To get to this gorgeous venue, you step carefully down a dark little staircase lit by big silver candelabras, past walls covered in beautiful photos of glamorous people (...and one of me. Sorry.) and there it is..all smoky atmosphere (thanks to the dry ice), soft warm lights, clinky cocktails and a cool fellow tinkling the ivories pre-show on the stage.
At the moment I'm filling the special guest variety performer position in their new show "Decades". There's a great core cast of dancers, who work their buns off doing group numbers and solos, but the evening is held together by the brilliant Coco DuBois. I can throw around all the hats I like, and the dancers can shimmy until they've got nothing left to shimmy, but this is Coco's show, and we're all just the palate cleansers in between courses of her foundation-shaking belters. Girl can wail, to quote Wayne's World.
I've decided that when I do clubs like Proud, I'm the alibi act. I'll explain. Imagine Person 1 went to the Proud show, and Person 2 is their partner at home, who didn't. The gender's are unimportant. Here's the conversation the next morning...
Person 1: No, it wasn't a strip joint
Person 2: Oh really?
Person 1: Really. It's a floor show. Cabaret. Burlesque.
Person 2: Let me ask you this - were there women dancing around and taking their clothes off?
Person 1: Yes.
Person 2: Were there men dancing around and taking their clothes off?
Person 1: Yes.
Person 2: You went to a strip club!
Person 1: No. Wait. There was a juggler.
See what I'm saying?
Oh yes, and still keep the 9th of February free. Soon there will be news about this. But it's shaping up very well. Very well indeed.