Clubesque puts Vegas into gay ATL stripper party

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BJ Roosters is about to go all Vegas on your ass. Atlanta’s Clubesque show troupe descends on Saturday to turn a gay neon stripper bash into a showstopping extravaganza, and you’re invited.

The Neon Ball, a blacklight party with you in neon and white to shine brightly, celebrates some big milestones in the life of the popular gay strip club. It’s the venue’s third year at its current location, owner Bobby Hamill turns 41, and resident DJ Tommy Fleenor hits the Big 5-0.

The club’s going all-out for the event. Upstairs with the dancing boys is DJ David, and downstairs is a tag-team of DJs Vicki Powell, Robert Ansley and Stan Jackson. But the real entertainment comes in the form of performances by Clubesque, a gay- and drag-inclusive sideshow-showgirl-burlesque-circus-music-and-more troupe that impressed the BJs crew so much that they had to make them part of the event.

“It all came about because the guys came to our last show, sat front and center, and were great audience members,” says Clubesque host/emcee Kyle Collins. “They loved it, and they wanted some of that Clubesque vibe at their event, so we are thrilled to participate. Some of our amazing dancers, The Ladies of Clubesque, led by Gissette Valentin, are going to be on-hand to hype up the crowd, along with me, and to do some very special performances along with the awesome DJ Vicki Powell.”

So what is Clubesque? According to Collins, who’s been with the group since its launch last July, it’s “Everything Entertainment.”

“It features so many genres of music – Old Hollywood classics to today's club stuff,” he says. “[We do] all disciplines of creative performance: vocalists, dancers, burlesque, drag and even aerialists. It's like going to five different shows in one, but we bring them all together to tell a story about beauty and being empowered. It's quite a ride.”

The group got its start last year when creator Sunni Stephens decided she wanted to create a space for various performance art forms to come together.

“When you go out in Atlanta, lots of times you have to choose: do I want to see a drag show? Do I want to see an amazing singer? It hasn't been so easy for people to get all of that – everything entertainment – in one place, so Sunni created it,” Collins says.

After its launch, the group quickly found its niche with a lineup that includes performers including drag queens like Nicole Paige Brooks and Gia Sunflowers.

“Drag, as a performance art, is one that sometimes doesn't get the love it deserves, but if you live in Atlanta, like we do, and you know some of the queens, you know the tremendous love, care, time and attention they put into their work,” Collins says. “You can see it, when it's elevated to an art form, and it's mesmerizing. We wanted a place for that to shine in a way that doesn't happen too often.”

For those who enjoy Clubesque’s performance Saturday night, more full shows are on the way – though Collins says the dates haven’t been finalized, they will be soon.

The Neon Ball goes down Saturday, March 28 @ BJ Roosters, 9 p.m. Like Clubesque on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter and Instagram.


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