The Windy City – Musical Mondays

“So what are you going to do when you get back to Chicago?”

“I’m going to a gay bar with a friend.”

“…You know, Mari…you’re not going to pick up a guy in a gar bar…”

-a conversation with my mom

Sidetrack is located on the corner of Halsted and Roscoe in Boystown Chicago.  Yes, Boystown.  There is a neighborhood in Chicago called Boystown and you can imagine what it would look like, right? Imagining rainbows? Well, you’re right, there are rainbow pillars all down Halsted.  It’s a great area.  Sidetrack itself is a mere twenty minute walk from my apartment in Lakeview.

I was introduced to Sidetrack by a friend of mind, Brett.  I have known him since we were in kindergarten in Jamestown, IN.  We’ve never lost touch after all these years and it’s fun to see him.  He was certainly made for Chicago.

Anyway, why am I writing about a gay bar? Well, it’s because they host a delightful event that takes place once a week: Musical Mondays.  What is this?  It’s simple: every Monday night people gather here to drink bright and colorful alcoholic slushies and watch the TVs that cover every inch of this labyrinthine bar.  Why? Because they show musicals.  That’s right, it’s the bar in the city where you go, get drunk and sing musicals…and it’s socially acceptable.

But wait.  There’s more.

Some of the videos are played often enough to warrant skits or dialog between the audience and the large project in one of the many rooms of the bar.  I am sure my description seems confusing so I will try to clarify.  In fact, I found a great youtube video.

One of the clips they show often is a medley from the movie Mommie Dearest.  Now watch the video but listen to everyone in the bar as they react.  You can tell they play it often because everyone joins in.

I also found this fantastic gem of one of my favorite skits.  It’s from the opening of the musical Titanic.  If you watch this video carefully, you ‘ll find the text at the bottom which will tell you what to sing instead of the actual lyrics.

Part of me wishes that Musical Mondays fell during the weekend.  I always have friends visiting and I know they would love it.


The fact that it occurs on a week night makes it a Chicago tradition and not for the weekend tourists that flood the city.

I highly recommend going if you’re in the city on a Monday night.  Oh and for the record, while they are few and far between there are straight men at these bars.  But we all know what I am really after when I go to a bar…an awesome night!

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