Pound Sign

New York City, pop culture, art and nightlife. Because nobody else is blogging about those things.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Celebrating the beginning of a new era the best possible way: with nudity, fire and glass eating

This weekend we made a snowy road trip down to Washington DC with one of New York's resident burlesque mad geniuses, Dr. Lucky. Lucky and Clams were appearing in Obama Wonderama! On Sunday night at the Warehouse Theater, a big burlesque and variety inauguration celebration presented by DC performer L'il Dutch. It was big show, absolutely sold-out packed, and it was a tremendously fun night. But there was something else, something in the air. The genuine, exuberant, joyously loud response to every mention of Barack Obama from the stage. The completely unironic wearing of Obama t-shirts and red, white and blue by an audience packed with artsy hipsters. A pack of cynical liberal theater and sideshow artists literally in tears of joy, unabashedly patriotic. It was like nothing I'd ever seen.

And the press! With the city full of pre-inaugural celebrations, this one was certainly unique, and without NYC's "burlesque show every night" glut, it was amazing. It was in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call. It'll be in this Sunday's Washington Post. Voice of America radio was backstage. Newsweek was there. Time magazine sent Elliot Erwitt, one of the 20th Century's greatest news photographers and certainly in his 80's, to take pictures!

And the whole city was vibrating. The Warehouse is in DC's Chinatown, and the streets were packed with people. The energy was palpable. Obama posters everywhere. That town was ready to explode with excitement! We could not have been happier to be in DC to ring in the start of a new era, and ring out Bush on his last day in office. And we drove home before the madness really started, and we could watch it on TV instead. Watching it on TV today, I still cried.


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