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The Boston Globe OnlineBoston.com

A busy month for drag kings, poets, and gay glitterati

By Rick Dunn, Globe Correspondent, 03/13/2003

Get out your calendars, it's a busy next two weeks: The people behind the wheel at Gender Crash, a open mike night for poets and spoken word enthusiasts, are never at a loss for hyperbole. Every month they put out the call for "go-go gender queers with words of action, erotic writing soccer moms, sweet trans boys with agendas, bears who bake and write about it, poet inspiring truck driving gay boys," etc. to get behind the mike and let it rip. No matter how obscure, there's a place for everyone. Tonight at 7:30 at Spontaneous Celebrations in Jamaica Plain. $5-$7 at door.

Boston's drag king scene continues to explode and sales of fake beards and muttonchop sideburns continue to rise, thanks to groups such as Truth Serum, which presents Glitter Switch, a drag karaoke combo with host Heywood Wakefield at Club Hollywood in Boston Saturday. This month's guests include the Dresden Dolls; Ad Frank from Ad Frank and the Fast Easy Women; and comic Mal from The Brian + Mal show and Queer Soup. Cover is $5 for karaoke; $5 for dancing afterward until 2 a.m. Doors at 7:30 p.m. 21+. On Sunday, Truth Serum hosts an hour of comedy followed by an anti-slam at Candyland @ the Milky Way, 405 Centre St., Jamaica Plain. Bring your worst poetry and win a prize. Comedy by Alana Devitch, Kelsey Flynn, Mina Hartong and others. $7 for the 8 p.m. show; $5 dancing after. Doors open at 7:30. (See www.truthserum.org, for details.)

For at least one night, one doesn't have to take the road trip to Foxwoods to enjoy a little blackjack or roulette. The Boston Living Center rolls out its seventh annual Casino Night at Club Cafe on Sunday 6-10 p.m. Admission is $10, which includes one free raffle ticket to win a trip to London or a three-night stay in Provincetown. Club Cafe is at 209 Columbus St. in the South End.

Ever wanted to get a little taste of what the South End has to offer? The Taste of the South End, an evening of nibbling tidbits from some of the South End's best restaurants in the cavernous Cyclorama on Tremont Street, benefits the AIDS Action Committee, so one can consume those extra carbs and still feel good about it. Participants include 33 Restaurant, Addis Red Sea, Aquitane, Baja Cantina, Caffe Umbra, Bomboa, Sister Sorel, Rouge, Tremont 647, Gallia, Davio's, Finale, Flash's Cocktails, MASA, the Dish, South End Formaggio, Pho Republique, Laurel, Flour, Club Cafe, Code 10, Claremont Cafe, Quingping Gallery Teahouse, Metropolis Cafe, Bread & Circus, and Hamersely's. Don't each lunch Tuesday, as the feast runs from 6 to 9 that night. Tickets are $75. Local liquor distributor United Liquors - long a supporter of gay and lesbian events and fund-raisers - has asked its vendors to supply wine and beer. Call 617-424-9255 or www.aacevents.org.

For just one evening, Boston gay men trade in their Banana Republic and Abercrombie and Fitch for a tuxedo to attend The Fenway Community Health Center's annual Men's Event, a black tie gala that traditionally attracts a who's who of gay Boston to the Westin at Copley Place. Traditionally 1,000 strong in attendance, this event is one of Fenway's biggest fund-raisers. Last year, the take was $175,000. A word of advice to the couple who decides to wear rainbow-colored cummerbunds and ties: Don't. It's OK, we already know you're gay. Tickets to the March 29 event are $125, available on www.fenwayhealth.org or by calling 617-927-6350.

The first day of spring sees Speak Out Boston's Daffodils, Drink & Drag Benefit blossom at Dedo Lounge & Bistro, 69 Church St., on March 20. Local drag divas Diamond Dunhill, Kris Knievil, and Rainbow Frite will lend their voices - and perhaps a little flower power - to help the gay and lesbian speakers' organization celebrate 30 years of service. The newly minted Dedo Bistro will supply the food (the restaurant's opening date was still in flux when we last checked). Tickets are $40 at the door. 6-8 p.m.

Boston's Gay/Straight Youth Pride organization, the largest of its kind in the country, just announced part of its celebrity lineup for the May 17 march through Boston and rally at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade. Danny Roberts from MTV's "The Real World" will make a repeat appearance alongside Jim Verraros, openly gay finalist from the first season of "American Idol." www.massyouthpride.com.