April 10th, 2012 by Nina with No Comments
A spoof of a spoof. Get into it!
March 8th, 2012 by Nina with No Comments
All four in one place!
March 8th, 2012 by Nina with No Comments
September 16th, 2011 by Nina with 1 Comment
The next chaper in this Halloween drag saga is unfolding in just over one month at Axis Nightclub. We are all so excited to add a little spookiness to the holiday season!
September 6th, 2011 by Nina with 1 Comment
I am so excited to announce the cast of my upcoming Halloween show, Heels of Horror: A Nightmare On High Street. The cast features some of Columbus’ favorite entertainers, ready to scare you into the spirit of the season!
The cast of ghouls will feature the amazing talents of Virginia West, Maria Garrison, Freesia Balls, Candi Panties, Kari Kerning, Chutney Sinclair, and the Candy Corn Drops — Mark Bryan, Julie Hazlett, Jason Tanner, Lydia Feddern, and Jamie Sommer.
Nina! Heels of Horror IV: A Nightmare on High Street is sponsored by Miller/Coors, 3 Olives Vodka, Axis Nightclub, Union Cafe.
The show will play Axis Nightclub Friday, October 21 at 8 pm, Saturday, October 22 at 6pm and 10pm, Saturday, October 29 at 4 pm and 8 pm, and Sunday, October 30 at 8 pm. Doors will open one hour prior to each performance. Tables will be available for sale beginning September 12 at Union Cafe or by calling 614-421-2233. Tables will also be available for online purchase beginning September 15. You can also contact any cast member to purchase tables or receive any more information about the show!
In the spirit of Halloween, table seating has been divided in 5 comfortable areas– mezzanine, front row, booth seating, regular tables, and an all new SPLATTER ZONE!
We promise a bloody good time!
April 7th, 2011 by Nina with No Comments
We are just a few days out from our closing show. I am lost in emotion. I finally know what that Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam song means! I have been trying to sit down for a few days now and write this. I have had a block. I know that so many times, I write a post-show blog, and kinda wrap up the process for myself, both mentally and emotionally. For whatever reason, I have not been able to do that with this show.
What the Playhouse Means to Me
I remember the very first time I met Pee Wee Herman. My sister Emily brought home Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure on VHS. I wanted my breakfast served like that every morning. I wanted a dog like Speck. I wanted to live in a house with those crazy sprinklers. I wanted that bike. I wanted to prove to the world there was a basement in the Alamo and that is where the bike was all along. I remember that I began to think bigger when I met Pee-Wee. And then, Saturday’s for me were changed forever when a show called Pee-Wee’s Playhouse came on. The dreams got bigger. It was like Pee-Wee was working in tandem with my other favorite thing in the world, The Muppets. I mean, here was this “kid” who lived in this world where he could talk to a chair, a globe, a pterydactyl, a cow…and more. It was like heaven.
And, as I have written before and featured in this month’s Cue Magazine, the Playhouse to me represented this safe place where anyone could be themselves. They could come as they were, and be invited to play in the Playhouse. And from time to time, Pee-Wee would address and look at you…Sure, it may not have been specifically, but it felt as though it was. Pee-Wee was the adult kid who got me. Who was the one who said that it was ok to b e yourself and ok to dream big. He also taught me how to make frozen juice cubes.
About two years ago, I began to think about some shows I wanted to do. I had made the decision at this point to continue on with the Heels of Horror show for the next few Octobers for sure. I was also coming the end of my reign as National Entertainer of the Year. I had such a fantastic reign, but I knew that for the next couple of years, at least, i was going to really focus on making truly ridiculous magic. I began to focus on my March show and thinking about what would make it completely colorful and ridiculous. The initial idea for a Playhouse-themed show came when I went on a little getaway with my friend Patricia. I kept talking about wanting a talking chair, like my old pal Pee-Wee, and the rest is history.
Over the last 10 months, I have been revisiting the Playhouse. I watched every episode. I read every article. I poured over character sketches of the Playhouse. I knew this idea was very “Nina”, but I also wanted to make sure that I didn’t copy Paul Reubens. Rather, I really wanted to do a sort of tribute to him. I wanted to maintain the identity of FUN, but make it Nina.
