Things To Do

Steel Video Lounge and Dance Club

Stepping into Steel's Video Lounge on a Wednesday night is something like time travel. Visitors are whisked suddenly and violently back to the dirty, funny, halcyon (and Halcyon-gobbling) days of the gay community, when raunch was right and Castro clones made Marx mustaches sexy. Improbable acts involving small intestines and forearms the size of hogs' legs flash across huge screens on all sides of the club's barroom, while punters who may or may not be construction workers look on blandly, conversing in low voices and making occasional, protracted trips to the bathroom. Stalking among them is one "Cashetta," towering drag goddess of unholy charisma and cross-dressing prestidigitator extraordinaire, keeping the vibe light and scuzzy. Assuming the stage, she stumps for Svedka, attempts magicking a card into a guest's undies, sings a country-and-western song with a chorus that goes "Every man I ever loved/Is married, gay, or dead," and tries to lure the audience into Steel's tiny, lovingly stocked gift shop. "All new sex toys! This stuff still smells like plastic!" Bless her. It's impossible to imagine this level of cheerful decadence holding up during Billy Bowser's weekly ballroom dancing lesson, which occurs scant hours before Cashetta shows up. More promising is the Miss Cory's "HUMP" dance party happening in the conjoined nightclub, along with Trannie Tuesdays, Country & Western Thursdays (line dancing!), Noche Latina Fridays, Circuit Saturdays, and Sunday's "Jackhammer," which is bound to revive some of the grand old debauchery of its sadly defunct namesake club.
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Brandon K. Thorp