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February 24, 2010

Grand Central's employee show is tonight

grand central style

Midnight Sun guest writer John-John Williams IV has this report:

Don't be surprised if Beyonce, Pink, Lil' Kim and Britney Spears have a hint of stubble and an Adam's apple when they perform in Mount Vernon tonight.

The annual Grand Central Employee Show has become a popular event among patrons at the city's largest gay bars.

For close to a decade employees have painted their faces and perfected strutting their stuff in women's shoes. (Employees are required to dress in drag and perform lip syncing performances.)

"The customers look forward to it every year," said Antoine Preston, head bartender at Grand Central who is also directing this year's show. "It is a chance for us to give back to our customers." ...

A fee employees have been a little apprehensive about getting in touch with their feminine side, Preston said. Surprisingly the bar's heterosexual staff have been more excited than their gay co-workers to participate in the show, he added.

"They already got their jewelry and have already been fitted for their gowns," Preston said.

All 14 tables and 290 of the 300 advance tickets have been sold, according to Preston. Tickets at the door are $15. Doors open at 8 p.m. The show starts promptly at 9:30 p.m.

"It's a great show. We have a lot of fun in doing it," Preston said. "It gives us a chance to give something back to our customer base. We like to put on the show to let them know we have a different side."

Preston, who has worked at the bar for the past five years, plans to perform as Pink and Lil' Kim. He will have three outfit changes throughout the course of the night.

The employees have enlisted the services of professional drag queens to help them. Sabrina White, a former Miss Gay America, will be doing all the employee's makeup for the evening. Anita Minute, Shawna Alexander, Nikki Cox, and 2009 Mr. and Mrs. Grand Central, Mirage Cruz and Victoria Blair, will also perform.

"Hopefully it is better than the last," Preston said. "We've had three rehearsals. And we've practiced individually."

Employees gain a new found respect for drag queens after preparing for the show, Preston said.

"It's not the easiest thing to do-- walk around in heels, dance, and lip sync all at the same time," he said with a laugh.

(Photo from Sun archives)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:31 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Thank god the studly bartender in the post plays rock and roll during happy hour. Drag is so damn boring, trite and hardly entertainment.

These employee shows have been going on for decades and while cheap drag was ok in the 70s, it's just loserville now.

Oh...and do you think Central and the Hippo could leave a Rainbow Flag up all year round? No one would ever know you're in the middle of the gaybourhood any other night of the year besides pride. Charles and Eager lack any sense of this being the middle of gay pride.

No wonder everyone goes to DC to party.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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