"An always daringly incendiary brand of queer cabaret." –Philly Weekly

We sing the
Bearded electric

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images c/o plate 3 photography

Presenting a Birthday Funeral for Heroes!

Cake, coffin, gavel, choir, composers, live musical trolling!

On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the much lauded homo poet Walt Whitman’s birth, a group of Philly queers and misfits known as The Bearded Ladies Cabaret gathers overlooking the Whitman Bridge to put this ancestor and his legacy on trial. Come with friends, complaints, heroes and villains alike. All are welcome.

Video by Ben Grinberg. Song lyrics by Walt Whitman and music by Emily Bate

production information


Daniel de Jesús

Elah Perelman

Jackie Soro

Pax Ressler

Veronica Chapman-Smith

Anthony Martinez Briggs (Philadelphia)

Fernando Contreras (New York)

Featuring the Whitman Choir 


Heath Allen

Josh Machiz

Jimmy Coleman

The Whitman Choir directed by Liz Braden and organized by Emily Bate and Veronica Chapman Smith


Directed by John Jarboe

Written by John Jarboe and the ensemble with Mary Tuomanen

Music Director Heath Allen

Set Design by William Boles

Costume Design by Tyler Mark Holland

Lighting Design by Reza Behjat

Sound Design by Daniel Perelstein

Props Design by Sara Outing

Dramaturgy by Sally Ollove

Stage Managed by Nic Labadie-Bartz

Production Managed by Calvin Anderson

Assistant Stage Manager Melody Wong

Assistant Costume Design Scott McMaster