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Rehoboth legends Pamala Stanley and Magnolia Applebottom primed for summer ’19

Their favorite meals, hidden gems, on-stage experiences and more

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Rehoboth performances, rehoboth summer 2019, gay news, Washington Blade
Magnolia Applebottom (left) and Pamala Stanley say performing in Rehoboth Beach is different from anywhere else because of the audiences. (Washington Blade photo by John Bator) 

It wouldn’t be summer in Rehoboth without the legendary Pamala Stanley and — in more recent years — drag virtuoso Magnolia Applebottom (aka Jeremy Bernstein). Rehoboth regulars know what it’s like to experience them in performance, but what’s it like from their perspective? Just for fun, we turned the tables on them to find out. 

Stanley performs cabaret and dance at the Blue Moon (35 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del.) Sundays-Thursdays from 6-8:30 p.m. all summer and into September. Magnolia is a very busy lady. She hosts bingo on Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m., “Rehoboth Idol” on Wednesdays nights (through July 3; after that it’s “Games With Magnolia in that time slot), the Spotlight Show (drag) Fridays at 9:45 p.m., she’s in the Legends show every Saturday at 9:30 p.m. (she does Cher, Celine Dion, Gaga, Reba and Freddie Mercury) and Climax with Magnolia is Sunday nights at 9:30. “Born This Way: a Pride Drag Show” is at the Milton Theatre with Magnolia on June 7. Full details here.

WASHINGTON BLADE: How long have you been in Rehoboth and what drew you here?

MAGNOLIA APPLEBOTTOM: I have been visiting Rehoboth since I was a teenager. I moved to the beach in 2015 after I started working at the Blue Moon full time. Rehoboth Beach has always felt like home to me. I’ve always felt comfortable and safe. The community was welcoming from the start so I knew I had to live here.

PAMALA STANLEY: I first came to Rehoboth in the ’90s and played at The Renegade. Then I was booked in Puerta Vallarta and Tim and Randy, owners of the Blue Moon, saw me perform and asked if I could come to Rehoboth. That was 14 years ago. I fell in love with this sweet town and although I still perform around the country, I call this my musical home.

BLADE: When you’re not working, what’s your favorite Rehoboth Beach activity?

APPLEBOTTOM: I always enjoy walking Rehoboth Avenue and the boardwalk. It’s exciting to see what new shops and restaurants open every year. And having cocktails is fun too!    

STANLEY: Walking on the boardwalk or having a lovely drink looking at the water.

BLADE: What’s a hidden gem?

APPLEBOTTOM: That’s easy! Games with Magnolia at the Blue Moon. It’s a one-of-a-kind game show live on stage every Wednesday at 9:30 starting July 3rd! There is nothing else like it in town.

STANLEY: The North Beach and our beautiful park on the ocean.

BLADE: What’s the best meal you ever had in Rehoboth? 

APPLEBOTTOM: The filet mignon at the Blue Moon is the best steak I’ve every had. Chef Lion always provides the best dining experience in town.  

STANLEY: The lamb at The Blue Moon. I think they are amazing.

BLADE: What performer inspires you? 

APPLEBOTTOM: I’ve always been a fan comedy. I have a long list of idols such as Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett and Joan Rivers. These comedy queens have inspired my character in every way. 

STANLEY: Bette Midler

BLADE: What’s your most memorable moment on the Blue Moon stage?

APPLEBOTTOM: Every moment on stage is memorable however it’s the moments when I leave the stage and mingle with the crowd and I get the chance to talk to everyone. Hearing how I made someone’s night just a little bit better or knowing I put a smile on someone’s face makes getting ready for two hours totally worth it.   And also any moment I share the stage with Pamala Stanley. You never know what she is going to say so you have to be on it at all times. I adore that woman. 

STANLEY: Singing this New Years Eve with my two sister Sandra and Robin. It was magical and the crowd was so happy. 

BLADE: What’s something you see other performers do that you find off-putting or bothersome? 

APPLEBOTTOM: When a drag queen takes their wig off while performing is my biggest pet peeve. It totally ruins the illusion and is just plain messy. 

