When the appetite for laughs outgrew their backyard, Hapeville couple Douglas and Dewey McGeoch did what you’d expect of any gays that like to entertain – they found a bigger backyard.
So the performers behind Douglas Dewey Entertainment took their popular Ha Ha Hapeville to the outdoor space of Arches Brewing. Because mixing comedy, drag and bingo with alcohol during this coronavirus-wrecked year is a winning combination.
“Last year, Ha Ha Hapeville, happened in our backyard and we were able to pack in 75 to 100 people very comfortably in tight quarters, but unfortunately with COVID-19 and the pandemic, that was not possible,” Douglas McGeoch said.
While the logistics of shifting the shows to Arches took several weeks to iron out, the notion of “the show must go on” came rather quickly for the couple whose collective resumes stretch from Walt Disney World to Provincetown to “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
“It was important for us, personally, to have a project to work on,” Dewey McGeoch said. “Not only because it is helping us, it’s our way to say everything is not stopping. Everything is not hopeless. It’s just different. Follow us and we’ll show you how it can be done.”
Besides the coronavirus pivot to a new venue, 2020 also marks the couple’s 15th anniversary together. The Manhattan transplants have called Hapeville – one of the Tri-Cities next to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport – home for three years. They created the stand-up comedy show that is Ha Ha Hapeville, along with a bingo night featuring their drag alter-egos, Olive d’Nightlife and Agatha Boogie.
“I would dare say that that’s just kind of what gays and lesbians and queers and members of the LGBTQ+ community do we go to those places that others have deemed uninhabitable and unsavory, and we just make it fabulous,” Douglas McGeoch said.
The Tri-Cities includes a sizable LGBTQ population and is no stranger to drag shows. The annual East Point Possums Show was held across the street from City Hall for 20 years, attracting thousands of people each year to raise money for charity.
The couple ended their 2020 season in November after 15 shows, including six bingo events that raised $2,850 for charity. They hope to return in March with the debut of a recurring drag show.
This story is made possible by a grant from Google News Initiative’s Journalism Emergency Relief Fund.