A variety show in the truest sense of the word, Mongrel Vaudeville was flash and swagger with plenty of true talent offset by the obligatory oddities and awkward moments. The genderqueer event was held in Brooklyn at Freddy's Bar in the Backroom, and began with an intellectual bent as organizer Julian of Nowherr gave an etymological introduction. Hearing about the origins of the words themselves, particularly vaudeville as "the voice of the city" (in French), engaged me even before the show began.
What followed was the most disparate group of performers, including a kitschy adorable dance number to "Tea For Two" by cat people, Pussy Says What?, a psychic spoken word jam by the Paranormal Ventriloquist Chris Martin, and a dapper number by male impersonator The Dynamic Maximum Ion, who brought a contemporary (and, at times, comic) twist to 1930's torch singing. The second half was owned by impressive contortionist Jared the Conjuror - Nine Inch Nails blared as he worked his way into a strait jacket (don't ask me how) - and also included working class pie-in-the-face drag king Jonathan Bitchman, and the infamous "post punk pop diva" Jasper James. There were a few other acts that left the audience in stitches or in a strained silence, but I wouldn't have it any other way. This was an excellent melange of entertainment, and I'll be certain to catch the next one.