I have to tell you that, from the beginning of production on this show, the cast and crew of this show were absolutely essential. I have never worked with such caring and loving people who also possess the most amazing talents. So much of this show came together over laughs and conversations over coffee. I will say this a million more times I am sure, but I just have to be very clear that I could not have accomplished this show or this dream without these amazing people who went on this journey with me.
So much of this show was trying to establish and come up with new and interesting characters. These characters had to be familiar enough to our crowd though, so it shaped into something fun. Thank you to John and Christian for really helping me visualize so many of these puppets and bringing to life something I saw in my head.
What was also inportant to me, for this show, was establishing the boundaries and making a safe space to work on this creation of the playhouse. The cast, these crazy kids of the playhouse gang, had to feel like they could trust me and one another. And with the implementation of safety boundaries, I wanted to ensure that their world and creation would be limitless and boundless, as long as they felt safe and felt the trust. And this happened. We always speak of how we are a family of performers, but I can honestly never felt closer with people. I don’t throw around my emotions and I don’t throw around the word family, but I can tell you that this group of about 20 people have become my brothers and sisters. Sure, there is the construction of a drag family inside all of this, but outside of that, we have a genuine love and affection for each other, and when push comes to shove, we are there no matter the situation. And there is an unspoken understanding and solidarity.
As someone who is not too close with my biological family, this amazing group of people have made me feel as though I can come as I am and not have to make excuses or make apologies for what I come to the table with and as who I am. It is the most freeing feeling. AND THAT is what the show was all about. Come as you are, leave as you are, and in the process, hold your head a little higher.
Will there be another Playhouse? I like to think that my career has been a proverbial playhouse. Sometimes, I have struggled to find out what friends would be good to come over and play. Sometimes, I have played the game with other friends and lost. BUT, I have also made lasting relationships and had serious FUN. So, my goal is to keep the proverbial Playhouse alive as much and as long as I can. And maybe, just maybe, there will be another installment of Nina’s Playhouse. Inspiration and timing are everything. I am so proud of the work that was done and so proud that I have made Columbus proud. I am honored to be able to do what I do and with the people I do it with.
VIVA LA PLAYHOUSE.
January 26th, 2011 by Nina with 1 Comment
One of my favorite events of the year is right around the corner – MISS HAVANA! This is one of the great events that showcases new talent and certainly gets people talking. Last year, 16 competed for the title of Columbus’ new comedy queen, and one gal walked away with the crown. Congratulations to Miss Kari Kerning, Miss Havana 2010, for filling 2010 with honestly hilarious performances. The next Miss Havana has large shoes to fill, literally. Size 14 in drag, right?
I wanted to take a moment to post a blog about the rules and the judging guidelines for all of our lovely contestants. First, if you are interested in competing for Miss Havana this Friday night, you still have time to get your application in at Havana Video Lounge! Registration will be cut off tonight at 11 pm at Havana. Please turn in your registration form to the bar staff.
For registered contestants, please arrive at Havana Video Lounge by 9 pm on Friday, January 28. All contestants must meet in the HAVANA CIGAR ROOM to sign in at 9 pm. Once contestants have signed in with me at 9 pm in the HAVANA CIGAR ROOM, they will be permitted to enter the dressing room. No one can enter the dressing room until they have signed in. The only people allowed in the dressing room are the contestants. We will not allow dressers, dancers, friends, assistants, mothers, brothers, uncles, cousins, or your loyal puppy in the dressing you. Dancers, dressers, and support can wait upstairs for contestants and assist once you as the contestant are out of the dressing room.
There are two parts to the contest – TALENT and On-Stage Question/Drag Suicide. Every contestant will perform in the TALENT portion of the contest. Talent is judged on “Showmanship”, “Choreography” (physical condition, stage presence), and “Quality” (lip-synch, live vocal, comedy, laughs, etc.) The highest scoring contestants will move on to the On-Stage Question/Drag Suicide portion of the contest. In the event of a tie, the amount of tips taken during the talent portion will break said tie. That means, get your friends out to tip the shit outta ya, ladies. Exactly one half of the total number of registered contestants will compete for the second portion of the contest.
