Friends on Ponce. I have to admit I came out for a multitude of reasons; 1: to support a new venue willing to have burlesque performed in it's walls, 2: my amazing friends Talloolah Love and Fonda Lingue were both performing, and 3: NO COVER! That's right kids, Friends on Ponce's claim to fame is that they never ever charge a cover! Free entertainment, how can you go wrong with that?
So I wandered out on a school night at 9pm. It was not overly attended, but I think that's because it was the first one and I didn't see a lot of advertising for it. Also, it rained and we all know that Atlanta shuts down the moment water falls from the sky. Well, for all of you that stayed in for fear of melting you missed a great FREE show! I just don't feel that I can emphasize enough the fact that it's a free show.
To get us in the mood Dr. Q was spinning some tunes that varied from swing, to 80s remixes and mash ups to things that just made my brain itch with confusion. It was a fun mix of random music that got the energy going for the audience. The first show started a little late with a great Drag King routine by Devin Liquor who was also the MC for the evening. Devin has amazing facial expressions and passion for the art form, you forget it's lip syncing and just fall into the performance of it all. Devin then introduced Fonda Lingue who performed a beautiful and elegant fan dance. It's so obvious that Fonda has been taking and teaching ballet for the past (edited as to not imply age) years with the smoothness and grace of her performance. The Mistress of Illusion definitely had the audience magically mesmerized! After the grace of Fonda came the amazingly high energy dance routine of K.E.V.I.N. Amazingly skilled at dance styles I haven't seen since late 80s early 90s hip hop videos back when MTV used to play music. It was fascinating to watch. The first show closed out with Talloolah Love doing her Lil Red Ridding Hood routine. It goes from sweet to naughty, from picnic to pickax and back again! It was nice to finally get to watch the whole routine as I've been trying to get a peak from back stage of it for almost a year now, lol.
The second show was just as amazing as the first show with the same line-up but different acts. Devin did an amazingly hilarious James Brown followed by Fonda Lingue doing one of the funniest and most entertaining drag routines I've ever seen. It was to Everybody's Girl from Steel Pier. Shock of shocks, a musical I hadn't heard of, but the song was hilarious and knowing Fonda and watching her made it even more so. After Fonda got everyone rolling in the floors K.E.V.I.N. came back out with another amazing dance routine. Talloolah closed the show with her feeling good routine. I don't care how many times I see her do that routine, it will never get old and never not be amazingly sexy. I think the crawling on a pool table definitely added to the naughty thoughts of some of the audience members. It also didn't hurt that this was also the only routine that went down to pasties during the evening.
There was supposed to be a twenty minute intermission between the 9pm and 10pm shows, but the second show didn't start until almost 11pm. I have to admit, was I not committed to being there to show my support I would have left. I think that if they can get the schedule to run closer to on time in the future that this will be a great way to end the weekend and enjoy a nice show before having to go back to work on Monday. If it continues to run late I fear that the second show will end up not having much of an audience, but again, the first time you do one of these events they never run on time because people are late and get lost. So I'll reserve judgement until they've gotten a few more under their belt.
Friends on Ponce really reminded me of being in a club house. The bar is located in a little beach style shack on top of MJQ. As I said, there is no cover, but they do make up for it in the drinks. There were, however, Jello shots for only $1 made by the performers which helped off set the bar. The slanted ceilings are over pool tables, exposed air conditioned pipes that are painted to look like dragons, and Christmas lights just to give you an idea. Over all a very nice and relaxed environment and a fun way to spend a Sunday night!
Enjoy my photos from the show!