Pickle takes over the spotlight May 2 with her one-woman cabaret show at One Eleven bar in Cathedral City. She will return for two more shows, May 16 and May 30.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY ONE ELEVEN BAR
If he had been pressed to name one person who would be part of two of perhaps the biggest moments in his life, John Wiersma would have never guessed a drag queen named Pickle.
But there she (aka Joe Faragher) was, performing at his wedding to husband Greg and then helping him mark his part-ownership of the newly renovated One Eleven Bar in Cathedral City this month.
Pickle brought her “Pickle’s Follies” act to help christen the revamped stage area inside the bar, which has been a mainstay of the LGBTQ community for more than three decades. She hopes to add more shows down the road.
Wiersma used to see Pickle perform at the Flaming Saddle in West Hollywood, and he thought her cabaret-style show ranging from singing, dancing, and comedy, would be a perfect fit for the One Eleven.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY ONE ELEVEN BAR
Pickle describes her "Pickle's Follies" as song and dance from old musicals, especially Sweet Charity.
“We love her because she's the unusual drag queen that does it all,” Wiersma says. “So I think that her style of entertainment fits in really well with our bar — live entertainment and a variety show act. And she's funny, she connects well with our audiences. So I think it has to be something fresh and new that people haven't seen, but fits in well with our bar.”
For her part, Pickle is loving the desert. “I have a lot of memories from my childhood,” she says. “My grandfather had a condo in Palm Springs where we visited at weekends. Later I kept on visiting Palm Springs. I really love the whole vibe, and I love Palm Springs style, the sort of like wicker, and the smell of desert and pools.”
Palm Springs Life spoke further with Pickle.
What was the attraction to bringing your show to the desert?
I was really attracted by the offer to perform out there. I love performing for the gay community. I also love performing for the older members of the gay community as well, because they tend to get more or my references, because I’m kind of an old-school girl.”
What can audiences expect to see during your show?
The cabaret show will have lot of songs and dance from the old musicals. I'm structuring it around the musical Sweet Charity. It'll be like seeing an old school kind of drag cabaret review. I am singing live! I do not lip sync. I also have the tendency to bring in some of my personal experiences, into my work. So I would expect a loose plot, a lot of songs, and a good time.
Is the cabaret show a temporary event to promote the reopening of the bar or are you creating a more permanent show going forward?
Depending on the audience reaction and the response we'll see how to move forward. I would definitely anticipate coming back and doing more shows. If I do come back, I probably will build a new show.
If it is permanent, will there be more performers featured going forward?
I definitely plan on bringing guest performers. I love working with guests. I always try to bring the best performers in, because I think it's fun. I think that people can definitely anticipate a future with lots of different queens and different singers and dancers.
What have the last 14 months been like for you since the shutdown?
The shutdown has been kind of a twofold. It's been really challenging for the same reasons that I think it's been challenging for everyone. The lack of security, especially financially has been challenging, but also the general fear, and the sadness for the loss of so many lives. I tend to be a glass-is-half full kind of person. Which is also one reason why I chose Sweet Charity as the first musical that I’m exploring, because it’s about this eternal optimist.
You appeared and won your episode on Dodgeball Thunderdome in September 2020. How did you get a spot on that show? Was there any reluctance on the part of the show’s producers to enlist a drag queen? What did the experience teach you? How has it helped your career?
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY PICKLE DRAG QUEEN
Dodgeball Thunderdome was such a wonderful experience, and definitely not an experience that I anticipated participating in. They reached out to me, because they specifically wanted a drag queen on the show. I was really touched, because the entertainment landscape is so different now compared to 10 years ago; they actively were looking for a drag queen to participate. There was definitely no hesitation on their part. There was hesitation on my part, because it was essentially an obstacle course.
It was definitely a nonconventional thing for me to do in drag. It was such a freeing experience, getting down and dirty in the mud really taught me what my work, as drag queen, is all about. They brought me back to the joy, what I love about drag, which is that it's just fun, and it doesn't have to be polished, and it doesn't have to look a certain way. It just has to touch people and spread joy. The people really enjoyed having me there, and it was really a heartwarming experience.”
Under current Covid precautions, capacity inside the One Eleven is limited to 30 people for cabaret shows.