'Queertopia' is ready to rally the rainbow-flag troops

'Queertopia' is ready to rally the rainbow-flag troops
Jeffry Lusiak

Considering that gay marriage and LGBTQ rights look to be major election-year issues in 2012, it's not surprising that the theme of the annual Queertopia cabaret is "Queer Rallying Cry."

"We wanted to call attention to the number of issues facing the queer community this year," says Jeffry Lusiak, one of the co-curators of the event, a co-production of Bedlam Theatre and Intermedia Arts. "We deliberately chose a broader 'call to arms/raise your voices' theme, as opposed to choosing one single issue to rally around, as a way to inspire a sense of baseline love, support, and unity within our community at large."

The cabaret, a Pride Week staple since 2006, features the talents of Harry Waters Jr., SuperGroup, Morgan Thorson & Maren Ward, 20% Theatre Company, Nichole Smith, Melissa Birch, Michelle Be, Dustin Maxwell, Irita Foucault and Joseph Clark, Renee Copeland, Kelley Meister, Justin Leaf (Mistress Ginger), and Heidi Barton Stink. The event is hosted by GoGo Pimp Tiff. 

"This year's curation was very similar to years past," Lusiak says. "I met with the 2012 Queertopia creative team, co-curator Natalie Bogira and Bedlam co-artistic director Maren Ward, and we began the process by listing out a number of performers and performance groups we would love to see onstage this year.  The lists are a beautiful mix of people who excite, challenge, and inspire us."

From that, the roster was edited down to produce a final lineup, "keeping in mind diversity on all levels of artistic genera, medium, cultural background, gender identity, age, etcetera. It is very important for me to try and represent as many communities within our larger queer community here in the Twin Cities as we can," Lusiak says.

"Once we narrowed down our lists we asked ourselves, 'What is missing?' And through research and reaching out to the community we sought out more artists who would help fill out the eclectic evening. It is thrilling each year to see who the final cast ends up being, it seems like the people who are supposed to be part of the lineup that year always make their way to us and onto the roster," he adds.

How they deal with the overall theme is absolutely up to the artists. "The artists are invited to incorporate and interpret this theme in any way they wish as they create a piece for the cabaret.  This means we might see some specific work around the marriage amendment, the CeCe McDonald case, or bullying in schools -- or you might not. I want to give the artists freedom to express themselves in any way they see fit," Lusiak says.


Queertopia: A Cabaret Celebration of Queer Love
7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday
Intermedia Arts, 2822 S. Lyndale Ave., Minneapolis
For information, call 612-871-4444 or visit online.

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Intermedia Arts

2822 Lyndale Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408



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