NY Mirror

A giddy genderpalooza called Qwe're Musicfest was all set to launch last week at Tompkins Square Park, where the now defunct drag circus Wigstock first spread its foofy wings. But when hoped-for funds didn't come through, the event was downscaled at the last minute to Fez, which was fine, not only because it rhymes with lez, but because it gave the fest a more up-close-and-personal feeling—plus you could buy drinks!

Along the way, there were other life-hands-you-a-lemon type impediments to progress. Organizer Mr. Joe-who's a real vision in a minidress and combat boots-told me that the state's Division of Corporations refused to give the event a corporate seal because they felt any hint of the word queer is offensive to the, um, queer community. That's kind of cute, but Mr. Joe assured them that queer has become pretty much embraced and reports, "I even went on to point out the huge success of Queer as Folk. They said they hadn't heard of it!" I guess our state officials are just too busy moving society forward with their fascinating ideological breakthroughs to read or watch TV, right?

With or without the seal, the event was a hit, brimming with multigender euphoria and the welcome raggedy edge that comes with newness. (Wigstock had become like a giant TV variety show, albeit a fabulous one.) Downstairs, the entertainment veered from transsexual rocker Chloe singing about how she was rebuffed when offering daffodils to strangers to Jonny McGovern, who did a wonderfully sleazy dance number about lechery at soccer practice. As the emcee of this section, I had to keep promising a "special surprise guest," but alas, Nina Hagen, who was "en route" the whole day, never made it. (Before you wonder what else she was "en," let me assure you Hagen was simply detained because of technical problems related to her bigger gig that night. She's still got my seal.)

Let's hear it for gender reparations!: Yolanda primed for her appearance at the Qwe're Musicfest
photo: Cary Conover
Let's hear it for gender reparations!: Yolanda primed for her appearance at the Qwe're Musicfest

Upstairs, the guy singing "Come to the cabaret" made things a little too Jerry Lewis telethon-y for comfort. But the edge came back via wild-eyed drag king Ethan Carter (formerly Lizzerace), who I'm extremely hot for, meaning I must be straight, right? And let's not forget Yolanda, who sang original tunes in a tiger-print nun's outfit replete with foam-rubber breasts, or Homothug, a scary guy who rapped, "I was sucking dick when your asshole was in Pampers." A cross-dresser's serious speech about the need for "gender reparations" had one twitterhead in the crowd murmuring, "When did drag queens become so serious?" But things got mirthful again when a performer kept self-adoringly reminding us that he was in the middle of a 40-city tour and was sorry his face had annoyed everyone on the cover of so many magazines. "That's OK," muttered one unbelievable bitch. "I only read the back of Homo Xtra."

As long as we're skimming the bar rags: I hear that Judy Garland's last husband, Mickey Deans, is alive and well and can usually be found in the Pines. Too bad Liza's already married!

Speaking of which, indie actor Craig Chester feels that with Liza and David Gest getting a baby so easily, "It proves gays can adopt!" For a whole other qwe're-male bonding experience, Chester recently went to Canada to be with his platonic soulmate, Parker Posey, who was filming the Shirley MacLaine TV movie about Mary Kay of cosmetics fame. They promptly put Chester in the movie as Posey's hairdresser! He adored MacLaine, and when he told her he once had "long face syndrome"—a deformity that was corrected with a year's worth of operations—she colorfully responded, "Did all that surgery affect your cocksucking?" Chester's intriguing reply: "I suck cock like a vegetarian."

In other orifice-filling news, Chester's upcoming memoir, Why the Long Face?, describes how his grandma worked at a hospital where The Brady Bunch's Robert Reed once came in with a Coca-Cola can stuck up his ass. That must have been how Vanilla Coke was born.

Someone should bottle all the inspiration-under-pressure that made up The 24 Hour Plays—how's that for a segue, kids?—six shorties that were written and rehearsed starting at 10 p.m. on a Sunday, then thrown onstage the very next night like glittering Minute Rice (all to benefit Working Playground). There usually aren't enough original Broadway plays to give award nominations to, but here were six exceptional new ones whipped up and spewed out in a fucking day—and during an orange alert yet! The highlights of the playlets—which mostly dealt with people resolving their feelings about dead or unseen characters—ranged from Brooke Shields furiously pulling falsies out of her blouse to Rosie Perez chirping, "I was looking myself up on Google." And a fab seventh drama erupted when an irate audience member (actually Perez herself) yelled at the crowd, "Turn off the fucking cell phones!" Those who refused probably ended up at St. Vincent's with Nokias up their butts.

Wedding bells have chimed again for legendary groupie-singer Bebe Buell, who has sex like a carnivore; she's quietly married musician Jim Wallerstein. That should take the sting out of the fact that Bebe's last husband, rocker Coyote Shivers, is suing over his representation in her '01 memoir. He's been so aggressive about it, I hear, that Bebe's changed all her numbers and has even turned off her fucking cell phone!

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