Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mr. Cattivo AKA Drag King Competition AKA A Night of Firsts.

Eponymous will be honest with you, any drag shows previously attended have little to no kings involved. However, last night at a local hot-spot known infamously as "Cattivo", a new "King" was crown. (and keep in mind that this a DRAG show, so when a KING is crowned, yes, you follow) Yes, three hyper-rehearsed and hyper-talented men competed to be this year's Mr. Cattivo.  You're probably morbidly depressed now, as I would be, to know that you missed the coronation/competition. A small distinction here, "Cattivo" is the top floor where dancing and strobe lighting occurs. The downstairs, "Cattivo Sotto" is where shows and events take place (before being used for dancing and strobes), but it's all the same building. Added bonus is that you can get a standard menu of bar food in addition to the full bar.

So morbid depression is a legitimate way to feel (as all ways of feeling are permitted/accepted/encouraged at Cattivo Sotto). But the good news is this feeling can be easily eliminated. As it turns out there is quite a vibrant Drag King scene all over Pittsburgh. It turns out that every First Friday of the month, a gender performace troupe called "Hot Metal Hardware" pulls it out at Cattivo. There's a "gender performance" workshop at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center on Grant Street (So Drag for Dummies?) and a pretty darn well-organized network of other "contests" such as 2011 Mr. Pittsburgh Pride Drag King.

The tickets to get in are more than reasonable, especially considering the performers aren't just some chicks who decided to eye-liner a 'stache and drunkenly lip-sync. Armed with names like "Maxwell Girth" (most of whom you can like/friend on facebook by the way), the performers come out swinging, each trying to out-strut, strip, grind, pop, lock, what-have you, each other for nothing other than your entertainment and pride...and the prizes, but mainly your entertainment.  As an addition, the show also includes a series of cabaret acts ranging from belly-dancing, burlesque, "hooping" (uber-cool), balancing, and a series of professional drag queens losing their wigs and hitting the high notes. Let it be known that the cabaret acts are a bit of grab-bag. Some are epic, some are epic fails, but all add to the sense of the party.

So let's say you've never been to drag show of any kind, whether it be out of lack of opportunity, lack of companions or lack of interest (if that's how you choose to live your life). The drag shows at "Cattivo Sotto" are a good place to pop your cherry. This is because the spirit of the place is good for anyone. As last year's former "Mr. Cattivo" winner JJ COX kept stating, "There's a lot of love in this room." The place just has a nice quality for standards and newcomers alike...and lots of dick jokes.

There's no real love in the room without dick jokes.

146 44th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 (Lawrenceville)

Cattivo website:

Pittsburgh Drag King Scene:

- The Eponymous Theatre Critic was born on the boundary line of New York and one of the other states that touches New York. Eponymous has since left the great state of "Adjacent-To-New-York" and now resides here is Pittsburgh.

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