"ESTRADA packed the HOUSE..."

  Tallahassee Democrat
  April 7, 2006

The gay-pride parades and festivals that dot the world's cultural map are

lively legacies of the Stonewall Rebellion in New York City.

     The June 1969 raid by police on a gay gathering place called the Stonewall Inn triggered a spasm of violent protest and conflict between New York's gay community and police officers. The clashes marked the beginning of the Gay Liberation Movement, in which decades of anger and outrage at police harassment and brutality found a public outlet.

     Most Pride festivities commemorating the anniversary of the Stonewall riots take place during the last week of June. But in Florida, the occasion is usually celebrated in the springtime, when the weather is glorious and university students haven't scattered for the summer.

     The local lesbian, gay and transgender community bursts into bloom this weekend for Tallahassee PrideFest 2006. The festivities commence with a performance by the sumptuously entertaining Latin pop singer/comedian/cross-dressing historical interpreter Jade Esteban Estrada tonight at the downtown hotspot Paradigm.

     Estrada packed the house last year for a performance of his "ICONS: The Lesbian and Gay History of the World, Vol. 1" at Paradigm. That means you'd better get there early to stake out a prime spot for tonight's "ICONS: The Lesbian and Gay History of the World, Vol. 2."

     In the first edition of Estrada's absolutely fabulous interpretation of world history, he delivered hysterical portrayals of such historical and cultural figures as Sappho, Michelangelo, Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein and Ellen DeGeneres. In "Vol. 2," he puts his special spin on such characters as Queen Christina of Sweden, Billie Jean King, Susan
B. Anthony, Harvey Milk, Alexander the Great and 9/11 hero Mark Bingham.

     Estrada previously worked as lead dancer for the campy legend Charo and has tickled funny bones aplenty on Comedy Central's "The Graham Norton Effect." His original Latin dance music has been used on the soundtrack of the police drama "The Shield," and he has appeared on the PBS series "In the Life."

     Estrada will preside over the PrideFest activities at Tom Brown Park on Saturday. There'll be a special Kids Zone for the youngsters, a Doggie Station and a variety of food, crafts and service vendors and exhibitors.

     The day wouldn't be complete without live music to make the crowd strut and shimmy. The PrideFest lineup includes Ravens Gate at 11:30 a.m., Nunez at 12:45 p.m., The Grand Canyons at 2, Kristi Lee at 3:15 and South Florida recording artist the Diane Ward Band at 4:30.


2006 Tallahassee Democrat

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