By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
Putting the per back into verse, Babalu is the drag gang's latest attempt to tap into that touristy cash-flow geyser. The Village hangout, at what was the bizarrely characterless Night Gallery restaurant, has gawkers dropping by for trannie acts, weekend brunches, and--at the opening--Baby Dee Bauched playing the accordion on her (menstrual) cycle outside. The exotic '50s ambience hasn't congealed at all yet, but if they get rid of the Night Gallery marquee, the place could jump from a three to an eight and two thirds.
At the Roundabout, Side Man--no, not Side Show--captures the spirit of exotic '50s jazz and how it ripped one family apart because Dad was married to his horn more than to his home. I went into the theater hideously predisposed against both trumpets and dysfunctional families, but came out tooting the show's horn. It's riveting. Meanwhile, I'm getting horny just thinking about Paul Rudnick's The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told,premiering this week at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. The play is described as "a fantasical retelling of the biblical story of Adam and Eve, tackling the larger questions: the existence of God, the need for belief, and the impact of Olivia Newton-John as a religious icon." Hopelessly devoted, I called Rudnick to ask if the play by any chance features a gay Jesus. "No," he said. "It's the Old Testament--though, in an early draft, there was a gay Jesus whose divine gift was perfect taste." Wait--they had Prada back then?
It was by no means a perfect waste, but the Larry King tribute/AmFAR benefit at the Plaza did have one murmuring, "Oh, Jesus" on multiple occasions. As I entered, a woman was lying near the bottom of the stairs, a helper dabbing her bruised legs with napkins. This wasn't very festive. I kept climbing, trying not to trip over the woman, only to have someone upstairs warn that another fallen idol, Leona Helmsley, was across the room, "and she's so buffed you can see yourself in her skin, much like the vampire Lestat." The terror escalated. After two hours of me using Leona's face as a compact, Al Gore--on video--spoke of the White House's good works regarding AIDS, only to have someone in the crowd yell, "What about clean needles?" The room burst into applause, and finally we were on track (marks).
And Larry King was as funny as one could be at such an event (even after an AmFAR official introduced him with "Knowing what Larry has died . . . done . . . "). He pointed out his billionth wife in the audience and said, "I'm getting nervous because she's been whispering to Donald Trump all night"--hopefully not about whether her prenup with Larry is binding. As for Marlon Brando's sweet whisperings to him on TV, followed by that bodacious, full-mouthed kiss, King said, "I have a confession. I can't stop thinking about Marlon. I got up in the middle of the night recently and yelled 'Stella!' " (I bet he actually yelled, "Stella from Bayonne, New Jersey--you're on the air!") Larry then pulled his ass together and became a tiny bit more serious, adding, "I'm not gay! I respect gays, but I'm heterosexual. I don't know why. I didn't choose it. Trent Lott chose it." And he can have it!
The next thing I knew, I'd fallen down a metaphorical flight of stairs and woken up at various premieres in head-to-toe Prada and no underwear. How post-gay. At the one for Madeline--a benefit for Children's Blood Foundation--I wearied of the mechanical mayhem of the movie's pre-soubrettes, but had so much fun at the after-blowout at Tavern on the Green that I felt three years old again, if still not quite a 10. All in a night's work, I got to make obscene gestures to a mime, go on a candy (Spelling) hunt, and create my own sundae with M&M's and caviar. I even seized the chance to cut down a six-year-old who was exulting to her mom, "This is the best day of my entire life!" I turned to the little diva and snarled "So far!" She stuck to the mime after that.
With all of its contentious critters refusing to stay silent, Dr. Dolittle did very little for me, making the original movie--which almost bankrupted 20th Century Fox--look like Dr. Strangelove times Doctor Zhivago by comparison. This overstated, lowbrow bore has a guinea pig on a toilet seat, a dog with a thermometer stuck up its ass, a rat that farts, and another one with a stereotypical Spanish accent--and still it's bad! Most bizarrely of all, Eddie Murphy--who voices an animal in Mulan (costarring Harvey Fierstein and B.D. Wong)--actually threatens another character that he'll tell everyone about the tutu in the guy's closet! You'd think he'd just want to drive him home.