Even though the name of the place might sound a little too spot-on for these pandemic times, The Lounge at the End of the Universe is more like a cure for what ails you. Comedy, live shows, burlesque, mosaic classes, and drag queen shows are just a few reasons people should check it out. This arts entertainment lounge is working hard to stay afloat amid the pandemic.
“Everybody needs to support the arts. If anything the pandemic is proof that art is one of the most important things that get people by,” said Jen Adams, owner of The Lounge at the End of the Universe.
It’s a woman-owned arts lounge operated by artists of all kinds, and the mission statement is “making culture different.” Currently, The Lounge hosts stand-up comedy twice a month and open mic nights every Wednesday. Mosaic classes are every Tuesday hosted by Boise Mosaic Works, and there is a monthly EDM (electronic dance music) show called THUMP.
Adams said The Lounge aims to be inclusive. “The goal is to be collaborative in the art community, not competitive,” she said. The Lounge accepts anyone, said Adams, and she appreciates all the support she can get.
Adams has been in entertainment for 30 years. She is a stand-up comedian and magician and said that growing up it was hard to be a woman in comedy, so she wanted to create a safe space for artists of all kinds. Doing everything in her power to still make The Lounge successful, Adams came up with starting livestreams during the stay-at-home order. She was surprised with the turnout and has continued producing livestreams and now in-person events. During the time of closure, there were four livestream-a-thons with various artists.
THUMP — The Heaviest Unified Music Project — originally started live shows at the Knitting Factory. Since the temporary closure of the Knitting Factory, THUMP's creator Austin Graveley was thrilled to have the opportunity to host the show at The Lounge at The End of the Universe. With the help of local artists and his promoter, Justin Fowler, THUMP is able to continue. Once a month there are live shows from local EDM artists. Livestreams and limited in-person capacity are available. THUMP will be celebrating its four-year anniversary next month.
“Thank you to all the continued support to everyone out there," Graveley said. "Without them none of this would be possible."
The Lounge has a strict policy for all the health and safety guidelines for COVID: people must be socially distanced, wear a mask at all times, have temperature taken, and sit at tables that are six feet apart. A cocktail server will come around if you have a sign when a drink is needed. There is limited capacity, livestreams are happening and rubbing alcohol is sprayed every 20 minutes on furniture, doors, etc.
Upcoming for the Lounge is a burlesque show on March 20. Limited in-person tickets will be available; live-stream tickets are available at a lower cost.
People can also look forward to Boise’s Funniest Person contest. The Lounge will start video submissions for amateur artists on April 1. The competition begins the following month and features a big cash prize. Stand-up comedian Gabriel Rutledge is slated for the end of March and drag queen shows are in the works courtesy of the LezBe Kings. Adams hopes the upcoming events will grow the art community and bring people together.
“In times humanity needs something, art is always reached for,” said Adams.