You'll never hear us speak ill of the pitchers of domestic beer and the worn bowling shoes at places like Bird Bowl or Holiday Bowling. They're a great suburban escape from the overpriced cocktails and attitude overkill found around Miami and Miami Beach. But if Miami's nightlife scene knows how to do something well, it's take the seemingly mundane and inoffensive, and turn it to a shit show — er, excuse me, Total Split Show.
"Josh Wagner, [director of culture
and entertainment for the Miami Beach Edition], proposed the idea and we have this beautiful space at Basement Miami," says Gio Profera, AKA Juleisy
, the bearded drag queen Miami's come to know and love. "I've worked with Basement since they opened — they actually sought me out. Before I used to work with them, I used to work for the Opium Group for six years."
As an entertainer for the Opium Group, Profera perfected his skill keeping the crowds engaged, eventually breaking out with Juleisy y Karla, bearded drag queen duo that took Hialeah ratchetera
and — believe it or not — cranked it way the fuck up. Together, Profera and Josue Garcia (AKA Karla) seemingly blew up Miami's taste for the kind of drag queens that lip sync iconic diva songs while also touching on the classic tropes of Miami-Dade's perennial punching bag, Hialeah. If you were fortunate enough to go to high school in Miami-Dade in the '90s and early 2000s, they easily reminded you of the chongitas
that used to roam the halls.
However, at Total Split Show, which happens every Monday night at Basement Miami
at the Miami Beach Edition, Karla is absent. "She's under house arrest for prostituting on Biscayne," jokes Profera. (In reality, Garcia is taking time off to do his own thing, according to Profera
isn't exactly having trouble attracting the crowds on her own, though, as hotel guests and locals have been coming out en masse for the party. "It's highly interactive. We're not Bird Bowl, we're not Strike. It's not just let's have a beer and bowl. It's super fun." During Total Split Show, each frame brings a different challenge, including taking a shot, spinning yourself around before bowling, and dressing up a grandma. Profera's cohost, Pin Tits, also helps keeps things interested. "If you get a strike, you got a shot. If you get a spare, you get a spank," says Profera.
So what keeps Total Split Show from turning into an actual shit show? Profera
says it's the crowd and hotel. "You've got this beautiful five-star hotel and then you've got a ratchet cohost. You've got to have the yin and yang. People want real, not stuffy."
If you want to get your hand on Profera's balls, all you need to do is fork over $20 for one of three seatings at 9 p.m., 10:30 p.m., and midnight on Monday nights. The cover includes access to the lanes and bowling shoes. You can also take advantage of Basement's ice-skating rink after the game for no additional fee. There are also two-for-one drinks from 8 to 10 p.m., $10 frozen drinks, and $150 bottle specials, in case you feel like blowing your load early in the week.
Gio's Total Split Show with Juleisy and Pin Tits. Every Monday at Basement Miami, 2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Free cover; $20 to bowl. RSVP to play at [email protected]. For more information, call 786-641-7119 or visit basementmiami.com.