that on?

It does come naturally. I want to make you smile! The most satisfying feeling comes when I get to catch my breath and look over a catwalk or mezzanine and see all the different people come together, smile, laugh, and kiss. It’s pure magic.

And how and when did you start doing your own events?

I took my first stab at it when NYC hosted World Pride in 2019. I teamed up with the CLIMAX Miami team to give their infamous high-energy party a NYC debut on the Monday night, after a whole week of official events had ended. The boys and girls came out in full force for one last dance that blew our expectations out of the water.

Our brands include FEVER, CLIMAX, KABOOM and we recently added ANARCHY. Some of my favorite themes have included “Cruella,” “Volcanic Paradise Island” for afterhours and “Diamonds & Opulence.”


Let’s talk about “ANARCHY,” the party you’re co-producing with BLR at Nebula on May 29! Nicky Doll will be hosting, and DJs Shane Marcus and Allan Natal will be spinning! Tell us more about what’s in store for us that night!

Anarchy won’t just be a fierce party, but a statement to the entire scene. We are pushing the envelope of what the public can expect from an LGBTQ dance party, starting with a a sick venue, Nebula, where major acts like Steve Aoki and Eric Prydz have performed. Nebula is also staffed by one of the best tech teams in the industry including Darren Kawa and Tristan Fuge! Together with the incredible team at BLR Productions, we are showing the incumbent players what can be accomplished when our community comes together with the best of best–and that’s where the party name comes from.


Sounds amazing! Nightlife is the business of entertainment, of course. But especially when talking about queer nightlife, it’s also about community and coming together to raise funds or awareness for causes that affect us… or just being a support system, right?

Absolutely! When you look at the history of queer nightlife, and in particular circuit parties, they played an important role in getting us through the darkest times, raising funds for HIV/AIDS research, and more recently activism and mental health.

We cannot ever forget to give back! Which is why I’ve had leadership and producing roles with both Winter Party and Pines Party. “Tribal Fever Afterhours” having been chosen as the offcial afterhours and closing event of NYC Pride was one of the proudest moments of my life, and continues our mission to give back. In fact, we recently made a donation to Rainbow Railroad which helps LGBTQ+ people escape state-sponsored homophobia and transphobia.

Speaking of “Tribal Fever Afterhours,” you’ll soon be serving a Pride edition!

After “Anarchy”we’ll take a short break until Pride, when we will have our biggest event to date: “Tribal Fever Afterhours!” It’s insane how quickly this party has grown from 300 to 500 and, most recently, 700 guests who keep the party going! We’ve really elevated the afterhours experience by having an entire complex with different rooms, ApplePay acceptance throughout, and immersive projections. To top it all off, it will be the official closing party for NYC Pride! And just three minutes from the main event happening at the Brooklyn Mirage.

What else is coming up for you, that you can discuss?

This is just the beginning! Exciting new venues are opening up all over the city, so there are lots of new projects from myself and all the players in nightlife. Keep your eyes peeled and text “FEVER” to 474747 to get on our list!

Definitely! Okay, let’s end with this: what song should the DJ play to make you lose your entire shit right now?

Right now … LMAO “Pepas” by Farruko!

Thanks, Eric!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Eric Michael’s upcoming events, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram. Also, check out his website.

On Point Archives

Wednesday (5.25.2022)

WEDNESDAY (5.25.2022) Your daily guide to New York nightlife.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN / TIMES SQUARE

  • NEBULA: “Disco 3000” feat. DJs Keoki & Whillyem Thrillwell with Gettoblaster, Biianco and Love & Logic, hosted by K.A.N.O.B.I. & more (10pm)

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

MEATPACKING

WEST VILLAGE / SOHO

EAST VILLAGE / LES

TRIBECA / LOWER MANHATTAN / FINANCIAL DISTRICT

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Full Calendar | tHOTlist 2021

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

On Point With: Morrigan Von Haunt

One half of a unique and important Jersey drag duo both on and off-stage, Morrigan Von Haunt is also one of the most gorgeous sleep paralysis demons ever conjured in Asbury Park.


