Wild, format-busting, LGBTQ-friendly Mother Goose cabaret night turns two this weekend

Mother Gooses Bedtime Stories

Mother Gooses Bedtime Stories L-R: Pedro Pepa, Sass, MLNCHLY BOY; image courtesy event organizers

When Xochi de la Luna decided to create a performance showcase two years ago, their motivation was pretty straightforward.

“Selfishly, I wanted to see it myself,” de la Luna says. “I was going to all of these different shows, seeing these amazing artists, and I kept thinking how cool it would be to see these performers from different shows together so they could really complement each other’s styles.”

The result was Mother Goose’s Bedtime Stories. A celebration of different races, sexual orientations, and forms of artistic expression, the showcase became a monthly fixture for both artists and audiences who wanted to push the limits of the traditional cabarets and experience a unique atmosphere of arts and artists.

This week, Mother Goose will celebrate its two-year anniversary with a two-night blowout at the Cedar. While the show has given dozens of artists an opportunity to connect and reach new audiences, that wasn’t the case in the Twin Cities before the series started up.

“There really weren’t that many variety shows in town,” de la Luna continues. “There would be maybe a couple throughout the year, and I felt like there was an opportunity to make something really unique.”

While the lineups are always eclectic, shows aren’t just slapped together by any means.

Mother Gooses Bedtime Stories

Mother Gooses Bedtime Stories Pedro Pepa, image courtesy event organizers

“I try hard to curate a lineup that conveys a very distinct vibe,” de la Luna says. “I want to make sure that every act helps build on the one before it, creating an atmosphere that makes the audience feel vulnerable and totally immersed in what they’re seeing.”

This week’s anniversary shows are equally unique and talent-heavy, with music by acts like Manchita and timisarocker, poetry from Ellis Perez and Ifrah Mansour, standup comedians Comrade Tripp and Devohn Bland, plus dance, drag, and much more.

These days, de la Luna says they don’t have trouble recruiting acts, but early on they found it more difficult to convince some performers to take the stage at a more unconventional type of show.

“It wasn’t because they didn’t want to do it, they were just worried that the audience wouldn’t like them,” de la Luna explains. “I’d have standup comedians who would say, ‘I don’t know that I’m cool enough to be on this type of show.’ I’d have to say, ‘Who told you this show was only for cool people?’ I always say that you have to trust the audience and that the people who come to our shows are interested in all kinds of art.”

Aside from being the producer and director of the event, de la Luna’s metal band, La Curandera & the Ritual, will serve as the house band for the evening. While their presence is synonymous with Mother Goose events, as a performer de la Luna says they’re not interested in making the show all about themselves.

“It’s a celebration of so many different types of people and artists,” says de la Luna. “And I want to see as many people have an opportunity as possible.”

As for the future of the show, de la Luna says that year three will move forward, experimenting with new art forms in an effort to keep offering new pathways for artists.

“I’d like to experiment with including one-act plays this year,” says de la Luna. “That and continuing to find new genres of music, whether that’s metal or hip hop or goth or anything else. We’re so lucky to have this many amazing artists in our community locally, and I want this to be a place where everyone can feel creative and supported.”

Mother Goose’s Bedtime Stories: Two-year anniversary party
Cedar Cultural Center
Friday & Saturday, Aug. 30 & 31
7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show
$10-$35 (sliding scale)
Get tickets here