She Haw Brings Campy Comedy Drag to West Nashville

Nashville is a town known for its drag. Local bar owners and promoters spawned some of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious drag pageants in the country, and supports quality drag shows at multiple venues. But She Haw is moving into fresh territory, as this new comedy, camp drag show—to be held the last Saturday of each month—is bringing drag into a West Nashville venue, The Stone Fox, which isn’t specifically LGBT.

Tammy Whynot, one of the show’s headlining queens, said “What's great about The Stone Fox is first of all its unique charm. That and it's not specifically a gay venue. There hasn't really been anything done [in terms of drag] that is easily accessible to people in West Nashville and areas like Bellevue, so we've been excited to bring that side of town. Places like East Nashville and Midtown are typically very open and accepting of the LGBT community, but this was a chance to encourage even more of that mindset.”

According to Tammy, the show’s concept took shape when she was approached by Minnie Pearl Necklace, another of the show’s headliners, in late 2014. Minnie had said that the Stone Fox had been wanting to do something that focused on the queer community. Tammy responded that she used to be one of the hosts at a show in Raleigh called Trailer Park Prize Night and had always wanted to bring something similar to Nashville but just hadn't found the right opportunity. The show that would eventually be called She Haw would provide the perfect outlet.

The idea for the show was further developed as Tammy and Minnie met over drinks a few times and talked further about what they each wanted to see in the show. Tammy recalled, “I think the biggest thing we decided is that we wanted to see bearded drag queens in Nashville doing something outside the normal drag box and having a good time. We started throwing around the ideas that had made Hee Haw such a big success. Corny jokes, funny sketches, music and hawties on bales of hay. While we may not have bales of hay just yet, we pretty much covered all the rest of it! Although if anyone has access to hay and boys in cutoff jean hot pants...well, we wouldn't turn them away.”

Tammy said that the name came to her in a moment of inspiration one morning: “I was slowly waking up and suddenly, like lightning, I went ‘(He)e Haw’ ... ‘She Haw!’” The name stuck. Minnie then came up with the tagline, “It’s a drag show, y’all!” Tammy and Minnie are joined by Marina Lasera Sanchez, Mitzi Pennington, and Orchid to make up the show’s cast. Throw five campy queens into the mix, along with some ridiculous door prizes, and you've got the beginnings of a really good night!

According to Tammy, reception has been very positive. “I think it's been received very well,” she said. “After our first performance on February 27, I asked one of the bartenders if they had enjoyed the night. He and one of the servers immediately asked if we could make this a weekly thing! I was like, ‘Uhhhh, I have a job, but we'd love to do it monthly!’ Luckily, management at The Stone Fox agreed and we're on our way!”

So what’s it like performing outside the bubble of LGBT spaces? “I don't really look at the audience or venue as a particular demographic,” Tammy said. “One thing we, as people, enjoy is laughter. Having a few hours where we just don't take life too seriously. Is it still a straight bar when we're there? Is it a gay bar because we're doing a drag show? Or is it just a place where no matter who you are you're accepted and made to see life in a lighter note.”

She Haw is rather unique in the Nashville drag scene. Comedy/camp drag makes up a small portion shows at most bars, if it appears at all: She Haw puts it front and center. “The queens here haven't all shaved every hair on their body,” Tammy explained. “I'm wearing balloons in my bra; some of the girls don't bother to tuck; and we might not all know all the words to our songs (but if you notice anyone else besides me doing that, tell them to quit stealing my shtick!). What we can promise is we'll make you laugh. Hell, we may even offend a few people!”

There are already also plans to make the show bigger and better. Tammy said that they have been thinking of making the show *even* more reminiscent of Hee Haw and bringing in some acoustic acts. For example, they have been in talks with Heyday Revival, which has been known to do bluegrass covers of Lady Gaga.





You can catch the next She Haw at The Stone Fox on Saturday, May 30, 2015, at 9:30 p.m. The show is 21 and up, and there is a $5 cover.

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