By Daniel Borgen, PQ Monthly
If there’s any holiday we love as much as the one where we get to play dress-up and gussy ourselves up in all our fantastical best (hint: Halloween), it’s New Year’s Eve. Ignore the silly movies (those are always the worst), you really can make NYE a night of dreams — just choose your choices wisely.
If you’re not going to cozy up with your nearest and dearest in some (boring) house party, here are a handful of events we think you should keep in mind. And, once you see this agenda, why for the love of all that’s queer and holy would you stay cooped up in a condo somewhere? Our picks, as follows — commence clipping and taping to your laptop/refrigerator.
Alaska Thunderfuck and Jinkx Monsoon, Dec. 29. OK, we’re cheating a bit here, but it’s such a coup, we had to mention it. As a means of warming up for New Year’s Eve festivities, consider this delightful night of drag, which offers two big “Drag Race” headliners. In addition to the Monsoon and Thunderfuck, organizers have gathered the crème de la crème of Portland’s performing royalty. Artemis Chase, our city’s Cher, will come out of retirement to seize the stage. Others slated: Fannie Mae Darling, Kaj-Anne Pepper, Little Tommy Bang Bang. More will be announced in the days leading up to the show. Dance party afterwards. Now go back and reread that lineup. You’re welcome. Rotture (315 SE Third), 9 p.m., $8. Give us all the drag. All of it.
Trannyshack, NYE Edition: The return of Heklina Heklina and company. It’s been an all-star tour (Jackie Beat!) through The Eagle of late. Joining Heklina are Fade Dra (LA), Holy McGrail (SF), and the following Portlanders: Gula Delgatto, Fannie Mae Darling, Ecstasy Inferno, and Little Tommy Bang Bang. We wondered how a stage would work at the Eagle, but the Beat was a delight. Doors at 8, show at 11:30. Prompt party-goers will find, to their delight, reduced-price admission if they arrive early. Champagne at midnight, dance party afterwards. Eagle Portland (835 N. Lombard). 8 p.m., $6 before 9, $8 after.
Get in!: Sit down for this one. Oh, right, you’re reading us, you’re seated. Over in the SE, one ticket gets you into two venues and a slew of incredible live shows. Dig A Pony has harangued local darlings Magic Mouth, still fresh off their Gossip tour, to perform. In addition to the MM kids, you’ll see: Shy Girls, Nathan Detroit, Freaky Outty, Hostile Tapeover, and Cooky Parker. There will also be a variety of DJs to keep you moving between — and after — sets. Free limo rides between the Pony and Union Pine, the other venue. A mere $15 and this can be your night of dreams. And one sexy fiesta. Advance tickets highly recommended. Dig a Pony (736 SE Grand), $15.
Ambrosia Salad at Butt Plug Club: Portland has so many guest stars this year! Blow Pony, ostensibly, moves (temporarily) to the queer-owned Funhouse Lounge, and they’re flying everyone’s favorite tossed Salad (Ambrosia) up for the night. Joining her in DJ duties are Airick X and Fingerbang, with others TBA. Go-go dancers, performances, and champagne toasts are all on the agenda. Also! Indoor/outdoor patio feature, which may or may not be a plus, weather depending. Funhouse Lounge (2432 SE 11th), $3 before 10, $5 after.
Swag: A Queer New Year’s Eve Party: Twerk PDX presents three hot deejays for your listening and moving pleasures — II Trill, Slutshine, and Goss’p Cat. They promise the best mix of Hip Hop, Top 40, Electro, and House. Champagne toast at midnight, a photobooth to capture your best moments. The following dress is encouraged: fancy/diamonds/dollar signs/silver/gold. Get it. Local Lounge (3536 NE MLK), $5, $3 with canned food donation.
Old Skool New Year’s Eve Dance: Kitty Moshpit Productions throws a party for “early birds and minors” at the Bob White Theater, East Coast style (and time). You can have all the fun and you don’t have to stay up all night. Old school R&B, Motown, and disco to “get you off your cheeks.” They’ll also have a buffet and no-host bar. After 9, Rupert Kinnard, of “Aren’t you glad you’re not living in Mississippi” productions fame, will be spinning 60s, 70s, and 80s dance music. (He also used to play La Luna. Remember that?) Bob White Theater (6423 SE Foster), 7 p.m., $20 ($15 advance). Brownpapertickets.com.
Lavish: You don’t have to go to the far corners of the city to celebrate 2013 — there’s plenty to do downtown. Our friends at Scandal’s are throwing their 4th annual Lavish Celebration — you can count down to the New Year and support the Audria M. Edwards Scholarship Fund. Maria Peters Lake will be in attendance — there’s reason enough to go — and Saturday Night Orphans will perform live. Drink specials by Absolut, one of the night’s sponsors. Toast at midnight. Scandals (1125 SW Stark), $10 (with a portion going to the aforementioned charity).
Wherever you are, remember: call a cab (you can make arrangements with Radio Cab well in advance) or have a designated driver. Keep each other safe. We’ll see you next year. And, as always, stay with our blog for updates and developments.