Every weekend night, the darkness explodes into bright colorful lights, loud music beats and loud, raucous laughter surrounding the Rubik Zoo stage. It is a typical lo-to spectacle, Vietnam’s unique version of drag queen shows, where trans-people perform a mixture of musical numbers, plays and comedy skits while drawing and calling out numbers for the bingo games of the night. While lo to has been particularly popular in the Southern countryside, the Sai Gon Tan Thoi (The Modern Saigon) are among the few that have been trying in recent years to make their cabaret act part of the urban scene in Ho Chi Minh City. Although the colorful, bustling stage only spills its laughter and bestows its luck between 7 p.m. and 10.30 p.m., when eager crowds flock to the open air “auditorium” where plastic stools and low tables have been placed, action has been hectic behind the bling-bling curtain for hours. “We started out with only four members, performing in fairs across the city,” said Lam Quoc Khai, who goes by her stage name of “Lo Lo,” recalling the troupe’s first days in 2017. “Now we are running with 25 members, most from the LGBT community, and we book the Rubik Zoo for our stage… Read full this story
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