Portland drag performer Cherry Lemonade is part of a duo doing traveling drag shows. Photo courtesy of Cherry Lemonade

Divas in your driveway? Singers on your sidewalk? Guitarists on your grass?

All these things and more can be yours, thanks to some enterprising Maine performers who have decided that if you can’t come to a show – pandemic and all – then they will bring the show to you. You have the power to become your own booking agent, with your yard as your venue. Your choices for these at-home shows include drag queens, comedians, musicians and even Slugger the Sea Dog, mascot of the Portland Sea Dogs baseball team.

Most performance venues closed in March, while some plan to open for outdoor or very small shows in June. But if you can’t wait, or aren’t ready to go out to a public space yet, a home show might be a good option. As of June 1, gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed, so it doesn’t really have to be a super small show. But if you’re more comfortable with super small, it’s your call.

Prices range from $50 for the drag show to $300 or more if you want a show with several comedians. Remember, if you have 10 guests, or more, you can split the costs. Here then are a few of the performers willing to bring their show on the road – specifically, on your road in front of your house.

DRIVEWAY DIVAS

Portland drag performers Cherry Lemonade and Gigi Gabor are calling their traveling show “2 Queens, 1 Driveway.” The duo, whose real names are Conor Tubbs and Gordon Renell, are well-known in Portland’s drag scene, performing often at Blackstones in Portland, among other venues. For $50, they’ll pull up to your house with their custom-decorated party truck and their own music and sound system. They’ll perform for about 20-30 minutes, each lip-syncing to two songs, and then combining on a duet. Tubbs says the performers will keep their distance – 6 feet at least – from the audience and, for now, are booking shows of 10 people or less. The show might include some live singing – Tubbs is not sure yet – and, if so, he said he’ll consider a face shield or other ways to keep people safe.

The shows are family-friendly, sexy and campy but not “risque,” Tubbs said. The duo is booking shows for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in Greater Portland, and on specific days in other parts of southern Maine, for an additional $15. Electronic-only tipping is welcome. For more information or to book a show, email [email protected].

Portland comedian Dennis Fogg will come to your home to make you laugh. Photo courtesy of Dennis Fogg

COMICS AT YOUR DOOR

Doing private shows at somebody’s house, or camp, is nothing new to Portland comedian Dennis Fogg. Last year, he performed from a personal watercraft in a lake while his audience laughed it up in boats surrounding him. Not only are his normal indoor venues closed, the pandemic forced him to permanently close his South Portland restaurant, Uncle Andy’s Diner, so he’s got time on his hands. Fogg charges $100 per comedian for home shows, with each comic doing 35- to 45-minute sets. You can book just one comedian, or Fogg will arrange for one or two others to join him. He’ll do whatever kind of show people want in terms of the jokes – clean or not so much – and follow safety guidelines. He said he’d consider wearing a clear face shield or putting up some sort of shield, but would probably not want to wear a mask, since facial expressions are crucial to his comedy. For more information on booking, see Dennis Fogg on Facebook. 

Portland comic Ian Stuart is also offering home shows, starting at $175. The shows can range from 45 minutes to two hours and usually feature two to three comedians, Stuart said. The shows can be clean if desired, and Stuart will also tailor a personal “roast” if there’s someone you really want made fun of. For information, go to IanStuartComedy.com and for booking email [email protected].

Slugger the Sea Dog is available for parties and events. Photo courtesy of the Portland Sea Dogs

HERE’S SLUGGER

Slugger the Sea Dog, mascot of the Portland Sea Dogs baseball team, has been booking appearances – birthday parties, anniversaries, etc. – since before the pandemic. But since the baseball season is on hold, hiring Slugger to come to your home is a way get that ol’ ballpark feel, and bring a smile to people’s faces. The price starts at $45 and depends on how far your place is from Hadlock Field and if you want Slugger to bring Sea Dogs souvenir gifts for the guests, said Tim Jorn, mascot coordinator for the team. The visits are around five minutes long, follow all health guidelines and consist of the silent slugger dancing to a song and then tossing presents to folks. Lately, Slugger has been making appearances in the drive-by parades that have become popular during this time of social distancing, celebrating birthdays, anniversaries or other events. For more information and booking, go to the Slugger section of the Sea Dogs’ website.

MUSIC TO STAY HOME TO

With so many musicians having their gigs canceled, you may want to see if some of your favorite local performers are doing home visits. Auburn-based singer and guitarist Ron Bergeron is booking himself for home concerts right now, for a minimum price of $150. Bergeron plays acoustic guitar and sings, with a repertoire of covers that includes some 1,200 songs, including pop and classic rock. He says his shows are typically three hours, but can range from one to six hours, and he can bring a sound system suitable for larger areas. For information and booking, go to RonBergeronMusic.com.


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