Mercury Lounge’s Wednesday nights are a staple for Ottawa’s queer community. But for those who want more than a good Hump, the Market destination is implementing a new stimulating attraction: Foreplay.
The brainchild of Marilena Gaudio, Mercury Lounge’s senior production coordinator, Foreplay promises to redefine the traditional happy hour as an interactive and exciting precursor to a night out.
“I’ve always wanted something to do other than a dance party,” Gaudio says. “For Ottawa’s gay community, there’s no other outlet or hub for people to explore different things.”
Beginning at 7pm, Foreplay will feature a variety of local personalities offering up everything from engaging music to gay speed-dating.
The first four weeks will act as a trial run to gauge attendees’ tastes, Gaudio says.
Tara Lachapelle says she would like to meet new people from the queer community and will do the rounds at the April 10 speed-dating event.
“I’ve been looking for ways to meet people that don’t involve partying. I find it somewhat impersonal,” Lachapelle says. “I’m excited. I think it should be a lot of fun. “
Makeup maven Jessica Gumbley will be on hand March 27, giving beauty tips alongside staff from The Loft. Gumbley says combining Hump with Foreplay will transform Mercury into a “mini-Pride celebration every Wednesday.”
Gumbley says that men are encouraged to attend the makeup event.
“If women can do it, men can definitely do it. Why should men have to walk around with an imperfection that they are worried about on their face when women can just cover it?” she asks. “I definitely encourage men to wear makeup if they want to. It’s not something that they should be ashamed of.”
Men who want an everyday approach to makeup and men who moonlight as drag performers will have equal opportunities to have their questions answered, Gumbley says.
Award-winning singer/songwriter and Fevers member Sarah Bradley will initiate Foreplay March 20 with an unplugged set.
Bradley is busy prepping a new Fevers album under the direction of producer Laurence Currie and says she is excited about Foreplay, not only as a venue to highlight her solo material, but also to support Ottawa’s queer community.
“Foreplay is a unique idea. It’s not just a gay night where people go out to drink and party. It’s a great twist on the night out.”