Nellie: “We Built This City on Poutine and Stripteases”

11 11 2008

Many of you may not have known this, but a small troupe of us hit up Montreal last weekend to perform at the Haunted Ho-Down with our friends and the darlings of Montreal, the Dead Doll Dancers. Colette, Erin, Marina and myself trekked up in two cars, chairs in tow, to perform Mein Herr and Backdoor Man for a packed house at Cafe Cleopatra.

It was AWESOME.

I cannot speak to Marina and Colette’s journey, though I know they had some trouble getting into Canada due to the aforementioned chairs and the hassle of having to tell the border guards that they were performing. Since Erin and I couldn’t take time off of work, we got up at ass o’clock and let Boston at 6:30 am. We got to fudge a bit with the border patrol and tell them we were just staying with friends so, though neither of us has a passport, we got through in about five minutes – though we did learn that when the border guard asks you if you’re carrying more than $10,000 in currency, do not laugh.

We arrived in the fair city at around 12:30 and, since we had to meet Jana, a Dead Doll Dancer and our lovely homestay host, at the club at around 1:30, we just went straight there. We realized that there are hot dog joints on every corner, which, while a little strange, was totally awesome. We got hot dogs for lunch and then we went lingerie shopping. Yes, lingerie shopping. We both bought superhot corsets (the same corset, actually…they’re reversible!), and then it was time to head to the club.

And let me just break up this recap to saying something super quick – everyone in Montreal is RIDICULOUSLY ATTRACTIVE. That is not a joke. That is not an exaggeration. There is something in the water there that just makes everyone smokin’ hot.

We got to the club in the middle of drag queen rehearsal. Natalie, the queen of the Dead Dolls (she has a more official title, I’m sure..but queen seems about right.  she’s awesome.), showed us where to put our stuff and warned us not to mess with the drag queens.  Actually, I’m pretty sure the conversation went like this:

Natalie: And here’s where you put your stuff. That area is for the drag queens. Do not go in there. Do not even look in there. Avert your eyes and all that. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you why.
Erin and Nellie: Yes, we’re familiar with drag queens.
Natalie: Oh, good. That’ll save us some time.

So we hung out for a bit, got keys from Jana, and then Marina and Colette showed up to rehearse/tech. The other performers were nice enough to let us have an hour on the stage to make sure we were comfortable in the setting, and then it was time to tech. Since the backstage/green room area is upstairs, this was the only chance we were really going to have to see the show, which was both a little sad, but also exciting. So we watched everyone run through their numbers, and as new performers, Erin and I feel completely in love with the Dead Dolls, who had already charmed the pants off of Marina and Colette.

I knew for certain that I loved Montreal when Nora, the awesome stage manager and all-around bad ass promoter of Faggoty-Ass Fridays, was telling us about her fliers and the experiences her interns had in distributing them:

Nora: So we have this flier of one lesbian fucking another one from behind with a strap-on, and the one doing the fucking is reaching into the other one’s head and tearing out her brains to eat them. This old guy approached my intern and berated her for passing these out in public.
Natalie: He got upset about those?  Seriously?
Nora: Yes. He was very concerned that the sex may have been non-consensual. I guess next time she’ll just have to be flashing the thumbs-up.

Awesome.

Erin and I thought we’d have a chance to go to Jana’s and drop our stuff off, but we didn’t. We finished tech, and there was just enough time to grab dinner and get ready for the show. We headed to…Subway…for dinner. WHATEVER, DON’T JUDGE. The guy working the counter was skeptical the Colette actually wanted a foot-long (I’ve never heard “Yes, a foot-long”) so much in my life. And then it was back to the club. We got ready. There were performers and costumes everywhere, and a ridiculously attractive MC walking around in assless chaps with kiss marks on said ass.  It was awesome.

The show was amazing. The crowd totally ate us up. The other performers were incredibly lovely people (and did I mention smokin’ hot?). The Dead Dolls especially are hilarious, completely disgusting and insanely gorgeous. The only thing that could have made it better is if all of you had been there.

Post-show, we went to an all-night poutine joint and I had my very first plate of poutine, which was delicious.

We then tiredly wound our way to Jana’s house (finally), where we were greeted by our most gracious hostess and her boyfriend, who had a bed, fresh towels, and candy waiting for us. So not only is everyone hot, they’re also sweet and thoughtful. I never wanted to leave.

We got up at ass o’clock again (okay, 9 am. which, after the car trip, performance, and 5:30 am wake up call the day before, is pretty fucking early) and met Marina and Colette for some brunch, which was also amazing.

SO.  If you made it all the way through this, you deserve a cookie. I don’t have any to give you, but know that you deserve one.

Closing thoughts:

1) Montreal is awesome, and I never wanted to leave.
2) Everything tastes better in Canada, because they use liquid sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup.
3) Did I mention the pretty?
4) Having a GPS is a lifesaver.
5) People were thanking us all day for electing Obama. That is not a joke.
6) I can’t wait to go back.

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