The Wings of Desire

WOW Café Celebrates 20 Years of Lesbian Performance

From a drag king Superfly to pasta genitalia: Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw at the WOW benefit
photo: Hiroyuki Ito
From a drag king Superfly to pasta genitalia: Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw at the WOW benefit

The other factor, of course, has been WOW's affordable monthly nut. With an annual budget of some $25,000—all collected in box office and soda sales—the roughly $450 rent bill has been manageable enough. But if there was a bittersweet note to the celebration on Saturday, it was the looming fear that the space could be lost. The city has decided to let go of many of the buildings it holds on the block—including those housing not only WOW but also La MaMa and the New York Theatre Workshop—and it's not yet clear whether the groups will be offered rational purchase prices, or whether, true to form, Giuliani will try to auction them off to developers. For now, WOW folks, working in coalition with their neighbors, say they're sanguine about their chances of negotiating a reasonable solution. "Desire isn't enough by itself," says Shaw, recalling why WOW sought out a permanent location in the first place. "You have to have space where desire can be formed."

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