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 original everything, model JANICE DICKINSON, popped out of a mile-long limo outside her book party at Light, making her secondand definitely bestentrance that night. (An hour earlier, she'd come too soon and made a quick exit when she saw that tons of others had come too soon too.) Draped in a white feather boa almost as thin as she is, Dickinson struck a blinding succession of dramatic poses for the paparazzi outside, then asked them, "Did you get it? My surgery's starting to slip!" Before her forehead unfurled, I cornered the little dynamo and asked, naturally, why she talked with RYAN SEACREST on the air about his girlfriend, of all things. "He brought it up," Dickinson answered. "He said she calls him Ry, and I said it should be Ry Toast." Or Wonder Bread with marshmallow sauce. But wait, the twinkmeister's actually straight? "That would be a shock to me," squawked Dickinson, "because he's billed himself as the original metrosexual!"
More confused than ever, I asked the loquacious lady which celebs are unquestionably "friends of Kylie," as it were. "Isn't everyone?" she replied. "I am!" (Dickinson was only partially joking; she once had some lezzie one-nighters, one with a Rolling Stone's girlfriend.) Her most disappointing lover ever? "SYLVESTER," she said, meaning the action star, not the drag disco singer. "The wham-bam thing had to stop!" For the photogs, Dickinson then held up a copy of a gay magazine that featured her and boomed, "I really should be hawking my book, but I love the gays!" And with thatwham-bamshe went in again, the first model ever to show up in the same sentence with the word book.
Well, I love the plays! Most critics threw the book at Caroline, or Change, deciding it's too cerebral and diffuse a piece of wry toast, but I found it a profound achievement, with the season's loftiest score and arrangements (though it doesn't escape me that the show centers on TONYA PINKINS's angst when she's patronizingly offered pocket change, and in reality, the actress tried to get a full-scale Broadway salary and had to settle for $2,000 a week). At the opening-night party, the superb Pinkins told me, "This is a pinnacle in my life"if one that makes her vocal cords jump through hoops of fire. "It's everything from pianissimo to mezzo forte to screaming," she said. How does she recoup? "I steam a lot." Well, ANIKA NONI ROSE, who gorgeously plays Pinkins's daughter, almost got steamy when I askedif she's perhaps a little older than her character. The girl-woman wouldn't answer, then finally blurted, "I'm 16 onstage!"
But VEANNE COX, who shines as Pinkins's well-meaning employer, discussed age issues like a pro. "This has been my opening-night dress for 10 years," she told me, showing off her shimmery gray number. "I'm retiring it. I'm 41 and my boobs are starting to sag. You can only wear this dress if they're perky!" Quickgive itto Janice Dickinson before her surgery slips.
By the way, a woman with pert tits recently chased me down at a theater event and tearily told me in a mezzo forte voice how my work had transformed her life. I couldn't imagine how raunchy bar gossip had moved her so deeply, but I still batted my eyes and gave her a phony-humble "You're so kind." "Caroline, or Change was especially wonderful," she went on, almost having a breakdown of joy. Wait a friggin' minutethe slag thought I was TONY KUSHNER? Security!
But back to the theater: Frozen is a thoughtful play that works up sympathy for a pedophile-killer who screams at a victim's grieving relative, "Don't bother me again, cunt! Pardon my French." (At least he's polite. I should have said that to the pert-tit woman.) At Frozen's obligatory party, I asked acclaimed co-star BRIAN F. O'BYRNE how his mother reacted to his onstage use of the C-word. "That's not a problem," O'Byrne responded before grabbing Mama and traipsing ever so briskly in the other direction. Not in my family either; it's all that dicktalk they don't care for.
Of course if you crave pudendum prattle in a really absurdist setting, you should see Prymate, which is just another show about a female sign language interpreter who jerks off an ape who's just peed on her (pardon my French). The play, a giant chimpan-zzzz, has HEATHER TOM as the interpreter with the busiest hands in the biz (in between all that signing, she has to service the horny gorilla); hearing-impaired PHYLLIS FRELICH mugging like Harpo Marx on tina; JAMES NAUGHTON as the brilliant scientist who says stuff like, "You know someone with the AIDS virus? That must be rough"; and ANDRE DE SHIELDS as the talented monkey who can grab for perky titties and sign the word foreplay. The whole mess is wrapped in some pseudo-highbrow talk about playing Godthe show is as cynical about human behavior as Frozen is forgiving of itbut believe me, it's total ape shit.
Aping a Hollywood goddess, Jackie Curtis was a Warhol superstar of wit ("K-Y jelly is Fire Island toothpaste") and glamour (he was 16 onstage!) who died as a result of his first, unwanted hetero sex act, I swear. Totally fetch, he's the subject of CRAIG HIGHBERGER's Superstar in a Housedress (featuring moi), whose Film Forum premiere started with Jackie's minister brother blessing "those with the courage to be who they arenot boy, not girl." Not there was JAYNE COUNTY, who admittedly got fucked up the night before she was supposed to shoot her scenes. But in from the coast were divas ALEXIS DEL LAGO ("Look at my figure!") and HOLLY WOODLAWN ("Holly's out of the coma! She's back from the dead!" I knew she was fine if she was talking about herself in the third person). As for Ry Toast? Getting jellied elsewhere, but presumably not with Fire Island toothpaste.
Finally, though Jackie Curtis was a doll, JACKEE HARRY screams out for voodoo pins. At a play last week, the sitcom diva covered her face with a Playbill as I walked by, thereby avoiding one of her biggest fans. (But not that big; I wasn't even planning to talk to her.) May-ree, please. Bring back the lady who thought I was Tony Kushner.
What disgraced magazine "journalist"with whom I've had a hate/hate relationship for yearsadores being paid by clubs for promoting events? (I guess there's nothing like getting a little stipend to make you a better "journalist." The problem is, part of his Plaid payment one night hinged on the appearance of the model guest of honor that he'd promised, but she didn't show. No, not Janice Dickinsonshe shows twice. Anyway, the "journo" is reportedly still mad about not getting that extra thousand, andin a whole other situation, I'm surethe club's redheaded owner was not asked to be in a certain spread he did. Maybe she's lucky. Oh, did I mention that Crobar pays him?)
What publicist for an out TV star believes there's no such thing as bad publicityfor himself anyway? He's completely naked, with his aroused ding-dong hanging out, on bigmuscle.com.
What musical starlet was caught at a club last week being coached to pretend she's an investor in a show? A weird man was grooming her to do that so she could show up at a meeting and impress male investors. What was in it for her? "A hundred bucks and a free meal," she blurted. Tonya Pinkins's salary is starting to look better and better.