Interview: Mariah ... & Friendz!

"The story of how Mariah & Friendz went from a small show every 3 months to selling out Bethnal Green Working Men's Club monthly"

OutSavvy chats to Crystal Beth, producer and performer at Mariah & Friendz, London's favourite queer cabaret night and dance party.

Hi Crystal, tell us, how did you come up with the incredible Mariah & Friendz?

I used to run neo-burlesque shows in Montreal and wanted to bring some of that to London, but with a real pop-culture twist. “Mariah & Friendz” was the name of a mix CD a friend had in college – we were brainstorming names for the night and it came up naturally! I’ve always been horrified/fascinated by Mariah Carey…..

What is your involvement today?

I do it all; produce, perform, market, etc! We’ve got a super tight-knit team that are involved in every show, including our host, Baby Lame and our superstar DJs Love’n’Gold the people who haven't been, what can they expect from a Mariah & Friendz show?

We call ourselves a hot-mess mix of drag, cabaret and burlesque. Basically, in-your-face live acts and amazing pop-tunes, and loads of references to Mimi (she's kind of like our muse for the evening  - deluded, self-involved and rubbish lip-syncing!) We start with a high-energy show and then give the floor over to dancing.

How has the event evolved from the first event?

My god. That first show. My makeup for starters!

We’ve gone from small shows every 3 months to selling out the BGWMC monthly – so our following has definitely increased! We’ve also built a real family of regular performers, from established to newcomers – it’s been amazing watching them grow and change.

We have to ask, which act got the most gasps out of the audience so far, what happened?

Miss Cairo, fully naked, did a handspring landing with legs wrapped around a surprised punter’s face…..

Runner Up – MisSa Blue’s sword swallowing – she always gives a cheeky wink to the audience when she’s hilt-deep!

Is Mariah Carey your favourite diva?


Most hilarious moment so far?

We took the show to Burning Man last year, and you can imagine the complications of putting on a show in the middle of the desert. 8 costume changes in the back of a U-Haul, a stage made of wooden pallets falling apart mid-show, and sound system gradually filling with dust…. It. Was. CHAOS.

What is on the menu for the next event, April Fools?

We’re celebrating our favourite clown-in-a-gown by taking Mimi to the circus! Expect death-defying stunts, dancing bears (cruelty-free via Vauxhall), mincing mimes and fire-breathing femme fatales (with beards!).

Last but not least: We want gossip! We want gossip!

Baby Lame puts her wigs in a washing machine, but they still stink like a bag of dicks!

Don't miss Mariah & Friendz at Bethnal Green Working Men's Club, Saturday 3rd June. Click here to book your ticket!

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