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SOCIAL CLIMES / UP ALL NIGHT

For the Trailer Park in Us All

June 11, 1995|MARK EHRMAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Every Thursday, a bit of pagan-inspired mayhem takes over Pedro's Grill in Los Feliz. It's a club called Pan, and each week promoter Nancy Whalen and her "art director and co-conspirator," Jennifer Joos, turn the cavernous margarita-and-mariachi digs into, well, into something else entirely.

For their "Arabian Nights" night, Whalen and Joos sewed dozens of gold-threaded veils to distribute and provided a belly dancer and palm reader. "Tacky Tiki" night brought surf bands, a limbo contest, passing out of leis and sacrificing a maiden of dubious virginity by dropping her into a giant papier-ma^che volcano. And last week, you could almost smell the meatloaf and tuna casserole as the duo brought Wonder Bread culture to Pedro's for "White Trash Night."

"The club is really a place where I can provide a platform for artists and people in our community to freely express themselves," says Whalen, who recently resurrected the club she had begun with a partner more than a year ago at a different location.

They took the name Pan, she says, after the pagan deity who "played the pipe, seduced nymphs and tried to make people laugh."

Each theme night is the result of a blending of deejays, performance artists, musicians and the not-too-shabby decorating talents of Whalen and Joos. The two cruise thrift stores during the week to collect props.

"We have like 400 neckties, a bunch of old games like Candyland, Operation and Battleship and a cheesy 'Facercizes' video we got from the $5 bin," she says. Later, these will be used to transform the space into an upcoming Glam Night, Prom Night, Game Night and Blasphemy Night.

And, at least in the case of "White Trash Night," they aren't afraid to take these themes to their most abrasive extreme. While the deejay spun tunes from Ted Nugent, Brownsville Station and Twisted Sister, a roller-skating Amazon-in-drag handed out saltines and Cheez Whiz. As an added treat, the band, Honk If Yer Horny, held a contest to see who could gnaw the most aesthetically pleasing shape out of a slice of baloney. The crowd, many of whom dressed like they might have a mess of auto parts on their front lawns, ate it up--literally.

"It's great," said one pigtailed and gaptoothed club-goer. "I know it's not politically correct, but, hell, everybody's got a little trailer park side to them and this is a way to get it out."

Where: Pan, Pedro's Grill, 1739 N. Vermont Ave. (enter in rear), Los Feliz. (213) 955-1792.

When: Thursdays 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Cost: Admission $6. Beer $3, mixed drinks $4, $5.

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