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Magic in Montrose: The Broad’s Way

One of the most underrated drag/live singing performances in Montrose is at Michael’s Outpost every Monday night.

(HOUSTON) — After leaving an event last night, I went out into Montrose waiting for something to happen. I wasn’t sure what it was I was waiting for; but I knew that if I could be patient, it would manifest. Was it that I was going to meet a man? Would I run into some old friends I hadn’t seen in years? Or was it just that I might get drunk and find myself having a good time amongst strangers? I couldn’t ascertain the specifics of this premonition, but I knew that if I could wait it out, something magical would happen.

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Regina Blake-DuBois

So, I made my rounds. I started first at Guava Lamp, where I had one drink and chatted with a few friends. Fun, but nothing particularly magical about it. I jumped over to Ripcord, where—as per the usual—the Monday night crowd was light and quiet (just the way I preferred my bar scenes). I had another drink there before deciding I was barking up the wrong tree. Nothing unusual was taking place in Montrose proper; and I therefore forged my way toward Richmond for a glass of Cab at Michael’s Outpost.

And that’s where it happened. It was there that I found myself sitting in a half-full bar where before me stood a trope of entertainers performing songs from some of Broadway’s seminal hits throughout the recent decades.

Be still my beating, gay boy heart.

Hosting The Broad’s Way was the lovely Regina Blake-DuBois, a drag queen I’d seen perform a handful of times and whose performances I’ve always enjoyed. Rolling out the remainder of the cast was singer Scott Lupton, drag king Richard Long, songstress Chaney Moore, and queen Mia Opulent Love, each performing showtunes from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s.

Let me just interrupt myself to say that while, yes, this is a drag show, it isn’t just a drag show. It’s actually the only show in Houston that incorporates drag queens, kings, and live singers. And when those performers and doing the best of Broadway, there’s nothing more that a theatre-geek gay boy who has seen Wicked onstage nine times like myself could ask for. (Pause to add that I was disappointed I didn’t catch Regina on one of her Wicked performance days, as she states they are frequent).

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Chaney Moore

I entered late in the show, with Blake-Dubois entertaining her group that seemed to consist of many regulars. Her hosting style is on-point: she’s funny … but doesn’t mind roasting herself when a joke falls flat or a line doesn’t quite work. And she knows how to keep the audience paying attention (even if that means jokingly reminding them that her phone number is carved into the wall of a bathroom stall). What’s best about her as a hostess, however, is that she really knows her shit. Blake-DuBois’s own theatre nerdiness packs into each joke that she tells the audience.

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Richard Long

Now, to say that I almost lost my shit more than once last night would be a bit of an understatement. After all, when Chaney Moore (who last night joined the show as a regular performer) pulled out a show-stopping rendition of “Living in Hell” from Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens, I was done. TAKE MY MONEY! Granted, I only had three one-dollar bills on me, so I had to make sure they lasted (they did not). Her voice is so clean and smooth. The way she jumps into her upper-register sounds effortless, only to come back down and belt out a note bigger than the bar itself. I was certain that none of the other performers would be able to follow her up. Then came the glitter-beard king, Richard Long, with his comedic take on “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from Les Miserables. Who knew that Enjolras could make me laugh with a song of revolution in 19th century France?

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Scott Lupton

Of course, I would be remiss if not to mention Scott Lupton’s rendition of “We Beseech Thee” from Godspell. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting when Lupton took the microphone, but as someone who was previously unfamiliar with his powerhouse voice, I was completely blown away. A song that is often sang with breathy haste was well-paced, lively, interactive, and downright extraordinary. Even when it came time for the key change (which Lupton funnily made sure to mention to the viewers), the entire song was flawless. As for Mia Opulent Love, the queen in her beautiful green wig danced away to a number from Sweet Charity (a favorite show of mine), which she took the liberty of not only making into a fun, vibrant performance, but one that was tinged with just a bit of her trademark sexiness that she brings to every performance.

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Mia Opulent Love

And as the show was winding down, Ms. Blake-DuBois had taken to the back to change (as Love took the mic and regaled us with improptu stories of how someone had asked her if her green hair was natural). When she returned, she donned an effervescent pink coat and knee-high red boots. I knew then, for certain, she could only be bringing to life one of two characters—Glinda the Good of Wicked, or Elle Woods of Legally Blonde. Whether she’d be tackling “Popular,” “Positive,” or any of the other numbers from either musical, I’d be pleased.

