“Is this your boyfriend, hairdresser, or florist?” A drag queen inquired of a nearby couple. The bumping dance music made the answer inaudible, but it didn’t matter. The secret was out. Judging by the overflowing parking lot and crowd around the two bars, Secret Boutique & Cabaret was off to a fantastic start.
The nightclub alternative was in full swing as go-go girls and boys shook what their mamas or plastic surgeons gave ‘em. Aesthetically, 3750 S. Valley View Boulevard looked about the same as it had as The Velvet Lion—animal print carpeting, plush banquets and chandeliers. For Secret, though, some of the seductive photographs of nearly-nude ladies adorning the walls had been replaced with seductive photographs of nearly-nude men. Equal opportunity ogling.
The vibe, however, was discernibly different. “We’re going for the Birdcage kind of feel,” said Secret’s Director of Marketing Amberly Quaintance. Performers merged with the crowd, handing out feather boas and tiaras that gay and straight patrons alike sported for the evening.
“We do it a bit different than the other drag shows in town; we mix and mingle,” explained Stephanie Danderson who’d be performing the following weekend. “How many drag queens have you wanted to see up close and be like, ‘Damn! That bitch has some long lashes!’”
I spotted a pair of familiar perky gals belonging to Miss Keyska Diva (one of the winners in Gaga Wars at Revolution a few weeks prior). Adorned in feathers, she was even more fabulous than I remembered and later took the stage for a straightjacket striptease and lip-sync performance of “Crazy Possessive.” Boys and girls showered her with dollar bills.
Guest performer Leonid the Magnificant—who you might recognize as the platform shoe-wearing hula-hooper from America’s Got Talent or one of Beacher’s Madhousers—followed in neon green spandex that would make David Lee Roth jealous. Leonid and five lighted hula-hoops twirled in a blur of color.
Open Thursday through Saturday nights with no cover charge (except on major holidays), upcoming events include a beauty and fashion industry night, vampire party, black light/glow-in-the-dark night and drag beauty contest. “It’s a nightclub/entertainment destination and everyone is welcome,” said Quaintance. That’s our kind of invitation.