Midsumma Festival always has a great selection of events, shows and parties, and invariably, there’s something for everyone. Here are just a few highlights worth considering.
Thank You For Being a Friend is a tribute show to that campest of cult gay TV shows, The Golden Girls (why that is so is still unclear, but it may have something to do with the four female leads, and witty one-liners and put-downs), but it’s all done with puppets. As you do. It’s playing at Theatre Works in St Kilda January 7-18, and tickets are $40-$44 plus booking fee.
Drag performer Dolly Diamond has a pretty high profile in Queer Melbourne, but this Midsumma, the man behind the make-up and frocks, Michael Dalton, is stepping into the light with his new show, You’ve Got Male. It’ll be a look back at his life, in and out of a frock, to see exactly what maketh this man tick. For three nights only, 8pm on January 17, 24 and 25 at the Eureka Hotel in Richmond. Tickets are $22 and $26.
If you’re looking to hear about queer life outside the inner city bubbleverse, the National Institute for Challenging Homophobia Education is holding an evening of talks from people far and wide and all shapes and sorts. How I Found My NICHE will educate, enlighten and surprise as the speakers share their lives, insights and wisdom. Thursday January 16, from 6.30pm at the Substation in Newport, and it’s free.
VicBears is celebrating Midsumma with Bearfest. Along with their presence and community stall at carnival, they’ll be hosting a number of events at the Laird Hotel, including the Underbear underwear party Wednesday January 22, the Mr Vic Bear Contest on Friday January 24, a special edition of their FUR dance party on Sunday January 26, and the intriguing Spit Roast on the Australia Day Monday public holiday.
Midsumma Mooning is a cheeky annual auction and VAC fundraiser that pulls in huge crowds to see a parade of anonymous bare bums and judge which arse is the best. Some of these derrières have a trick or two in store, some of them just speak for themselves. The pants come off Friday January 31 at the Laird, and $10 will get you in to witness all the hijinks.
Lastly, you can't go past Carnival: the event that kicks it all off in Alexander Gardens.