EuroPride Zurich 2009: The Shows Must Go On!

EuroPride Zurich 2009

The Shows Must Go On!

The beautiful and fabulous Mildred Gerestant in her natural state

Zurich is having fun this week as EuroPride events and parties ; the city’s vibe is encouraging, and organisers are expecting big numbers for Saturday’s parade.

Last night’s performance by master visualist Ennio Marchetto, whose hysterically funny shows have earned him thousands of loyal fans around the world, wowed the audience again with an astonishing array of paper costumes as part of his Living Cartoon act, a good sample of which can be seen on You Tube here.  His portrayal of Kylie singing Can’t Get You Out Of My Head brings a roar of laughter from the audience, especially when it leads into one of the most startling of his many ingenious costume conversions.  Ennio performs again tonight and tomorrow.

Tonight, the legendary Pam Ann is also performing here in Zurich, where theatre is well, regarded and well appreciated by the locals.  Of course, a lot of theatre is performed in German, but there is a surprising number of non-German productions all year ’round.  Pam Ann, the alter ego of Australian comedienne Caroline Reid, has been entertaining gay fans for years, and it’s great to see her fame spreading beyond our world in the world at large.

Lake Zurich in summer glory

One of the most impressive of these was also the most unexpected.  During a somewhat sedate Gender In Art tour of the famous Kunsthaus, one of the most outstanding museums in Europe, there was a fidgety Rastafarian type haphazardly joining and unjoining the group.  Was this guy interested or not?  At the very end of the tour, he started pulling things out of a bag and laying them on the ground.  As it turned out, this was the modus operandi for Dred, the One WoMan Show.  Dred is short for Mildred, as in Mildred Gerestant, the Haitian-American incarnation of the universoul, challenging gender assumptions and stereotypes not with aggressive bravado, but rather through surprise and clever transformation.  In the short five-minute piece performed impromptu in a stately art museum, I was nearly moved to tears by the Susan Boyle moment that unfolded before me.  What we see is not always the full truth…and Dred is on a one-woman mission to spread the word that human beings are multifaceted characters, herself a perfect example.  Dred is performing a longer piece on Saturday night as part of Off Pride, an alternative movement to the official EuroPride program presenting a provocative program of its own, ranging from performances to workshops such as family relations…and learning to make your own ‘best friend’!  Leave it to Swiss ingenuity to come up with that one…so to speak….

Not all the talent is on stage, however.  Quite a lot of it is in the audience.  You never know who you be sitting next to at EuroPride.  Don’t be shy; just ask and ye shall find out.  The EuroPride Center Point is packed with guys and gals every night, and the parties around town at a variety of venues are the same.

Ennio è stupendo!

And that goes for the plane as well.  SWISS this week is busy shuttling gayssengers from the whole world to Zurich for the grand finale to the month-long EuroPride festival.  Even if you miss out on the Eurofun, Zurich is still a very gay-friendly city all year long and is well worth a visit for its nature walks, kayaking, cultural activities, and socialising.  Check the Gay Zurich and ZueriGay websites for all the possibilities.

Park Hyatt Zurich, which you would expect to be a conservative business hotel in a conservative business city, is just as full of surprises as the rest of Zurich.  In this city whose party reputation is a not so well-kept secret thoroughly enjoyed by locals and visitors in the know, Park Hyatt Zurich is hosting the launch of the official EuroPride final weekend events with a luncheon hosted by the newly-elected, openly gay mayor of Zurich, Ms. Corine Mauch.  Did you ever think Zurich was openminded enough to elect a lesbian mayor?  This is one of Zurich’s, and Switzerland’s, most appealing aspects; though its landscapes are everything we imagine, the country contradicts social stereotypes at every turn.

Zurich Tourism’s gay and lesbian page
Switzerland Tourism’s gay and lesbian page
Switzerland Tourism’s EuroPride page


Source = WoRLdviews: R.L.B
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