Contestants, if you have any question at all, please feel free to contact me! We are all very excited to see what each of you bring and more than anything we are all ready to laugh!!
December 15th, 2010 by Nina with No Comments
Christmas is an undeniably magical time of the year. What happened this past weekend was right in line with the spirit of the season. I speak for Virginia and myself and say THANK YOU to each and every person who came to Nina and Virginia’s Christmas Special and made our holidays so enchanting.
This Christmas show was a departure from what we had been doing for the last 3 years. While Miss Peppermint Stick was an unconventional Christmas pageant that was so much fun and full of hilarity, Virginia and I decided that we really wanted to go back to some of the more classic themes of Christmas. It is not to say that Miss Peppermint Stick is gone forever, but we definitely needed a break from it and needed to feel that we were sharing in the magic of the season.
From our cast to our amazing sponsors to our outstanding friends and supporters who came to the show, this was unlike any holiday show experience I had personally ever had. I must take the time out to thank all of those amazing people who helped us pull this show together.
Virginia, thank you so much for continuing to go on these ridiculously fun and enriching journeys with me and allowing me to share them with you. I am so excited for February. Thank you for making this experience for me. I love you, my cohort, partner in crime, drag mama, and best friend.
Freesia, thank you for giving so much of yourself to this show and having so much fun with me. You continually amaze and inspire me and I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for you. And thank you for sharing your dick in a box with me. BANANA.
Natasha, thank you for being you. Thank you for always striving for perfection and in the same breath laughing the entire way. You are so talented and so wonderful!! I am so glad we got to share another process together and cannot wait to share the experience of February together! And ma’am, your panties are showing. ;P
Sandy, thank you for continually giving when you weren’t even asked. You are selfless, caring, and loving. Thank you for the late, late, late recording session, and thank you for cackling with us at all of it. CHARO! Coochie COO!
Eva, thank you for coming back even better than before and making this process so enjoyable. I love you, your energy, and your trust. Thank you for bringing YOU to this show. Now, raise your glass, bitch.
Chutney, thank you for always being willing to do ANYTHING. Your mind never stopped on what had to be done and you were right there every step of the way to help us get it all done. Thank you for giving your time and talent to the show. Congrats on the first of many! SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…
Vivian, thank you for joining our crazy family and fitting right in. Thank you for the laughs, the jokes, all of the hard work, and all of the love. And damn those cookies were good! (THANK YOU TOM!) I am so proud of what you have accomplished in such a short period and cannot wait to watch you grow even more. There will never be a Yukon Cornelius like you.
Major thank you’s to Courtney & Kira. Thank you for giving up your weekend to help us look amazing and make those changes. You made this show run flawlessly backstage. Also, a huge thank you to Jason Pirucki. Thank you for working with us on the light changes and keeping that show moving from start to finish. I love you so much! BIG BIG THANKS to Robert Younkman and the staff of Axis, Michael Phallen, Patrick Howell, James Duff, Jeff Schrecengost, Fancy Punasti, Matt Erhard, Patricia Taylor, Shaun Whybark, and Nate Feeney.
Thank you to our sponsors and friends who supported this show: Axis Nightclub, Union Cafe, FindFred.com, TaterTot Studios, Call Management Resources, 3 Dog Bakery.
But, it should be said, there would be no one to thank if you, our friends, didn’t come and support the show. THANK YOU to each and every person who came to the show and took time out of their busy holiday schedules to share the season with Virginia, myself, and the cast of Christmas Special.
Our new show season kicks off in February with Virginia’s next major production! The dates are February 5, 11, 12, and 13 at Axis Nightclub. Watch Virginia’s Facebook page for details and announcements! I will be doing some updates here as well once she announces her fantastic cast!
Also, save the dates as I will be bringing a new production to Axis in March! March 25-27! There may be more shows added!
AGAIN, thank you so much for making our holiday season so bright with your love, energy, and support of our shows! We hope to knock you outta the park with our 2011 show schedule!