Posts Tagged: showtunes nights

Showtunes Night in Baltimore at The Hippo

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So I finally gave in and went up to Baltimore Maryland for Showtunes Night at the Hippo bar and lounge. I absolutely love the Hippo for dancing on Saturday nights, but I was a bit curious to see how they would do showtunes. Sure you have a ton of gays in Baltimore and they love theatre just as much as everyone else, but could Baltimore have an actual showtunes night? The answer is Yes!

I have to be honest, it wasn’t my favorite showtunes event at a bar when we first got there. The VJ kept on playing Glee after Glee after Glee. Then we saw Lea Michele in Ragtime and then another thing about Glee when he announced the show spin off. The Glee over and over got old and annoying fast. I love Glee like no tomorrow, but at a showtunes night I want to hear showtunes and that is where I really enjoyed showtunes night at the Hippo.

Instead of playing a million mainstream songs, the VJ played a few hits, but also many lesser known songs from shows. With La Cage Aux Follies, instead of playing a little more mascara or I am what I am, he played a huge dance routine and a lesser known yet equally as fabulous song. Instead of Children will listen from Into the Woods, he played the song about the couple who wanted a child. I loved the fact that the VJ played a good mix of well known and lesser known showtunes. It not only helps to show people that there are more than just ballads and belters on broadway, but it also helps to get people to love new songs. My only complain about playing lesser known casts is that he would line up a cast singing a song from a show, then play another outtake from the show, then a song from the movie version of the show. That got old fast. When I’m at showtunes, I don’t mind two songs in a row if one is a parody, but two or three songs from the same show in a row and none of them are parodies or unique, that’s a bit much.

So overall, Baltimore has a pretty kick ass showtunes night at the Hippo Bar and Lounge. The audience is awesome and loves to sing. The bartender is cute as heck and serves awesome drinks. The showtunes are great, but repetitive and overall it is worth going to. I give it around a 4 out of 5 stars as far as showtunes nights go. If you are in Baltimore on a Tuesday night, check out the Hippo Bar for Showtunes and then come back here and leave a comment with what you think. Thank you again Hippo for having me and everyone that I met. You guys have a great showtunes night that is definitely a great time.

Broadway’s Titanic – Audience Participation

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Although the show Titanic on Broadway pretty much sunk like its main focus, it did become a huge hit at showtunes nights everywhere across the country.  Not only do people sing along “All aboard the Shiiipppp Titaniiicc” and make fun of the faster versus by singing blah, blah, blah, blah, blah but they also created an entirely fun audience participation routine to match the main song.

When the camera is scrolling along all of the people lined up from the back right to the front, you see an angry woman staring and also a woman put her fingers in front of her lips like she is saying, shh…. When you see the angry woman staring you’ll hear people yell Hey! She’s wearing my hat and all of the sudden you see the woman saying Shh….

Then when they break away from the line because the crew is yelling all aboard and people scatter, you’ll hear people at showtunes nights start yelling run for your lives, run for your lives.  Oddly enough if only Showtunes Audiences would have been there when the original ship launched.  If you’re a Mame fan, when you see the boy running across the stage, you can yell Run Patrick Run!   But the most fun part of the audience participation for the show Tiatnic is the end when they get everyone on board and finish the song.

Just before the song ends and they are casting off, everyone starts waving the cast away with napkins in their hands and then on cue everyone tosses them in the air and creates a fun and napkin filled room.  Kind of like confetti and waving off a ship leaving for a cruise or trip in real life.  Oddly enough it is also like waving this show off onto Broadway History for ever as well.

Although the Broadway Show Titanic sunk, it definitely made its way into broadway fame by reappearing at Showtunes nights across the USA and becoming a fun audience participation show and song.  Unfortunately it is only one song that people know and sing, but hey, that is better than most.  Titanic flopped and I would probably never go see it, but I do love how it made an appearance at Showtunes Nights and if you are ever in Chicago you have to go to Sidetracks for this song to really see everyone go crazy over it.  Titanic flopped but definitely became a hit with showtunes nights in most major cities.

Tavern On Camac – Classic Showtunes Piano Bar

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I was stranded in Philadelphia for a few nights a couple years ago so I decided to go out and do something.  It was a business trip even though I got there on a Sunday so I went wandering around the city for a while and came across a small bar down a historic cobblestone alley called the Tavern on Camac.

243 South Camac Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107-5609
(215) 545-0900

So Tavern on Camac is technically a gay bar, just like Don’t Tell Mama in NYC or Sidetracks in Chicago Illinois.  However, if you are a Broadway and Theatre fan, if you love going to see a play, a musical or even an Opera, you are supporting the gay commuinty because lets face it, Theatre is made up of and by gays but instead of being for gays, it is made for everyone.  Now, I am not saying everyone in theatre is gay, just many people that help to make it work are.  The same goes for people who wear high fashion clothing, go to a salon or spa for their hair, nails and makeup or even eat at nice restaraunts.  Regardless where you go you are in the gay community so what is the difference from going to a spa and going to a showtunes night, the only difference is one is called a gay bar but in reality you’ll find a lot of heterosexuals there as well.  Think about it, you all have something in common, you love theatre so why not share it, the gays will welcome you and happily share their club and showtunes so enjoy it.

Anyways, back to Tavern on Camac.

Tavern on Camac is an older bar on the bottom (the upstairs was redone to become a nightclub and a more modern bar) that has a piano and a few old classic styled bars.  When I got there the piano was dead but about 20 minutes later the piano player came in and got a drink.  He was a very nice and very funny older guy and when he sat down you could tell he absolutely loves what he does.  He started the night off by announcing he does show tunes every Sunday and Monday I believe and that he’ll be there until they kick him out.  (He’s actually still there today singing and playing the piano for a mixed crowd of show tune loving people in Philadelphia).  He then laid out his tip jar and got started.

He is not only talented and fun to listen to sing and play, but he also encourages the entire room to sing a long.  This one time when I was there with a co-worker of mine (who had never been to a gay bar in his life but loved it) when we were on a trip to visit some clients, the piano player decided to start getting people to request songs and go up and sing.  He even did a rock song for my coworker since he really didn’t actually know any showtunes and didn’t want to look stupid.

Tavern on Camac is an amazing time for Sunday and Monday evenings and the piano player is perfect for cheering you up and having a great time with.  He may even invite you up to sing a song so be prepared if you have the guts.  I definitely had a couple of drinks before I got the guts to do it but when I started he helped me out and just like Bette Midler in Gypsy, he got me to sing out like Louise and let me tell you something, it really did become Let Me Entertain You.

Overall I love Tavern on Camac and highly recommend it.  Upstairs is a small dance club but downstairs is a really fun piano bar with showtunes on Sunday and Monday nights in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.  Just be careful, the piano player likes classic shows and hates anything modern.  He’ll play them if you tip enough but be ready for a gay grunt and gay groan.  Gotta love the gays.

If you’re in Philadelphia Pennsylvania and want to have fun at a showtunes night, you have to check out Tavern on Camac, but call first to make sure they have their piano player in that night and he is doing showtunes.

Here is the address for Tavern on Camac in Philadelphia Pennsylvania:

243 South Camac Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107-5609
(215) 545-0900