BY TOMMY ZANE Woody’s, the Judy Garland of of Philly cocktailing, has a new look, some new staff and new owners, so I finally dragged my ass over there to check out what all the bitching is about. The first floor looks the same, without some of the nasty bartenders I had grown to hate. So far, so good. The drink prices are up and the drinks are much weaker — thumbs down, new owner Michael Weiss. If there was one thing Bill Wood was known for in Philly, it was a strong drink. Even straight friends went there knowing they could get loose fast. The DJs and VJs look good, and the addition of DJ Dozia on Wednesday and Saturday should spice things up. Now, let’s talk about the decor. True, it could be uglier, and the downstairs remains basically the same. But the stairs to the second floor are hideous. New pal Jason and I weren’t sure whether it was dusty red or actual dust painted into the red wall. Either way, what waits in the disco is an absolute atrocity. Fire engine-red columns and some sort of lavender lighting so we all have a that Hep C glow about us. Black light would have been swell, but the red and lavender combination gets on my last gay nerve. I’m happy to see the bleachers gone; I had one to many drunks trip over me in the ’90s while trying to hook up. The new go-go dancer’s pole is fantastic and the overall vibe is about the same, so I just have to ask the question — why bother? The money used on paint would have been better spent putting more booze in the drinks. Let’s call this one a draw and see where Mr. Weiss leads us in the spring.
THREESOME OF THE WEEK
Dan “soon to be the first openly gay person to hold citywide elected office in Philly” Anders, Belinda “former Go-Go who just released a French pop record” Carlisle, and Lily Allen.
With my lover Ramon traveling much more for work in the ’07, I was on my own again last weekend and (somehow) found the way back to all of my old haunts. Like Woody’s, Shampoo had a bit of an overhaul with promoter Ian Morrison — aka City Paper’s 2006 Hardest Working Drag Queen Brittany Lynn — at the helm of Gay Friday Nights. The club is basically the same with a much more Bridge and Turnpike (that is, Northeast and South Jersey) and North Philly crowd in the mix. But as my best fag-girl Tina quipped, “I’d rather hang with the street trash than with snotty, closeted hipster losers.” And so we did hang, watching Brittany Lynn’s 11 p.m. show with the legendary Lisa Thompson in full “Dreamgirls” regalia. Always a great show with this crew, even a live singing drag sista, who also doubled as Karaoke Mistress in another room. Again, really weak $3 drink specials; stick with the bottled beer. Overall, if you’re looking for loud, freaky messes and great drama drag, look no further than Miss Brittany Lynn and Her Drag Mafia Extravaganza. Friday nights at Shampoo, 9 – 11 p.m., free.
Latino street punk turned ’80s gay heartthrob Noel with dance classic “Silent Morning”:
As reported here on Phawker, The Five Spot burned last Saturday morning amidst suspicious circumstances. Rumors are spreading it was arson, but they’re just rumors, and rumors are NEVER true. By the way, Tom Cruise is totally not gay. That’s just a rumor. The Five Spot was more than the home of the burlesque revivalists’ Peak-A-Boo Revue, and many amazing alternative musical acts from the ’90s forward — including performance artist Karen Finley, one of the NEA Four, targeted for indecency by Sen. Jesse Helms. The Five Spot was a bridge between the ’80s Revival-era Old City, with its African restaurants and avant-garde artists, and its current frat boy antics and swanky over-priced fare. The Five Spot had been a decaying mess for a number of years, but that doesn’t mean it will not be well missed.
ABOUT THIS COLUMN: Are you gay and read Phawker? Or just thinking about it? Becoming gay that is. Because, you know, you ?heard good things.? Are you straight but curious how the other team plays? Congressman, we have heard your call and answered your prayers. Our Gaydar Editor Tommy Zane is gay all day and queer for a year, and like all gays he is wickedly funny, stylish, tidy and knows from window treatments. He could also probably kick your ass into next week. But don’t worry, Tommy?s a lover not a fighter. He may be going to hell, but then most of our straight friends are, too. Every MONDAY look for GAYBO. We?ll have a gay old time!