Thotyssey: Morrigan, thanks for chatting with us! So, lots of folks are responding positively to the recent Drag Race All Stars 7 premiere. We at Thotyssey Central confess that we haven’t seen it yet, but have been appropriately spoiled. What did you think?

Morrigan Von Haunt: Hello Thotyssey! You definitely missed one hell of a premiere, and highly recommend seeing it ASAP. What I though was, for it being a two episode premiere, it definitely exceeded expectations. These are all such seasoned performers in their own crafts, and seeing what they can do now–especially Jinkx and Raja, a little over a decade of them competing–they are pulling out the stops. The first episode in my opinion was great as an intro, but my heart lies with the second episode, “Snatch Game.” Such a color panel of celebrities they came up with.

Were you surprised about how you received any of the queens in particular? Like, did you wind up rooting for someone you didn’t think you would?

Hmm…. that’s a bit of a tough question. I would have to say Trinity the Tuck. I’m a Jinkx girl, so I knew she was going to excel and then some. But Trinity’s portrayal of Satan had me in absolute tears. And the cherry on top with her characterization of Leslie Jordan… iconic.


New Jersey drag queens have been pretty prolific this past year or so. We had Olivia Lux on Drag Race, and just in general the queens of Asbury Park, Jersey City and everyone in the state seem to be slaying the game! Do you feel that positive drag energy, too?

I definitely feel that positive energy–more so now post-lockdown. It feels like the New Jersey scene is trying to break away from the ideals that have been known forever as a pageant scene; coming from my home town of Asbury Park we definitely have been feeling the positive energy.

More on that in a bit, but now seems like a good time to review your origin story.

Oh boy, the origin story of Morrigan!

Were you born in Jersey, and were fashion, performance and fabulosity always a part of who you were while growing up?

I’m born and raised in the mythical land of central Jersey; I’m the oldest of nine siblings (yeah, I know that’s too many). My aunt and I are pretty close in age, and we would video ourselves in dresses and singing, just taking a piss out of life.

When I reached high school, I wore glam rock makeup and teased hair… that’s when the “scene kid” craze was all the rage, and shopping at Forever 21 and Hot Topic was huge. Although I didn’t have a theater background, I was in my school’s masters choir and won awards.

But drag was always a huge part of my life as a very young queer kid; I came out at 11, and identified with the art of drag since. Morrigan didn’t pop up and become a thing until five years ago. My now fiancé, Tastie, got intrigued by Drag Race and we both kinda just started to do it at the same time.


You both eventually became co-hosts of Thursdays nights at Georgies Bar in Asbury Park.

Yes we did, and that happened by sheer luck, I would say. We both had been performing at Georgies with the then-host and icon, Lady Marisa, for a year and some change… bringing some new flavor into the scene. Marisa–who has been a staple for more than twenty years in AP and hosting the “Glitter and Glam” drag show for ten years–moved to Florida, and it kinda left an open door. We asked, and management said, “sure, we will do it once a month!”


You mentioned before that Jersey was known for it’s pageant drag, but the show you two host at Georgies (“Hottie Oddities” most Thursdays, “Twisted Cabaret” once a month) features drag folks that are creepy, comedic and campy. Were you already aware at the time you started the show that there was such a variety of drag in town?

At the time of starting our show we knew of what felt like two other queens: E.LicksHer who’s a trained magician, and another queen Anita Sigg. But since starting the show, it’s sort of created this vortex that has brought everyone out of hiding. We wanted to create a show that showcased the other varieties of drag like the creepy, macabre, burlesque, and apparently stage magic, that didn’t seem to get the open floor.

Each night was themed, and always packed. Then the pandemic hit, and many cards were reshuffled for a lot of folks. Georgies manager came to us in March of 2021, and asked if we wanted to tackle this weekly challenge. We accepted… and now here we are a year and a few months in, and it feels like a fever dream sometimes.

