ORLANDO – The theme of the evening was “Turn Back Time,” and for drag performer Gidget Galore and bartender Nick Gray, that meant dressing in a caveman-style gown that any member of the animated show “The Flintstones” would have been perfectly comfortable in.
“Nick and I wanted to remind you of your classmates in school, so we dressed like this,” Galore opined.
The setting: The Parliament House Resort. The event: a combination game show, drag show and comedy night, all rolled into one, courtesy of a hostess eager to please.
“Can you please raise the stage lights so I can make my dramatic entrance?” Galore asked, as the Thursday night show started its 6 p.m. opening
And then, to the crowd gathered at tables around the stage, where Galore was standing, and seated at the bar, where Gray was serving drinks in his caveman-style toga, she added, “Welcome to the Parliament House for another fun-filled evening of The Big Gay Game Show.”
The Parliament House has been operating as a gay resort since the mid-1970s, but in recent years has worked to expand its appeal with stage shows and themed entertainment nights during the week.
Although best known locally as the premiere gay resort in Central Florida, its Footlight Theatre has built up a strong crossover audience, where gay and straight audiences alike arrive to see drag shows, comedy and musicals like the recent production of “Hedwig And The Angry Inch.”
Starting in July, the Parliament House began celebrating its 37th anniversary, with an emphasis on live entertainment every night of the week.
On Thursday, it was the comedic talents of Gidget Galore on display, for the weekly entertainment provided by The Big Gay Game Show. She arrived in the caveman toga and with a large plastic bone decorating her hair.
“Nick and I decided to don our –” Galore started to say, when someone in the audience yelled out “Gay apparel?”
“No, we always wear that!” Galore shot back.
She handed out raffle tickets to the crowd – which read Play Money – Galore Bucks on them, as well as No Cash Value – DUH!
“These are your raffle tickets,” Galore said. “Don’t let anyone steal them.”
And then she set down the rules for the night’s festivities.
“We are going to have a lot of fun tonight,” Galore said. “If you are anti-fun, you have to leave now. And you have to laugh at every joke I make.”
Many in the crowd did just that, such as when Galore made some wise cracks about Rupert Murdoch’s Sun tabloid printing pictures of Prince Harry cavorting naked in Las Vegas.
“Did you all see Prince Harry naked?” Galore asked. “He wasn’t physically in front of me, I saw the pictures. But Prince Harry naked makes me very happy.”
Galore, a regular performer at the Parliament House, then launched into the game show, asking trivia questions of the crowd – such as the date when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.
“Other than that, Mrs. Kennedy, how was your stay in Dallas?” she asked. “These are very depressing questions. And remember, make sure you tip your drag queen and your bartender.”
Next up for the Parliament House is a special appearance by author Christina Crawford, who has become a prominent child abuse advocate and well known author of the book “Mommie Dearest.”
On Thursday, Aug. 30, she’ll speak at the Footlight Theatre, with a live on-stage introduction to her new documentary, ‘Surviving Mommie Dearest – From Tears to Triumph.’
The film will be shown there, and then Crawford will engage the audience in conversation afterwards.
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