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Hollywood

Queen of Queens ~ Boys Night at Club Arena ~ Hollywood

9:05 AM PDT on August 22, 2006

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Arena Nightclub ~ Boy's Night ~ Saturdays 

6655 Santa Monica Blvd. ~ 323-462-1291 ~ Hollywood, CA  90038

Boys Night at Hollywood is on fire. There are no two ways about it. After being there on a Saturday night, I couldn’t help taking that Black Eyed Peas tune (which I usually avoid humming at all costs because of my sociopolitical hang-ups about ethnic fetishes) and instead sing the following:

Mexican boys, Mexican boys, (yo quiero)…
Boys, boys, Latin boys
Latin boys, What's happenin' boys?

My, oh my, were there Latino men there, hundreds of them. Tight pants, tweezed eyebrows, dance steps that would make Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation secede, and finally, a love for and fascination with the main attraction of the night: the drag queen show. Luckily for me, I was able to get front row seating with little push and shove.

Being a woman at these places has one great benefit: nobody notices or cares what I do. I had no problem whatsoever being sandwiched in between groping couples bumping into me so long as I could gawk at the performers as closely as I did. I placed my elbows on the wooden ledge surrounding the stage, and I rested my face on my hands like the thirsty voyeur that I was.....

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Drag queens, female impersonators, the transgendered, transsexuals, transvestites, Male to Female/F to M, call it what you will, these girls were hot. Did you get that? Hot. The main stage is located at the east end of a 22,000-sq. ft. ice factory turned nightclub with viewing posts from both the 1st and 2nd floors. It has all the works: lights, cameras, and serious action.

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The show started off with Rocio Durcal in a long, tight-fitting sparkling gown with a cut down to the small of her back. She was the kind of act that took the audience back to duets with Juan Gabriel in the 70’s, those mega hits from Mexico spread throughout the lands and decades, and into the now. It is the year two thousand and six, and the twenty-somethings are still lisp-synching to Volver a verte. Next was Alejandra Guzman, (the Alejandra of the 80’s) with a mullet, that ballerina twirl routine under white gauzy curtains surrounding her, and a hoarse voice belching out chick pop rock.

My personal favorite was the closing act, Thalia, la Señorita Pujidos. This Thalia had the moves down—the walk, the facial expressions, the smile—and she had a booty that could go thu-thump-thu-thump-thump. I wanted to bring her home with me, but I settled for the kiss on the cheek she gave me after I tipped her onstage. I’ve been swooning ever since. Where I once considered myself a woman, I seriously questioned the legitimacy of that belief when I saw this Thalia impersonator take the essence of womanhood, run it off a cliff, and into a explosion of glam dynamite. Hot damn, I bow down to her.

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The Arena really makes sense, and I am going to tell you why. In Latin, arena means “sand” and this was the primary ingredient used for the surface on which gladiators battled wild animals and wrestled each other. The sand was particularly useful to absorb blood after hard blows. The Arena nightclub in Hollywood is similarly raw, primal, and raging at this wild drag extravaganza. You are prone to draw some blood in the midst of all of this excitement.

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