Venture Lounge & Nightclub presents competition for male impersonators
WILKES-BARRE — The battle of kings is coming, but the weapons in this battle are performance and style.
King Off takes place 11 p.m. May 20, at Venture Lounge & Nightclub. The event pits seven drag kings against each other for the crown and title of Mr. Venture 2016.
The event is for patrons 21 and older. There is no cover, and music is provided by DJ Zero Three. Doors open at 8 p.m.
The event’s contestant field is comprised of male impersonators from Northeastern Pennsylvania, Shenandoah and Binghamton, New York.
Venture owner, Al Podminick, said the drag king competition is the first of its kind at the nightclub.
“Since no other venue has drag kings perform on a regular basis, we decided to do a ‘king off,’” Podminick said.
The club will also crown a Ms. Venture, the winner of a six-month drag queen contest in August, and Podminick said he thought it fitting to crown a king as well.
Each king will perform two numbers.
“I think they’ll be doing musical numbers, but it’s their choice,” Podminick said. “They can do comedy … whatever they want to do.”
Patrons will receive ballots and vote for their favorite king.
“This is going to be judged on performance,” Podminick said. “They usually dress the part, so it will be a mixture of both, how they dress for the part and how they perform.”
Olivia Butkiewicz of Pringle performs as drag king, Oliver Twist Mayheim.
She said, to her knowledge, this is the first drag king competition of its kind locally.
“Usually when we have competitions of this sort it’s kings and queens,” Butkiewicz said. “We’re pretty excited.”
Butkiewicz plans to sing as her talent. One number, she said, will be “Fat Bottom Girls” by Queen, but she’s waiting for the show to reveal the second.
Her on stage persona, she said, is flamboyant and macho.
“I try to make the outfits a little more flashy,” Butkiewicz said. “I can go from all the gems and beads and makeup in the world to macho and dirty looking while keeping it in the performance spectrum. My songs will reflect the costumes themselves.”
Butkeiwicz said her performance usually entails lip syncing and looking as masculine as possible.
“It’s a pretty big, fun ordeal,” she said.
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or Twitter@ TLArts
If you go:
What: King Off
Where: Venture Lounge & Nightclub, 1266 Sans Souci Parkway, Wilkes-Barre
When: 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. May 20. Performances start at 11 p.m.
Additional information: There is no cover charge for patrons. Patrons must be 21 and over to attend.