Dec 13, 2015

[Technicolor Musings] O Bar's Theater of Drag

The ever fabulous O Bar celebrated its 10th anniversary last Friday and it was quite the phenomenal night indeed. They put on a rather massive show featuring all of their talents - the Alab Poi Dancers, the O Gogo Boys and of course the O Divas in what was pretty much close to 3 hours of entertainment divided into two sets.

While watching the show and being continually amazed by every new performance, I got to thinking in my head how O Bar has really done something different here. Sure, a lot of bars have drag queens performing and past bars have had ledge dancers and all that good stuff. But the sum of what O Bar has created goes beyond this individual pieces and you have a unique entertainment experience that is hard to describe. I guess the discipline and training that go into the preparations and rehearsals have really paid off to hone the team into something quite phenomenal.

Tobie and I have often joked that O Bar is the closest that we can get to having a dinner theater experience here in Manila. But maybe that's not entirely incorrect. If we look at O Bar now versus maybe five years ago, we now have a true entertainment experience that has elements taken from the likes of theater and even ballet. We have large group numbers, precise choreography and quite complex lighting. We have elaborate costumes and well thought-out set lists. We have theme nights and performances that truly celebrate the theme in a remarkable way. We have all this and more - and even the Go Go Boys have the occasional choreographed number that's a part of the overall experience! It's seems too crazy to believe, but it's all very true and the team kills it every single night.

I'm very proud to be a loyal patron of O Bar and quite a devotee of the all the performers who call the bar home. And when people ask me what it's like to go to O Bar since they've "never been to a gay bar before," I think I'm better off telling them that O Bar isn't a gay bar. O Bar is a unique gender-bending entertainment experience. O Bar is where drag has been elevated into a different sort of performance art form. O Bar is the Theater of Drag and the higher entrance fees are worth every Peso since what you're actually paying for is the privilege of watching one of the best entertainment experiences in the world.

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