Dry-ice fog streams onto the dance floor, setting the scene for tonight's No. 1 singer. Outfitted in a long black wig, a rumpled prosthetic forehead with bushy eyebrows, and full Klingon evening wear, Qaolin crashes onto the dance floor and belts out a song that sounds like "Cherokee Nation." Only it's sung completely in the growl and violence of Klingon.
It's Klingon Karaoke night at the Bodacious Classics Restaurant and Intergalactic Refueling Station in Southeast, and Qaolin, known in the daylight as Jim, appears to be the Alpha male, grabbing the mic throughout the night to give the Klingon spin to some classics.
Every Thursday night for the past two years, trekkies and sci-fi believers have been dressing up in a predominantly Klingon theme (although there have been reports of beings from George Lucas' universe stopping by) and cruising to Bodacious Classics to belt out their favorite songs.
The recovering sports bar-turned-oldies bar is now finding its niche as a sci-fi haven. The wall reliefs of football and basketball players have been strategically hidden behind Jar Jar Binx masks. The turquoise front end of a late-'50s Chevy hanging over the bar blends in with the Klingon war blade near the kitchen. Yoda sits in the corner and observes all. The ladies grind with R2D2 on the dance floor.
When asked whether everyone must sing in Klingon to take part in the karaoke, Qaolin gives a dismissive look and replies in Klingon. DJ and owner Ralph, wearing pointy Vulcan ears and space boots, is unlearned in the Klingon tongue, so he explains the karaoke rules in plain English. Not just anyone can sing. You must clear your "act" with the bar ahead of time, and you have to wear a costume and bring your own music. Apparently no other Klingons passed the test, because it is the Alpha male Qaolin who does all of the singing this Thursday.
Before the karaoke started, a man asked James Gillilan, who had given a speech on extraterrestrial life earlier in the night, "Do you think it's possible for humans to cohabitate with other beings on this planet?"
The expert replied, coolly, "They're already here, man."
Bodacious Classics, 2433 SE Powell Blvd., 232-0852. 9:30 pm Thursdays. 21+.