The Calypso Cabaret Lady boy show is good, campy fun and shouldn’t be missed while you’re visiting Bangkok. No compressed images today! Usually we load a few pictures into a gallery for quick loading and viewing on your end. Today we’ve selected just a few of our favorite images for you to enjoy.
Attitude is everything!
Armed with a positive attitude, low expectations, and pre-loaded with a few stiff drinks, we embarked on an evening adventure to see the Lady boy’s perform at the Calypso Cabaret in Bangkok at the Asiatique.
If you’re going to be uptight, uppity (or just an ass), this isn’t the show for you. We just went with the flow, relaxed, and had a wonderful time.
Lady boys you say? As a friend of mine told me, “If you want to see the most beautiful women in Thailand, look for the Lady boys.” I’m not sure that’s a fair statement, but my word, we did see some beautiful Lady boys at the Calypso!
So what’s a Lady boy? Well first it isn’t a word that’s commonly used by the Thai’s in Thailand. The more proper word would be “Katoey”. A lady boy is generally considered to be a male-to-female transgender person.
Calypso Cabaret-A cross town trek
We meandered across town via two trains and then jumped onto the river boat. The river boat deposited us at the Asiatic. The Asiatique is basically an outdoor shopping mall. We didn’t find anything special about the shopping area itself. There were lot of vendors selling their wares at slightly inflated prices. So far we’ve found the best shopping bargains at the weekend market and the train market.
Waiting for the Calypso Cabaret theater doors to open
We grabbed a forgettable dinner (with a few more drinks) and the meandered into the show. We had purchased the show tickets online and opted to skip the “show dinner” that preceded the performance. At this point, while we do enjoy Thai food, we really don’t want to spend bucket loads of extra money to eat the exact same food we can purchase on the street for far, far cheaper.
We knew we were sitting in the very front row when we bought tickets to the show, but, maybe we didn’t think about what it meant to sit in the front row until we approached our seats. Down we walked to the front row, seats 1 and 2, smack dab at the heart of the action. We placed the obligatory drink orders and settled in for the show. One of us had a beer and one of us had water. You guess who drank what!
Front and center! Best seats in the house. Actually, it was a wee bit uncomfortable a few times when the performers were dancing on the floor directly in front of us. I was praying that they wouldn’t pick us to dance with them! No eye contact! No eye contact! Look down Steve!
Some of the performers were men. It was clear that they were men based on facial hair. I was going to say that they were dressed like men, but…they weren’t always dressed in men’s clothing.
Men or women?
Some of the performers dressed like men (part of the time) and looked like men. Other men were either somewhere on their journey to become women, or had already arrived at their destination as women. It’s tricky to describe without sounding condescending or disrespectful. It’s certainly not our intention to be either of those. The reality of the situation is that we’re attending the show because of the Lady boys, not because of the performers in a Cabaret. If the performers weren’t Lady boys, the show wouldn’t be as popular as it is today.
Elvis stopped by and sang a tune or two. OK, sang is the wrong word. Lip-sync is the proper word. All of the songs that were sang were lip synced. Sometimes the performer synced correctly to the song with their facial movements, other times, not so much. It must be challenging for the performers though, not just lip syncing, but lip syncing in time in a foreign language!
Having a chilled attitude really helped with the lip syncing falling off the rails a few times. We just laughed, clapped and cheered along with everyone else.
There was a story line about a wronged woman. This story line seemed to resonate with a great deal of the audience. Lots of cheering. It was interesting that different nationalities seemed to engage in different sections of the show. It must be challenging to put together a show when there are so many different nationalities and cultures in attendance at each show.
The wronged woman
There was a foot stomping nod to Rihanna. If you look closely you can see her!
I only had a few uncomfortable moments during the entire evening.
Several of the performers were wearing braces on their teeth. Hum…I kind of squirmed a bit about how old they were. I kind of stopped looking at the “braces girls”. I’m sure they were all adults, but still…I associate braces with teenagers. I know this was a perfect example of my bringing my own preconceived notion into the show.
All too soon the show was over and we exited stage left. The performers were waiting in the wings for pictures. Pay a little cash and step up to the plate for a picture!
Would we do it again? Absolutely! Is it at the top of our list of things you must do in Bangkok? No, but if you have enough time, squeeze it in one evening. We approached the Calypso Cabaret with a very relaxed attitude expecting bad lip syncing and were pleased with the performance. If you’re expecting live singing this isn’t the show for you.
The fact that the performers were Lady Boys really was a non-issue after the first few minutes. There was one moment near the end of show when some of the most beautiful Lady boys performed a song in sequined suit jackets with pasties underneath. Oh-my-word! We were both so gobsmacked that we didn’t take any pictures.