Drag dining goes to a new level next week as Lips hosts Dining With the Divas.
ArtsUnited is honoring a trio of South Florida leaders who help promote a wide array of cultural projects through the area.
The night will honor Phil Cordell of Our Fund, Richard Gray of Visit Lauderdale, and PR guru and longtime arts supporter Michael Goodman. The event is Tuesday, March 15, at 7 p.m. at Lips on Oakland Park Boulevard.
“ArtsUnited is proud to recognize these honorees who champion equality and diversity in the arts and serve as positive role models in our community,” Chuck Williams, president of ArtsUnited, said. “We are grateful for Lips and for the support of our members and patrons who help us fulfill our mission of sharing and nurturing LGBTQ artists’ contributions in South Florida and beyond.”
The fabulous and legendary Nicolette will host the night, and be joined by guest hosts Niki Lopez, Tedd Davis, Ryan Young, and Michael Albettert. The evening will also feature a special performance by Michael Dean as Cher.
“I have been a huge Cher fan since I was about 8 years old,” Dean said. “I always admired her natural ability to connect with audiences of all ages and demographics based on her many talents. I met her two times and that only made my admiration grow stronger. Now for the past eight years, I get to be Michael Dean as Cher for audiences all over.”
Honoree Michael Goodman has been associated with ArtsUnited for years.
“I work and volunteer with many arts groups and through mutual contacts I was exposed to ArtsUnited. I was fortunate to develop a relationship with them and have supported them in various ways over the years. I admire what they do as the organization specifically gives LGBT+ artists the opportunity to network and create together.”
It’s a passion Goodman developed early in his career.
“My first boss in the PR world, Elaine Azen, was an arts advocate and she opened my eyes to fully appreciate and support the arts. Truly, art is part of our everyday life,” Goodman said. “I admire works of art that convey a direct message or leave one to interpret its meaning. My art appreciation extends beyond just the visual aspect, but also the performing arts.”
“Michael’s been a good, behind-the-scenes cheerleader for us for a long time,” Williams said. “His generosity plus he’s a marketing machine.”
As for what Goodman’s most looking forward to about the night? He says that’s easy.
“I am truly honored to be recognized alongside other community leaders whose passion is advancing the arts and promoting inclusion and equality for all. As a performer, I am also excited to entertain the group as a return gift. It is amazing to be recognized for something that you love to do. And as an investor in Lips, I am thrilled for people to experience drag dining at its best with an amazing cast.”