A Night at Switch n’ Play Image

Here they have forged a chosen family, where the umbrella concept of queerness covers a spectrum of identity and includes radical acceptance of every variation on the theme. Queer nightlife is presented in a fun, friendly atmosphere at the Branded saloon in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. When Zoe Ziegfeld does a special dance for the guest of honor at a bachelorette party, she’s careful to ask permission before touching, approaching the person gently, and with great kindness.  

This same loving approach is a hallmark of how the members regard one another. People, who’ve been battered and abused (in some cases physically) in the hetero-normative world, have made for themselves a safe space to explore and play with their own identity, and share those discoveries with fans at their shows. Stickels’ treatment of them is no less celebratory. His film is beautifully shot, with high-quality graphics, titles, and sound. It’s a pure pleasure in the production value. The tone is whimsical and joyous. 

“…the umbrella concept of queerness covers a spectrum of identity and includes radical acceptance of every variation on the theme…”

The group and their fans seem a bit insular. A tourist from the non-queer world would be well advised to tread lightly and respectfully. It would be delightful and instructive to an open-minded straight person to experience Switch N’ Play, but this space is very clearly intended for an LGBTQIA+, etc. audience. Hesitation on their part to throw those doors open makes sense: they’ve no reason to trust straight people who consider themselves the norm.  However, in a way, this film is Switch N’ Play doing exactly that, revealing themselves fearlessly on film to the wider world. I would like to think that any person, however self-identified, could attend a show and take it all in with the same joy and acceptance displayed in the film.  Watching A Night at Switch N’ Play is cheering and heart-warming. 

A Night at Switch n’ Play (2019)

Directed and Written: Cody Stickels

Starring: Switch N' Play Collective: Divina GranSparkle, Pearl Harbor, K.James, Miss Malice, Vigor Mortis, Nyx Nocturne, Zoe Ziegfeld, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

A Night at Switch n’ Play Image

"…Have you said goodbye to your former selves yet?"

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