Wednesday nights have become a bright spot for partygoers in East Williamsburg thanks to Oops!, a weekly drag variety show that goes down at The Rosemont, a former jazz club that has turned into a new queer hotspot.
Troy Carsen, former manager at Metropolitan and Sugarland, took over the space in December 2016 and seeds of the party were sown when illustrious queen, nightlife promoter and bartender Merrie Cherry reached out to new names for a Wednesday party. One of those names was local DJ Ickarus, who has since become the resident DJ at The Rosemont.
“I had been in the scene for a minute and had been DJ’ing a little bit here and there, but just from going out a lot she knew I knew how to run a show,” Ickarus told Bushwick Daily.
At that point, Merrie had already brought in drag queens Jacquée Kennedée and scene kid Jeffery Scott to give shows and host the party.
These newbies had a lot to offer. Kennedée does a glam take on Rupaul’s early looks when the drag superstar frequented the New York club scene in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
Jeffry’s own sense of style and charisma made him a natural host, but his other projects started interfering with his Wednesday nights. The party then found a new host in Crystal Mesh, a guest performer at the time. Ickarus remembers her debut at the party.
“She was really prolific on the mic and knew how to talk and knew how to host a show,”Ickarus said.
Hordes of partygoers also came to see somersaulting queen Ruby Fox and and pole-dancing Brain Rich.
Despite its fresh crop of talent, the party’s debut didn’t go smoothly. The party was originally called Hard Gag, which drew criticism from the promoters of an existing bi-monthly party called Gag at Metropolitan.
“They basically started attacking Jeffrey and Jacquée on the event page and were like ‘how could you name the party this, it’s so similar to ours and we’ve been doing this for 13 years!’” Ickarus said.
Both Kennedée and Ickarus thought the conflict contributed to the party’s early success.
“It caused quite a stir, so I think that kind of got people talking,” Kennedée recalled.
The following week, Ickarus, Kennedée, and Scott responded to the criticism by rechristening the party. The new name Oops! came to represent both the space and “stepping on” other promoters’ toes.
“It was a way of inviting new performers into a space where they could experiment and grow and make mistakes you make when you’re first starting out,” Icakrus explained.
The newness and the sense self-deprecation made Oops! feel different than some of the cliquier gay parties in Brooklyn. That’s something Crystal Mesh acknowledges.
“We aren’t pretentious queens. We literally hang out with everyone who comes,” Mesh said.
Local artist, Instagram personality, and dedicated Oops! fan Rooney agrees, saying he thought it was nice to find a place where he felt at home. Brooklyn gays and queens were also drawn to the newness of the bar. The Rosemont’s ability to keep their massive back patio open till 4 a.m. also makes it a standout.
Since creating the party in December, the family has gone on to become major players in the NYC nightlife scene, performing and hosting all over the place. Ickarus has now moved on from hosting Oops! to DJ’ing at other places around Brooklyn. Ruby Fox, who debuted as a queen at the party, is now a co-winner of the DragNet Pageant. She emphasized how much Oops! had to do with her rise to queendom.
“This party has made me be able to make a name for myself in Brooklyn and Manhattan nightlife and I’ll never forget it,” Ruby said.
MC Crystal Mesh now hosts a karaoke party at The Rosemont on Mondays with Paradise.
Oops! shows no sign of slowing down. The current lineup still includes mainstays like Crystal Mesh, Jacquée Kennedée, and Ruby Fox. DJ P_A_T_ has taken over for Ickarus. Local queen Harajuku has also become a resident performer. Crystal Mesh describes her as a “wildcard.”
“One day she’s Cardi B, the next she’s ASMR, and it’s hilarious.”
Oops! starts every Wednesday night at 10 p.m., with shows at midnight and 2 a.m. There’s a bar tab contest at 1 a.m. The event is free. 63 Montrose Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11206