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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines The Krewe of Apollo—Baton Rouge’s Bal Masque XXIX as an event that creates a spectacle of affluence: The Bal Masque, through its elaborate costumes and performance numbers, displays the material wealth of members. Krewe members’ dress and place of privilege within these carnival representations demarcates a space wherein the gay male Krewe member is normalized within the community at large through his participation in both consumption capitalism and Camp performance practices. This intersection of performance and Camp creates an ostensibly more progressive city that reinforces the social hierarchy of the community at large and complicates our understanding of Camp (as gay signification, per Moe Meyer, and as popular performance practice). Gay citizens can be seen on stage, but this image of gay life is defanged and commodified through the Krewe’s annual displays of both excessive consumption and spectacular wealth within the larger pan-communal celebration of Mardi Gras.

Keywords: Camp, Pop camp, Mardi Gras, Carnival, Louisiana, masculinity, Moe Meyer, drag performance, Baton Rouge, GLBTQ theater

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