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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

R.I.P. The Complex: End of a Big Gay Era

Posted By on Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 2:06 PM

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If you've been recharging your party batteries in preparation for Pride this weekend, you're not alone, but there's an end of an era celebration tonight that requires your immediate attention. The Complex is closing after 21 years as a mainstay of the LGBT community. Tonight, there's one final, splendiferous drag show to send it off in a blaze of rainbow glitter glory.

Dieta Pepsi was there at the start -- the local queen started the Tuesday drag shows 21 years ago with four girls, and only fifteen folks in the audience. Over the years, the shows grew and so did the crowd; it wasn't uncommon for 300 to 400 people to show up on an average Tuesday. "It was the thing to do on a Tuesday night," Dieta says, adding that the Sunday crowds weren't too shabby either. Dieta estimates she's performed 2,184 shows at the Complex since it opened. "Some TV shows don't even get past two episodes; some bars don't make it past six months. It is sad, people ask me if I'm sad, and yes I'm sad, but 21 years is a great accomplishment," says Dieta. "We had just run the gamut. I'm going to miss it immensely. I'm just grateful that I had 21 good years there." What she'll miss most? "Just going in there and having a good time. It was always entertaining, it was always fun. The staff there is like my family, they're not just my coworkers."

She'll be bringing it full circle tonight, performing a song from her first time on the Complex stage; "I'm Every Woman" by Whitney Houston. Vicki Vincent, Krista Versace, Alexis Principle, Khrystal Leight and Madison Elise will relive the glory days on stage with Dieta tonight, and DJ Charlie Buttons will close the house down one last time. Work it, girls!

"It's going to be great! It's not going to be somber -- we don't want it to be a funeral -- we want it to be a celebration," Dieta said.

Doors open at 9 p.m., and the show starts at 10:30.

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