The Twin Cities LGBTQ+ arts scene is so full of vibrant talent and is so varied in it’s performers that it’s easy to forget that our larger LGBTQ+ community is even more varied and that there are marginalized community members still aching for voices to be heard that haven’t been given a microphone. So when a show like Deviance: A Trans and Masculine Cabaret comes along featuring ONLY the fiercest dance, drag, and cabaret performers who also happen to be trans and masculine, it is a relief and a joy that we as a community didn’t even know we needed. Deviance is a truly inspired and needed event, and to my knowledge is the first of it’s kind in the Twin Cities.
Deviance: A Trans and Masculine Cabaret is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It’s a nightlife entertainment variety show featuring music, dance, and drag with a fair amount of humor and fun thrown in. The show was the brainchild of two regular cast members of Deviance. What they knew was this: it is often easier for trans men to assimilate into mainstream culture once they have transitioned yet we are at a time now where our understanding of gender is being blown wide open.
In addition to there now being a large amount of trans and masculine people who don’t want or desire that assimilation, there is also a large group of young or newly out trans people without elders to look up to. This is, of course, in addition to the fact that The Cities, quite frankly, needed a showcase dedicated to the wide swath of trans and masculine talent we have here.
You can often see trans and masculine entertainers in some of the bigger drag shows in the city like Dragged Out at the Townhouse. They sometimes compete very successfully in karaoke and singing competitions, like Deviance cast member Blaze Bordeaux. Thanks to the number of queer-oriented theatre companies in town, you can often see them acting on a number of stages across Minneapolis too. Yet trans and masculine performers still didn’t have their own show, their own platform, or their own way to encourage young or newly out trans men and trans and masculine people to come be with their own community. That says nothing of the fact that those young trans people had no regular show or space to call their own as an audience member prior to Deviance‘s creation.
Says producer Aurora Lee, “I hope to help create an extremely trans friendly environment, since being trans in a queer space can still feel alienating at times. Everyone deserves to have a space where they fit in and are welcome. I hope that this show can help facilitate that.”
However altruistic the cast members behind Deviance may have been, they didn’t have the necessary experience to produce a show with the potential for success that Deviance has. They approached Aurora Lee, a known show producer, to get this cabaret on its feet. Lee has put together a show with diverse performance styles and a diverse audience at one of the most impressive venues in town — Lush.
So how does all of the work Lee and the performers put into starting the event pay off? Says Lee, “The audience can expect a show featuring diverse talent. It is a high energy atmosphere that encourages the audience to have fun with the cast. We’ve got entertainers that are comical, we’ve got entertainers willing to express emotional vulnerability, we’ve got entertainers who have amazingly controlled and graceful movements, we’ve got entertainers willing to bare it all – I guess you could say we try to provide something for everyone. It is a great show for the nightlife newcomer, because they can experience a variety of performance art and figure out what sort of entertainment they have interest in.”
Regular cast includes Blaze Bordeaux, Ethan Prince, Drew Peacock, Tyler T. Love, and Dexter Main-Love, all of whom are performing Saturday May 27th at 11:30 A.M. In a coveted performance slot—Lush Brunch. Lush’s Drag Brunch takes place every Sunday morning and almost always sells out well in advance. The addition of Saturday brunch entertainment is an exciting move by the bar, and putting Deviance there is certain to create a unique vibe. An 18+ event fits the performance group’s mission perfectly too, creating a safe, visible place for very young trans people and their allies to come experience trans and masculine community. Tickets to this event are $17 and include a brunch buffet. Tickets are available here. Next month the show will go back to performing at Lush at 7:00 P.M. On the fourth Saturday of every month. They also have a gig at the highly anticipated annual Grown & Sexy Pride on June 23rd. Keep up with all of their via their Facebook page here.