Friday, April 6, 2001

Welcome to the Black Guard’s “Black Frost 24”

(Slated for Lavender Magazine, Issue #153, April 6, 2001 but not published)

This year’s theme: Who Murdered Broadway?

Welcome to everyone visiting the Twin Cities for this weekend’s (April 6-8) Black Frost 24. This year’s theme is “Who Murdered Broadway?” and the entire run revolves around a murder mystery which run participants must solve. It seems there has been a killing at the Lavender Flamingo; the main character of the mystery was planning to compete in a female impersonator contest until someone stuffed Baby Snooks’ wig down her throat. Whodunit? And what was their motive?

Your hosts, the members of the Black Guard of Minneapolis, are characters in the mystery; ask them probing questions and they may respond with clues. Sleuths may also find clues during escorted tours to Minneapolis and St. Paul bars and at other run events throughout the weekend.

The Black Guard of Minneapolis was named by Drummer Magazine as “the best show club in the U.S.,” and at Saturday night’s (April 7) run banquet and show the Black Guard will prove once again that leathermen can be tough guys and still love Broadway showtunes. This year’s show is being produced by Black Guard vice president Steve Katz and directed by Black Guard treasurer (and webmaster) Carl Gscheidemeier. Every Guard member will make an appearance onstage for this show, as will several alumni members.

The “Who Murdered Broadway?” show features songs by Los Angeles-based songwriter Billy Barnes, who has penned material for such show-biz divas as Carol Burnett, Barbra Streisand and Joanne Worley. In the show, several aging Broadway divas reminisce about the ups and downs of their careers on the stage, comparing Old Broadway (I presume they’re talking about Rodgers & Hammerstein, David Merrick, Harold Prince, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim) with New Broadway (helicopters, smashing chandeliers, Disney and Andrew Lloyd Webber). Also included in the show are numbers from Forbidden Broadway and from two shows that recently opened on Broadway, The Class Act and Success.

Locals take note: With so many new faces in town for the run, this is not the weekend to stay home. This would be a good weekend to, as Sally Bowles sang in Cabaret, “put down the knitting, the book and the broom” and go out. Even if you’re not attending the whole run, you can still get Saturday-evening show-only tickets at the door for $10; for more information call Colin.

By the way, after this year’s run the members of the Black Guard will turn their attention toward preparing for next year’s Black Frost 25—their club’s silver anniversary. Big plans are being made, and the club’s website ( suggests you might want to have a tux ready.

Upcoming Leather Events (for Calendar section)

Saturday, Apr. 14: Atons Leather/Levi Night at Rudolph’s Barbeque (corner of Franklin and Lyndale in south Minneapolis. Drinks at 7:00 PM, dinner at 7:30 PM. Presented by the Atons, open to all; call for reservations.

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