Alas, she made a point of mentioning she would not be performing from Wicked, but that she’d be doing a number that was, in her words, “a little more legal.”

Thus came her finale performance of “So Much Better” from Legally Blonde: The Musical, which opened on Broadway in 2007 scoring seven Tony Award nominations, including Best Original Score of a Musical, and Best Performance by a Leading Actress for Bundy as Elle Woods. The show would go on to tape a live performance for MTV, host a reality show in which actresses competed to be the next Elle Woods, and has seen international productions and tours.

lb Magic in Montrose: The Broad's WayIt was also the very first musical I ever saw live right here in Houston when the first national tour came through the Hobby Center stage, brought to us by Theatre Under the Stars. That year (2009), the lead actress, Becky Gulsvig, had broken her toe while on tour, and Broadway’s leading lady, Laura Bell Bundy, had stepped in to fill her shoes. It’s one of my best memories and the musical holds a very special place in my heart. So, when Regina Blake-DuBois took on the task of lip-syncing and dancing the choreography to “So Much Better” (the act one showstopper that is considerably one of the hardest numbers in Broadway history to sing, right up there with “Defying Gravity”) I knew I’d found my Montrose magic. Hell, she even demonstrated the difficult Elle Woods high-kick at the end of the song (which once ended in Bundy launching her shoe into the audience). And, as luck would have it, I’d run out of ones at that point.

What got me about this production was that, while there was a good number of people there to see it, Michael’s Outpost wasn’t quite as full as I’ve seen it for its many other wonderful shows. From Eye-Cons to Cabernet at the Cabaret, Michael’s is usually good about packing out its seats for performances. Maybe it’s just the luck of having a Monday night show, or maybe the night was just slower than usual. Either way, everyone in the neighborhood that loves the theatre (and I do believe that accounts for a large demographic of LGBTQIA people) should make the time to head to Michael’s Outpost to catch this incredible cast put on one helluva show. With a new Broadway-centric theme each week, Regina and her chorus of talented entertainers put on a fun, audience-interactive show that brings the Broadway stage right into Michael’s Outpost every Monday night. And no matter when you make it out there to see it, The Broad’s Way is certain to never disappoint.


Michael’s Outpost is located at 1419 Richmond Ave. and is open 7 days a week with shows (some drag and some live piano) every night.

LeAnn Rimes Launches ‘LovE’ Collection

LeAnn Rimes Launches 'LovE' Collection

International Recording Artist LeAnn Rimes Launches Limited ‘LovE, LovE and more LovE’ Product Line In Time For Valentines Day.

(Los Angeles) — As one of the worlds most accomplished singer-songwriters, LeAnn Rimes champions lovE on a daily basis; often times through beautiful harmonies, sometimes through blogging. The multiple Grammy-winning Artist has stepped up her message of LovE today, releasing a limited collection of LovE, Love and more LovE!

Beyond the stage lights and the glamour of dazzling millions of fans worldwide with music, LeAnn Rimes connects with readers by curating Soul Of Everly, a safe space on the web that strives to help awaken and heal the spirit through connection, community, joy, and LovE.

LeAnn-Rimes-Love-Love-T-Shirt-1024x614 LeAnn Rimes Launches 'LovE' Collection
LeAnn Rimes Launches ‘LovE’ Collection just in time for Valentines Day.

With the most loved day of the year only 13 days away, Rime’s exclusive ‘LovE’ collection hits home as the perfect gift. This is the first time Rime’s has offered products to readers and fans of Soul of Everly.

“I am THRILLED to be opening the Soul Of EverLe store.”-Rimes

The collection ‘LovE, LovE and more LovE’ is described as ‘limited,’ and is the first of its kind for Rimes. The t-shirts and hoodies and available in multiple sizes, and show the word ‘LovE’ written down the shirt with a red block behind the design.

“My soul has been calling me open up my creativity in many new ways,” Rimes shares with her readers on Thursday afternoon. “The store like the blog is a reflection of life, ever-evolving and blossoming.”

Vincent Powell ‘Rockstar’ Video Debuts

Vincent Powell 'Rockstar' Video Debuts

Former American Idol and Houston native Vincent Powell drops a new video for ‘Rockstar’ off his upcoming EP ‘Venting Season.’

