Metro Weekly

Editor’s Pick: April at Crazy Aunt Helen’s

The cocktails are a boozy delight, the food is pure comfort, and the vast local entertainment is LGBTQ-spiked!

Crazy Aunt Helen's: Tara Hoot
Crazy Aunt Helen’s: Tara Hoot

There’s never a dull moment at the large Barracks Row venue Crazy Aunt Helen’s, even if you don’t make it upstairs to check out the full slate of entertainment that’s always on the menu.

Speaking of the menu, the food is classic American comfort food goodness, served with gay flair — if you’re lucky, you might even be attended to by one of the venue’s many show hosts.

The cocktails are boozy delights as queerly quaffable as they come, and more than live up to their deliciously inspired names, including your new favorite go-to brunch blend, whether that be Spritz Her, I Barely Know Her!, with prosecco, Don Ciccio Ambrosia, and housemade strawberry-basil puree; Jordan Rose-Mary Mule, house-infused charred rosemary Civic Vodka with lime and ginger beer, Or A Gina?, with DC Brau orange seltzer plus chili mango and orange; or — the best-named of the brunch bunch — Why It Gotta Be White Peppa?, Filibuster bourbon with white pepper, coriander, and fennel.

Upstairs is the place to go for shows of all kinds featuring a veritable smorgasbord of LGBTQ-identified comedians, cut-ups, cabaret artists, and drag performers. (All events are free unless noted.)

Musical Mondays features “a curated open mic” hosted by Tula at which guests are encouraged to “bring your sheet music: We’ll have live piano accompaniment.” (4/17, 7 p.m.)

Glass House: A Drag Variety Show features Citrine, Logan Stone, Vagenesis, and Venus Valhalla, with lip-syncing and live music, comedy, and more. (4/8, 7 p.m.; $15)

Curtain Call, presented by Capital Cabaret and hosted by Barbara Papendorp and Parker Nolen, is billed as “D.C.’s newest and coolest open mic, where Broadway veterans and national cabaret artists mingle alongside up-and-coming artists.” (4/10, 7 p.m.)

Catch the Holy Spirit with Shi-Queeta-Lee’s Drag Gospel Brunch, offering entertainment led by the D.C. drag doyenne and “her Praise Sisters” performing gospel classics; ticket price includes one brunch entree, with bottomless mimosas and other specials available. (4/15, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.; $38)

That same evening offers Song Birds, a fluttering flock hosted by drag queen Anja Dick and co-starring Nuancé and Juniper Gin, with special guest Anna Claire-Walker, and billed as “the Broadway Cabaret La Cage Birdcage hilarious live-music dinner drag review fantasy you’ve been dreaming about all this time.” (4/15, 8 p.m.; $15)

Foxxy Moron Comedy Hour is an open mic hosted by Andy Waterworth and Bailey Vogt and promising an “awfully good night of laughs.” (4/12, 4/26, 7 p.m.)

A Night of Improv Comedy with Sistine Robot & Friends is hosted by one of the area’s “longest-running independent long-form improv teams.” April features Press Play, another local long-running, long-form improv troupe that bills itself as an outfit that “takes your yarn of suggestion and weaves it into a playful sweater of laughs you’ll wanna leave the theater with even if it has three arm holes.” (4/19, 6 p.m.; $10)

The Thursday after Easter, it’s time for Confessional Cabaret, which only sounds churchy. Instead of preachers, it features Musical Improvisers Adrianne Thomas, Mike O’Connor, Anna Claire Walker, Geoff Corey, and Cassie Barnum, who will turn stories from guests into songs for a full improvised musical, composed and performed on the spot. (4/13, 6 p.m.; $10)

The last weekend in April kicks off with Working Blue, a new event billed as “an Adult Swim non-Disneyfied show for the grown folks,” part-burlesque show, part-talk show, plus open mic, hosted by Honi Harlow and featuring performers Curly Bright, Victoria Vixen, and Monique Dupree. (4/27, 8 p.m.; $5)

The next night brings Homo Stanzas, “an LGBTQ+ Spoken Word Extravaganza of Comedy & Poetry” hosted by Regie Cabico & Casey Catherine Moore and featuring D.C.-born, Baltimore-based queer comedian Kenny Rooster (aka drag act Dickolas Cage) and four poets competing in a poetry slam. (4/28, 6 p.m.; $15)

Drag Queen Storytime, “D.C.’s only drag storytime brunch for the kids and the kids at heart,” features readings by Tara Hoot, with a portion of proceeds benefiting An Open Book Foundation, providing books for classrooms. (4/29, 10 a.m.; $5)

Mx. Tator Tot Pageant is a “comedy and camp competition” also billed as a “drag competition unlike any in D.C.,” hosted by Logan Stone and Tara Hoot with music by DJ Phil Reese. (4/29, 7 p.m.)

Crazy Aunt Helen’s is at 713 8th St. SE. Visit or call 202-750-8140.

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