STANLEY: Not having eye contact with the audience or singing flat. That kills my ears

BLADE: What’s your current favorite song to cover or lip sync to?

APPLEBOTTOM: I am in love with “Juice” by Lizzo.  It’s so much fun to sing and the lyrics are perfect for Magnolia! 

STANLEY: “The Middle”

BLADE: How would you describe Rehoboth LGBT audiences?

APPLEBOTTOM: So loyal. The support the community shows local entertainment is very gratifying. I can’t wait to see and perform for our fans every week. 

STANLEY: The best ever — they are fun and engaged and just looking for a good time.

BLADE: What are you most excited about for summer ’19?

APPLEBOTTOM: Meeting new people and debuting my new Sunday night show “CLIMAX” for the summer crowd.

STANLEY: The people returning from all over. I love seeing old friends and meeting new ones. I never know what an audience is going bring to the table. Each night is unique, like a first date.

BLADE: To what do you attribute your ongoing popularity? 

APPLEBOTTOM: Being a hard-working queen. I’m the self-proclaimed hardest working drag queen in Delaware and it shows. I’m always working on new material and always striving to give the audience a fresh Magnolia Applebottom experience. It’s a lot of work but it has paid off greatly and I love every minute of it. 

STANLEY: Loving the audience and just being yourself. Many people can sing. It is not all about your voice, you must connect with your crowd. Also I believe you should perform each night as if you are in concert whether there are 10 people or 2,000.

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Out & About

10 LGBTQ events this week

Extended Pride season continues with Ho Co and Laurel festivals

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PRIDEtoberfest, Howard County Pride and Laurel Pride all take place this week. (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Below are our picks for some of the most fun and creative things to do this week in the DMV that are of special interest to the LGBTQ community.


PRIDEtoberfest

Thrusday, October 6
7-11 p.m.
Wunder Garten
1101 1st Street N.E.
Free
Eventbrite

Dress for Oktoberfest and join in on a night of drinks, dancing and prizes. Event benefits the Capital Pride Alliance.


Yes Homo! Yes Queen! Comedy Show

Thursday, Oct. 6
8 p.m.
DC Comedy Loft and Bier Baron Tavern
1523 22nd Street, N.W.
$12 + two item minimum (food/beverage)
Website

Celebrate the queens and royalty of DC comedy with a debut show featuring female-identifying and non binary comics. The event is hosted by Ursula Fox-Koor, Reem Seliem and Sunny Soroosh and features Lil Vida, Joey Friedman, Violet Gray, Justine Morris, Hedi Sandberg, Davine Kerr, Jasmine Burton and Sandi Benton. Plan to arrive 30 minutes before the show starts to get a good seat. There will be a burlesque intermission.


Sleeze: Sucks

Thursday, Oct. 6
9 p.m.
DC9 Nightclub
1940 9th Street, N.W.
$10
Facebook | Eventbrite

Check out this spooky monthly dance party with performances by Jaxknife and Jane Saw. Listen to the “darker sides of disco with forward-thinking techno” with DJs Sappho, Lemz and KeenanOrr.


Slay Them Drag Competition

Friday, Oct. 7
9 p.m.
Red Bear Brewing Co.
209 M Street, N.E.
Facebook

Desiree Dik is ready to Slay as host of an amateur drag competition. Come watch the new performers and cheer for your favorites!


Freeform Fridays FRiKiTONA

Friday, Oct. 7
doors 11 p.m. / show midnight
Songbyrd Music House
540 Penn Street, N.E.
Facebook

Doming0 hosts an “all Latine Drag Show and Dance Party” at Songbyrd Music House on Friday with performances by Mari Con Carne, Thunderboi Tsai and Mariuh.


Laurel Pride

Saturday, Oct. 8
11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Granville Gude Park
8300 Mulberry Street (Pavilion A)
Laurel, Md.
Facebook

Experience entertainment, food and more at the City of Laurel’s inaugural Pride festival.


Dancin’ Thru the Decades (70’s & 80’s)

Saturday, Oct. 8
9 p.m.
As You Are
500 8th Street, S.E.
Website

Dance at a queer dance party to the music of the 70’s and 80’s brought to you by DJ L Stackz.