(Houston) — Thrills and excitement surrounded the release of Vincent Powell’s latest video this afternoon exclusively on social media. The video is for Powell’s single Rockstar that features Julian Caesar. The video can be viewed on Facebook and Youtube, and available on all media streaming sites shortly.

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Vincent Powell

Rockstar is a vibrant, upbeat masterpiece that is mixed with dance music and an ode to soul. The electrifying vocals by Powell and vibes mastered with the great video production will have you dancing all night.

“That was a good old-fashioned. It was a sexy old-fashioned. That hit me somewhere.” -Nicki Minaj

Powell, a Houstonian originally from Austin, was
29-years-old when he landed a prized spot on Fox’s American Idol. It was his style and soul-bearing performance of Lenny Williams’ hit Cause I Love You that earned the attention of American viewers. That performance generated a standing ovation leaving Nicki Minaj in awe. “That was a good old-fashioned. It was a sexy old-fashioned. That hit me somewhere,” Minaj yelled.

You can check out Rockstar here. You can find more work of Powell’s on his social media:

Instagram/Facebook/Twitter: @vincentai12

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Holiday Album

Carols for a Cure Broadway HIV/AIDS BROADWAY CARES EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS

Broadway’s Carols for a Cure is full of holiday favorites sung by Broadway stars for HIV/AIDS.

The Christmas season is in full show tune swing now that the 19th volume of Broadway’s Carols for a Cure has arrived.  The latest compilation from the beloved series continues Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ tradition of pairing the casts from award-winning Broadway musicals with seasonal songs that are both classic and new.  Once again, the result is pure magic and is sure to help make the 2017 holiday season shine brighter than ever before.

“These are all new, original recordings, creatively arranged and performed by the incredibly talented performers and musicians from the 2017 Broadway season,” explains producer Lynn Pinto who, once again, collaborates with engineer Andros Rodriguez on the album. Pinto allows each company a great deal of freedom in choosing the material and the style of the arrangement. She adds, “We record the musicians and singers in layers, utilizing isolation booths for a higher quality recording. It gives the album a unique sound from most cast albums and allows us to showcase some of the best voices and instrumentalists in the world.”

The first Broadway’s Carols for a Cure album debuted in 1999, making this year’s album the 19th in the annual series.  Fans of Broadway will be overjoyed  to hear recordings from Tony Award winning casts of Dear Evan Hansen, Hamilton, Come From Away and many more:

ALADDIN O Come All Ye Faithful 

ANASTASIA All Those Christmas Cliches 

AVENUE Q The 12 Days of Christmas

BEAUTIFUL Love at Christmas Time

A BRONX TALE I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day

CATS Joy to the World

CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY Do You Hear What I Hear?

CHICAGO This Is The Night 

COME FROM AWAY It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

DEAR EVAN HANSEN Down In Yon Forest

GROUNDHOG DAY Oh Little Town of Punx, PA

HAMILTON Chester

JERSEY BOYS (National)Let’s Have an Old Fashioned Jersey Christmas

KINKY BOOTS Hark! The Herald Angel Sing

THE LION KING Everyone’s a Kid at Christmas

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Old Fashioned Christmas

SCHOOL OF ROCK Yule of Rock

WAITRESS I Wonder What You Got For Me

WAR PAINT I Can’t Wait For Christmas

WICKED God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Highlights are copious but include Billy Porter and the cast of Kinky Boots singing an all-new, rockin’ version of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and the cast of A Bronx Tale performing “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day” in a New Yawker-style that will have listeners humming for days.

Additionally, Meghan Toohey (Sara Barielles’ long-time guitarist) serves up a lovely 1960s-style original song, “Wonder What You Got For Me,” featuring the talented Anastacia McCleskey and the rest of the company and band from Waitress; and Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, the composer/lyricist team behind Anastasia perform their original carol, “All Those Christmas Cliches,” along with their award-winning cast.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is a nonprofit organization that helps individuals with serious illnesses including HIV/AIDS receive the health care and support they need.  In addition, they provide financial support in the form of grants to HIV/AIDS and family service organizations throughout the country.

“The 19th volume of Broadway’s Carols for a Cure is the best yet,” promises Lynn Pinto.  “It exudes such warmth, like a cozy blanket on a snowy Winter’s day.”

“Broadway’s Carols for a Cure” can be purchased in the web store at BroadwayCares.org or by calling Broadway Cares at 212-840-0770.  The individual tracks are also available on iTunes.

Singles from the album can be purchased on here on iTunes