NY Mirror

Notes from an opening: 'Manhandled by security guard. Kept running into whiny B-list types— or maybe that was a mirror.'

Let's go to the Innocent Theater Company, shall we, for a revival of that old Freudian chestnut The Bad Seed—a/k/a It Ain't Nothin' but the Cooze. The surprisingly thoughtful production has men in drag assuming most of the lead female roles, but playing it straight, in an effective wallow into hereditary menace bedecked with intriguing beige costumes (by Isabel Toledo) and sets (by Jack Flanagan and Ruben Toledo). Only cunty little Rhoda's dress is jet black.

I recently met a cute cast member of the bad, seedy (and now closed) Broadway revue The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm, whose lesbian duet critics wrongly lumped in with its overall "vulgarity"—though some of the queer stuff didn't quite come off for other reasons. For example, the ending had two men hugging, after which the ensemble mournfully sang "They Can't Take That Away From Me," one of them wearing an AIDS ribbon. Well, the cute cast member had explained this to me, saying with endearing sweetness, "We all get infected." I just can't even comment on that one.

While we're mourning, here's a case of a tea room destroyed by Mussolini, I mean Giuliani: As of last year, the Jewel was a thriving adult theater—I hear—with gay porn films upstairs and men commingling downstairs, but now it's yet another vision of Rudy-era destimulation. The lower area is closed off except for a couple of bathrooms, and on the upper level, they now show unannounced, un-gay, un-porn movies—like some detective flick featuring Suzy Amis and occasional bouts of hetero kissy-face. Generally, about a dozen confused male customers sit throughout the theater, stuck in movie hell no doubt because of some dated bar-rag listing. They forlornly half-look at the screen as a monitor patrols the aisle to make sure no one even thinks of connecting. It's a truly alienated scene—even more so than when there was anonymous sex there! Come on, Rudy. Don't give me that "Elsa darling" crap! Just give me my goddamned Picasso!

Oh, one more sex-related bulletin: Monica Lewinsky went into Barney's last week, sidled up to the François Nars makeup counter, and asked for a particular brand of blush. The name of it? Orgasm! You couldn't even make this shit up.

e-mail: musto@villagevoice.com

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