For one glorious night we were transported to a gone-by era and treated to a show royale.
When I received an invitation to go to the Hamburger Mary’s sponsored drag show at the Historic Cheyenne Saloon I jumped at the idea. Not only because hamburger Mary’s (http://hamburgermarys.com/orlando/) has great shows regularly, but they are a proud sponsor of GLBT events like this.
The History is interesting. It starts with the Old Orlando Railroad Station renamed “Church Street Station” which became home to Rosie o’ Gradies bar and restaurant, and other shops. A must stop place for tourists and locals to party hardy in the 80’s and 90’s. That gave birth to the Cheyenne Saloon across the street with an elevated interconnection above the street.
I could write an entire article on the history of the Cheyenne Saloon because it is grand, and is designed to duplicate an old time Western Saloon.
The Saloon closed in 2009 and has seen a spark of life that has come and gone since. The locals hope for a re-birth some day, maybe to satisfy a yearning to see a return of the days of splendor, where it was a place to see beautiful shows and gather with friends.
For one night, on December 30, 2012 it came alive again with a fabulous drag show accomplanied by deafening D.J music. Who would imagine the saloon and opera house would play host to the GLBT community? I can! Knowing the splendor of this place I knew it would be exciting, and I was not disappointed.
The middle stage raises and lowers (hydraulically) to provide more dance space or stage area for a large cast. The beautiful opposing staircases provides a grand entrance to any performer, such as the two beautiful ladies shown below.
Featured performances included numbers from such musical treats as Hair, Hairspray, Oliver and more. I have seen a lot of Drag shows, but this was the best collaboration of talent I'd ever experienced in Central Florida. The “Broadway Babes” Minx and Ginger Minj were awesome (two on the stars).
The show continued for seemed like hours and then ended with a wonderful dazzling finish.
Afterwards, there were photos and hugs with the cast, very cool. Following that it was DJ Cap’n Kirk spinning all the party favorites, and there was dancing. That’s where I was able to bring the December chill some heat!
I danced until closing call. It was a somber note for me knowing this musical piece of history would fall silent again. It seems to be a place so magnificent and beautiful and yet an outcast in today’s time.
So now it’s New Years Eve and my partying was last night. That is how I will remember 2012! It is a fitting end to a year of personal triumphs for me, and a story left untold for the Cheyenne Saloon & Opera house.
About the Cheyenne Saloon & Opera House
The saloon is a magnificent re-creation of a Western Saloon in the grandest tradition located in the Historic Orlando Church Street area. Completed in 1982 after 2 ½ years of construction it is an amazing structure known as the Cheyenne Saloon and Opera House.
Cheyenne Saloon and Opera House boasts three breathtaking levels of five fabulous bars, a hydraulic stage, and horseshoe-shaped dance floor. The second floor boasts two levels of rail seating overlooking the first floor, and outdoor balcony seating off of the North Cigar Bar.
The Cheyenne Saloon is made up of over 250,000 board feet of golden oak lumber from a century-old Ohio barn. It took more than 50 craftsmen nearly two and a half years to construct. Mortise and Tennon trusses were erected for ceiling support, built without bolts or plates in Old World Tradition. More than 5000 spindles grace the tri-level building, as well as carved rails, banisters, and balustrades, all hand made on-site.
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