Ho Co Pride

Sunday, Oct. 9
11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Meriweather Park Symphony Woods
10431 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, Md.
Facebook | Eventbrite

Keep the Pride party going by celebrating Howard County Pride in Columbia, Md. on Sunday.


Gagsters and Dragsters

Sunday, Oct. 9
1:30 p.m.
D.C. Improv Comedy Club
1140 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
$20
Facebook | Tickets

Drag entertainers and comedians perform at the D.C. Improv Comedy Club on Sunday for a fun-filled drag brunch.


Flashy: Nine Year Anniversary

Sunday, Oct. 9
9 p.m.
Flash
645 Florida Avenue, N.W.
$30
Facebook | Eventbrite

The bar is open until 4 a.m. for this milestone celebration for the big dance party that is Flashy Sundays.


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Movies

‘Bros’ bombs at weekend box office

Billy Eichner blames straight people for failing to show up

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The chemistry between Luke Macfarlane and Billy Eichner wasn’t enough to steam up the box office this weekend. (Photo courtesy Universal Studios)

The much-hyped new film “Bros,” touted as the first gay romantic comedy produced by a major Hollywood studio, bombed at the weekend box office, bringing in just $4.8 million, about half of the $8-10 million prediction for opening weekend.

The film, which stars Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane, finished in fourth place for the weekend; horror film “Smile” took the top spot with $22 million. Eichner quickly turned to Twitter to blame straight people for the poor showing.

“Even with glowing reviews, great Rotten Tomatoes scores, an A CinemaScore, etc., straight people, especially in certain parts of the country, just didn’t show up for ‘Bros,’” Eichner wrote. “And that’s disappointing but it is what it is.”

Not everyone agrees with Eichner’s assessment. Variety, in a Monday story, cited marketing problems and a lack of star power as likely culprits for the disappointing numbers.

“For the romantic comedy genre, star power is integral these days to getting people out of the house,” Variety’s Zach Sharf and William Earl wrote. “Paramount’s ‘The Lost City’ made it to the $105 million mark in the U.S. off the strength of pairing A-listers Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum.”

Additionally, the film’s marketing focused on the historic nature of the film, rather than its comedic appeal.

“’Bros’ marketing worked overtime to sell its importance as the first major LGBTQ studio comedy, but aggressively marketing a movie as a glass-ceiling breaker can make it feel like homework for viewers,” Sharf and Earl noted.

There have also been anecdotal reports of homophobic incidents at theaters linked to the film’s poster, which features a photo of Eichner and Macfarlane grabbing each other’s butts. 

“The goal was to make the funniest, laugh-out-loud movie as possible, that just happens to be about a gay couple,” Eichner, 44, told the Blade in an interview last week.

The studio released a statement that it remains hopeful positive reviews and word-of-mouth will give “Bros” a long theatrical run. The film cost about $22 million to make.

Eichner served as writer, producer, and co-star of the film, a romantic comedy about two commitment-phobic gay guys in a relationship. All of “Bros” writers, producers, and the lead and supporting actors identify as LGBTQ (with the exceptions of director Nicholas Stoller and producer Judd Apatow).  

Some observers worry that the poor showing by “Bros” could dissuade large studios from green-lighting LGBTQ-themed projects for mainstream release. 

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Photos

PHOTOS: Miss Gay Maryland 2022

Amethyst Diamond crowned pageant winner

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Amethyst Diamond is crowned Miss Gay Maryland 2022 on Oct. 1 at the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, Md. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The winners and alternates of Miss Glamour Girl, Miss Gay Freestate and Miss Gay Western Maryland competed for the title of Miss Gay Maryland America 2022 at Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, Md. on Saturday, Oct. 1. Special guest performers included Miss Gay Maryland 2021 Maranda Rights and Miss Gay America 2022 Dextaci.

Amethyst Diamond was crowned the winner with Dezi Minaj designated the first alternate. Both queens are eligible to compete in the Miss Gay America pageant in Little Rock, Ark. in January, 2023.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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