NIGHTS ON THE CIRCUIT: Madness at the Hard Rock

What happens when you cross a nightclub with a circus?

Xania Woodman

Saturday, November 19, 9:30 p.m. Stroll through the Hard Rock at 9 p.m. on any given Saturday, and the occasional Sunday, and you will encounter a long line. The meandering queue snakes its way through slick, hardwood hallways, past precious rock memorabilia such as the contact lens I lost at an Annie Lennox concert, then peters off somewhere by the bathrooms. Drinks in hand, eager ticket-holders wait, shuffle forward, meet their neighbors and generally flirt like crazy.

It's a scene repeated endlessly at nightclubs all over town and all over the world, really. Except this line is for the Joint, which isn't a club. It's a concert venue but there's no band tonight and that's not what this bustling crowd is here for. There is madness in their eyes.

It suddenly gets even louder as a herd of 30 young, busty, fish-netted fillies bounce by, screaming in the way that only young, busty fillies can. A middle-aged strong-man, James B. Thompson, jumps rope with two girls clinging to his thick frame while another man cruises by in a coat shingled with women's lingerie.

Beacher's Madhouse likes to think of itself as the love child of a comedy show, a circus, a nightclub and a Girls Gone Wild DVD. Throw in a bottle of tequila, a cheerleading squad and American Idol, and you have one hot night. Depending on whether you stick to your drinking schedule, Beacher's can be a great pre-club party or a fulfilling nightclub alternative. Tonight we're celebrating another 30th birthday in style, having booked a table for 10 ladies and two very lucky gentlemen.

Seating is never what you think it will be. Your ticket, which costs $25, says $75. It also says "VIP Floor" and "Orchestra," but two steps past the door and you'll see there are no such animals. The first floor is divided into six sections with a center red carpet. Upstairs is "Other." But no seat is a bad seat so long as you're facing forward.

When the gals are finally seated, they quickly realize why this is called Beacher's Madhouse. Total sensory overload kicks in, as for the first hour of the show there is no show, just a controlled chaos of hundreds of horny bachelor and bachelorette parties filing in alongside a healthy lineup of industry notables. Chad Weiner, the hardest-working man in show business, is seating and reseating sponsors, strays and squatters.

Acrobats, silk-dancers, stilt-walkers, magicians, a monkey, and a balloon-swallower. And go-go dancers. Legions of them. At first they are a scattered bunch, grinding away on each other, covering every flat surface that will support their weight. Later, they form a phalanx around funny man Jeff Beacher himself. But for now, as DJ Sugar Shand mashes Madonna's "Holiday" with Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl," they shake what their doctors gave them at eye level. Just behind us, a couple fights under their breath. Hubby got a little too close to the go-go display, some breasts fell all over him, and she is less than pleased.

It takes more than 20 minutes for the emcee to call the room to order but I don't think I could pay the birthday girl to sit down. The curtain on this adult circus finally rises at 10:40 p.m.—with its dance troupes, comedians; singers and 7-foot-tall, cross-dressing, Russian sword-balancer—and the lights dim. Butts that shook so violently to Daft Punk's "One More Time" settle into metal, folding chairs. My heart still races from the dancing, energy and visual stimulation, but my attention is now being requested for karaoke and dance contests.

The winners supposedly take home $5,000 week after week, sometimes up to $25,000, but in my experience, clubs rarely fork over exactly what the big, shiny prop check says. It's all just part of the act, that ole master plan—but no one's complaining except maybe that breast-loving man's wife.

Beacher's Madhouse spring season is every Saturday, from February 4 through March 11, plus Sunday March 19 and Saturday March 25.

Xania Woodman thinks globally and parties locally. And frequently. E-mail her at
[email protected].

Xania's Hot Spots for December 1 - December 7

Thursday, December 1

Light: Impact Models industry party

Friday, December 2

Ice: Thank Glaude It's Friday with Above & Beyond

Rainbow Bar and Grill: Rock 'n' Roll Wine's Wine Amplified Live

Studio 54: Beastie Boys' Mix Master Mike

Saturday, December 3

Body English: Premiere of resident DJ Skribble from MTV

Ice: DJs Scooter and Lavelle

Pure: DJ AM with Blink 182's Travis Barker

Sunday, December 4

Body English: MAC Kiss and Makeup party, opening of Deeper VIP lounge

Rain: Camp Freddy, Mix Master Mike and Carmen Electra

Monday, December 5

V Bar: Zen after-hours with DJs Scott Stubbs, Ariel Moses and friends

Tuesday, December 6

Pure: Billboard VIP after-party with hosts Lance Bass and Joey Fatone

Tao: Billboard after-party with host Pharrell Williams

Wednesday, December 7

Ra Sushi: Open Table Wednesdays with open turntables for DJs

For more Hot Spots and weekly parties visit and sign up for Xania's free weekly newsletter.

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