According to a 2001 Chicago Reader article
, Poonie's Cabaret began after Patrick Scully, the founder of Patrick's Cabaret, visited Link's Hall in Chicago in 1999. Selene Carter, from Link's Hall, liked the format so much that she started a similarly-styled event. She called it Poonie's Cabaret, after Poonie Dodson, who had died of AIDS in the early 1990s. Dodson had been a dancer and frequenter of Link's Hall, and had been a friend of Scully.
This is the third year choreographer April Sellers is curating Poonies at Patrick's, which includes three artists from Poonie's and three artists from Patrick's Cabaret. This year, for the first time since Scully's venture to Chicago back in the day, the event will also be presented in Chicago for Patrick's at Poonies in May.
Sellers says she selected the Minneapolis artists, and worked with Rebecca Kling, who chose the Chicago artists. The lineup includes a full range of performances, with a couple local talents using the opportunity to "step outside how you normally see them," she says.
For example, Theresa Madaus, from Mad King Thomas, will be performing a drag act as a nun. Called "The Confessions of Sister Mary Katharine Perry, an irreverent romp from a recovering Catholic," Madaus's piece is sure to be hilarious.
Joseph R. Varisco
As for Sellers, she'll be presenting a new piece, "Big Baby," which includes a number of performers, including Tim Rehborg, Emily Gastineau, Kimberly Rhyme, and Heather Spear. The work takes on the intersection of feminist art and queer performance, with an exploration of feminine archetypes.
"There's a pretty big range in the show," Sellers says. "But there's a real personal element to this concert, as well." For example, J'Sun Howard and Darrell Jones will be performing a duet about recently having lost their fathers.
Rebecca Kling, the curator of the Chicago artists, recently completed her gender re-assignment surgery, and will be taking her brand-new vagina as the subject of her piece, exploring topics such as masturbation, dilation, and taking a pee.