Friday, March 22, 2013

"You may feel a little pressure..."

I invited a friend, a fellow member of my  photography group, to join me for a beer last night.

Knowing he liked offbeat and dive-y bars, I suggested The Sparrow in Park Circle.

My last few visits there were later in the evening with only a couple of regulars hanging out.

I like the murals that were painted on the walls and especially Gandhi and Bill Murray, almost side-by-side.

Marty asked if his son could join us and I asked if he liked beer? "Do we like cameras?" he responded.

The place was trying out a new approach to Happy Hour and was staging Carnivalesque. The bar was packed and it was still light outside. Yikes.

J. Honea, the MC and Ringmaster was also known as the "pain proof man."

Earlier he had walked - and jumped up and down - on a large area of broken glass shards placed on the stage.

This, however, was the highlight. The final part of his performance.

It involved an industrial strength staple gun and the invitation to the audience to "attach" dollar bills to various parts of his body.

$1 goes here, a $5 goes there and $10 gives you even more interesting choices. Apparently nobody had a  $50. Whew.

Marty lamented "Of course, THIS is the night my camera is at home."

The Carnival / Burlesque combo evening  started with a pretty lady spinning hula hoops around her scantily-clad body.

She was followed by an energetic Fan Dancer swirling around the stage as the rapt audience kept looking for an opening.

Feathers flew!

The bartender was working hard pouring craft beers - and opening PBRs - and management must have been pleased with their show biz decision.

The founder of this admittedly seedy performance troupe is Evelyn DeVere.

She introduced this in 2011 as a definite counterpoint to the popular Spoleto Festival of the Arts.

Because I happen to like a lowbrow dive-bar atmosphere, I found it a great concept.

What would Happy Hour be without some crowd participation?

As Marty, his son and I sort of stepped further back, three volunteers agreed to perform in a tassel-twirl contest.

The winner would get some bar prizes and probably make some new friends in the place.

The winner - and top bra gyrator - had gone the extra audience-pleasing step of removing his shirt.

The Fan Dancer gave technical pointers and enthusiastic support.

Things got a little edgy as the "Clown" took the stage and asked for ideas on what Balloon Animals to make.

Several patrons later were wearing oddly-formed balloon hats.

There was a definite theme and prominent shape to all of his critters.

We relaxed a bit as a "traditional" stripper came onto the stage, looking rather over-dressed.

She began to remedy that quickly in time to lively "bump & grind" music.

Her garments were shed and tossed around like confetti.

This Hour was indeed a happy one. Or two.

(Click on the photos for more details.)

Marty said he enjoyed the bar outing with me.

Interesting entertainment.

I said I could send some pictures for him to show to his wife.

He decided I did not have to go to all that trouble.

As the Fan Dancer could have said...

That's THE END.

Thanks for stopping by.

Hope we will do this again.

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