Who actually enjoyed their high school prom? Whether you weren’t accepted because of your sexuality, had a terrible date (or no date) or just found it awkward to dance in uncomfortable clothes, there are plenty of reasons why it could have sucked. (If you’re one of those people who never had a makeup “artist” do their best Tammy Faye tribute on your face 30 minutes before your date arrives, or you never had to consider taking your cousin to the big dance, or you’ve just never had an unfortunate day in your life, all I can say is, Do you still have your crown and sash? Congratulations. And for the rest of our sanity, keep it to yourself.)
So maybe it’s time for a re-do? Cue Queer Prom, a dance party that’s all grown up and for the LGBT community (but is straight-friendly, too). This year’s Roaring '20s-themed bash was held on Saturday, February 25 at Dedicated (320 W. 7th St.).
The event fulfilled its promise to not only reclaim prom, but to make it infinitely better than the real deal. There were nice prom-like touches: a photo station (cheesy poses optional), crepe streamers in the doorway and draped from the ceiling, a disco ball and a big bowl of terrible spiked punch (not to mention plenty of snuck-in flasks).
The real difference from the quintessential teenage experience was being in a room full of people completely comfortable with themselves. An assortment of characters filled the dance floor, many dressed as flappers in fringe and sequins or in suspenders for the party’s prohibition-era theme. Some donned experimental drag — girls with drawn-on handlebar mustaches and boys test-driving skirts and tights — some in professional drag, with exquisite wigs and fluttering false eyelashes. Others went for personal preference, a unicorn here, an '80s prom queen there, plus a '40s pin-up gal or two.
Drag dame Miranda Meridian hosted the evening with lots of talk about dicks and drinking, several fabulous costume changes and a couple of lip-synching performances.
Laundry for the Apocalypse, the Round 5 winner in the 2012 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase, kicked off the party with a short set of danceable punk and reggae-inflected tunes. They were followed by a rousing lineup of burlesque beauties stripping down to their skivvies, including Little Rock’s Diamond Dames, lots of new talents from the area, and some dancers from Dallas.
One of the best moments of the evening was an interlude between the burlesque performance and a set from evening closer, the stellar Adam Faucett & The Tall Grass. A heavily bearded Faucett, dressed for the spirit of the evening in a striped sundress and hint of blue eye shadow, sat on stage tuning his guitar while Meridian danced and lip synched to a mash-up of “Poker Face” and “Party Rockers.” To the side of the stage, a burlesque performer in a black corset danced furiously.
Faucett wailed powerfully through his folky Delta rock tunes, while friends swayed on the dance floor and tipsy couples made out. More adventurous duos snuck out to their cars, presumably to get laid. Some things never change when it comes to prom night.