“Twisted Cabaret” is a newer platform for everyone.

Ah yes… my favorite night, to be honest. So every second Thursday of the month we have a variety game show called Twisted Cabaret. It’s sort of a rebirth of the show that started our career into having our own show. We task the three performers of the night to create a look and performance to the month’s theme. For instance one month was Broadway, another was “That’s So 90’s,” and this month’s was “Halfway to Halloween.” The contestants go through two rounds of beating and sabotaging each other, and then have to perform the numbers we told them to prepare… but now they are all f’d up.

One performer had to juggle balloons and live sing their song–it was pretty funny, but absolutely hilarious because it’s impossible to do! We just want to have the contestants think on their toes (because you never know when something will go wrong with your number outside of this venue), to roll with the punches and to just have fun.

You two are also going to host a Friday night party there at Georgies called “Dark City Disco” on June 3.

The newest child to the world–yes, that is sorta the brainchild of the DJ we work with, Philip James, and ours. Dark City is the underground name for AP from the early years, and it just fits us perfectly. That night in particular, it’ll be our Pride Edition… finally, a Pride after two years! We just want to have a big ol’ gay disco party with everyone, and just live our best lives authentically. We’ll be having some of our Georgies favorites that night. We do our first seating at 11pm; Phillip does a dance party in between to keep the crowd going, and we return for our second seating at 10:20. It’s going to a blast, and I can’t wait!


Before any of that, this Wednesday you and Tastie will both be making a rare New York appearance–Brooklyn specifically–with Zenon TeaVee at her Someday Bar show! Are you both planning on making more appearances this side of the river?

Yes, I sure hope so! As of now I don’t have anything else lined up yet, but that could change! We will be there May 25 and I can’t wait… Someday Bar is so cute and the staff is so sweet, along with Zenon Teavee.


On June 4th, you’ll be at The Berkely Oceanfront Hotel’s Bang Bang for a brunch show benefitting Project REAL, alongside several other great Jersey queens!

I will be, yes. Project REAL has held a very dear spot in my heart, for it’s through [their drag competition] “Fresh Face” that they put on a few years ago that got me here today. The benefit helps with sexual health advocacy, and also community resources such as housing, HIV and STD testing, therapy, etc.–which is all so very important, especially in today’s political climate.


And then on Thursday, June 9th (starting 5pm) at The Seafarer in Highlands, you and Tastie will be doing a Pride party with Anita Sigg, Antonio Amor, Lady Celestina… and the legendary Amanda Lepore!

Oh my goodness, yes! It’s kinda funny: I met Amanda a few years ago at the first NYC DragCon, but I was dressed as Elvira… which was hysterical in its own right. She’s such an amazing person, and someone I’ve looked up to since I was in high school. To be working with her is dream-like, in my opinion. We’ve got a great cast of entertainers that’ll showcase just about every facet of drag and burlesque… it’s gonna be a night to definitely check out.


Anything else coming up for you?

Well, I’m in the midst of creating a burlesque show in Asbury Park with a few NYC, Philly and NJ performers of all types and walks of life. That’s yet to be announced, so you’re the first the first know… shhh! Other than that, it’s the typical business as usual: hosting Hottie Oddities every week with the wife, until they get sick of us!

That brings us to our final question! Drag couples used to be a very rare thing, at least around these parts… but it’s recently become much more common. What do you think the secret is to a happy and healthy relationship in this often crazy business?

That’s a really good question. I would have to say… don’t be jealous. Support each other’s crafts, but don’t be afraid to give critiques to one another. There’s a reason the universe brought you two together: you may balance each other out, or compliment that dance routine. But above all else, have a fun time. We’re only here for so long, and to have someone who does the same profession as you do… that’s the real blessing.

Thank you, Morrigan!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Morrigan Von Haunt’s upcomng appearances, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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