By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
The Boston Nightlife Awards may sound as oxymoronic a concept as L.A. style or army intelligence, but there are actual clubs there, and some of them are not just for oxen or morons. See, I just MC'd those very awards at a place ominously called Karmasent there by the club's (and our own Tunnel's) director, Steve Adelmanand it was a fun frolic, even if I did get to truly visit karma. I mean, the town is lovely enough, but in that primary-colored Truman Show kind ofway that disturbs as it gently soothes. The homeless people say "Please" and "Thank you," and one even volunteered, "You look nice!" Boats shaped like swans float through a picture-book lake in a park in the heart of town. And, most shockingly of all, a waiter at the Claremont Cafe told us they were out of soda, but he'd gladly run down to the nearby store to get us some. (I can just see a Moomba staffer saying, "Sorry, we're out of blackened trout. Let me just scoot over to the South Street Seaport. I'll be right back.")
Unnerved, I managed to bring some dark clouds upon this adorable burg when I bombed big-time atKarma--and what's worse, the emphatically polite locals didn't even have the decency to boo! After a fattening, free--as opposing to fat-free--dinner at Sonsie (which did have soda), we headed for Lansdowne Street, the neon-lit nightlife strip where Karma is one of many G-rated hotspots all in a row (Giulianiwould love it--the street practically has a dome over it). Inside Karma, the Mambo Lounge VIP area brimmed with a batch of bouncy nominees and other people who actually cared about the awards. Alas, when the ceremony began in the main room, the lounge folks weren't notified, so I faced a blank, bewildered crowd--all in denim and khakis--who perceived me as some sort of intergalactic decaying rodent. For 10 long categories.
And not only did my remarks courtesy of Mean Town totally revolt Beantown (I guess they like Kim Basinger and LaToya Jackson), but some of the presenters and winners were positively Stepford-y in their quiet rejection of nastiness. One winner pushed past me to eagerly deliver his acceptance speech, which was, simply, "Hi," and the Best Drag Queen (who's named something like Zoloft) must have left her personality in her jock strap--she just smiled and gushed a lot. Worst of all was the presenter to whom I screamed, "Fuck you!" (a long story), but who didn't respond at all--he simply began reading the list of nominees! Earth to Boston: Can we please have some sarcasm, a little irony, a shred of returned hatred? Please fuck me back!
Back in our liberatingly bestial town, sheer nastiness putrefied the air again, but in one case a little too much so. The slender gender bender named Chicklet--winner of Best Angry Drag Queen--recently performed at the gay bar called the Comfort Zone (formerly Dakota) and says things became less than comforting when she exchanged words with a club helper named Mark Salvatore. According to Chicklet, Salvatore flipped her the finger and said, "Fuck you!" when he walked by the stage, and unlike that presenter in Boston, Chicklet actually responded. She read the guy to filth into the mike with various small-penis and steroid remarks, which Salvatore somehow didn't find terribly amusing. After the show, says the performer, "Salvatore went ballistic. He said, 'You goddamned bitch, don't you ever make me a part of your cheap act. No fucking drag queen talks to me like that!' He twisted my arm and threw me against a brick wall." Chicklet now suffers from "postconcussive syndrome," and it's all very sadly ironic because her theme song is "Treat Her Like a Lady."
Well, Comfort Zone owner Mark O'Brientells a different version, saying that Chicklet already had a chip on her shoulder pads about other issues, and is trying to build up her name with this incident (though he actually likes the girl). O'Brien says Salvatore claims he only gave Chicklet the finger aftershe insulted him and also insists he never laid a hand on her. O'Brien adds that Chicklet didn't seem to be bruised at all--but Chicklet says she can produce "shocking" photos. I can too; I'm developing a nasty rashomon on my leg.
The truth is so much easier to de-duce when people simply trip themselvesup. Sean P. Hayes, who plays the panting gay photographer in Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss--no awards, please--just told the Daily Newsthat he won't pin down his sexuality on the record because he wants audiences to stay open-minded, blah blah blah. But then two seconds later, the evasive one admitted that he's "not into that gay ideal of musclemen," though the person he's dating "does have a nice face." Oh, she does?
In other gender stereotype?upsetting news, I'm delighted that the star of The Mask of Zorrohas a visible mustache--the female star, that is. The woman is a porcelain beauty with perfect features and an undeniable line of hair over her upper lip. Since the flick is one of those hokey mustache twirlers, it sort of works.