By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
KAREN FINLEY has a nicely shaved bush. In fact, it is completely bare. How do I know this? At the Coral Room for "God Save New York" on Sunday night, she was wearing red, white, and blue feathers stuck to her essentially naked body, but she wasn't covered up "down there" by anything. One could only concur with the notorious performance artist, who continually proclaimed after each lewd moment, "I love the First Amendment!"
As one of the notorious NEA FOUR, Finley was an appropriate choice for an evening jam-packed with New Yorkers who like to push buttons using sexuality to make their point. She quipped: "I've had a career of having trouble with the Bush dynasty, so it's my pleasure to be your host." Later Finley took on the role of a nagging wife hassling the administration, shrieking, "It's only 100 billion dollars! Maybe you need to go see a shrink! You're the one with the weapons of mass destruction! Duh! Duh!"
In keeping with the night's Get Naked to Get Rid of Republicans theme, RICHIE RICH and TRAVER RAINS of HEATHERETTE hosted a T-shirt giveaway contest of personalized "God Save New York" tees, but with one catch. The winners had to undress before getting the prize. (They obliged.) KEMBRA AND THE GIRLS OF KAREN BLACK were like multicolored Witchy Poos from HR Pufnstuf, with teased black fright wigs, long black-and-white dresses, and stained teeth, but when they turned around, they revealed their bare, albeit painted, bottoms. Sometime during the performance of "Forever Young" Kembra had a mini-Witchy Poo baby. RUFUS WAINWRIGHT brought what seemed like his entire familyincluding his mommyonstage for a hair-raising and altogether decent and touching a cappella rendition of Stephen Foster's "Hard Times," and cracked, as the family struggled to find the right key, "This is, like, my life."
Other performances from downtown stalwarts, like longtime Toilet Boy MISS GUY, Morningwood's CHANTAL, and newish New Yorker BOY GEORGE, prompted Finley to proclaim over and over, "God! I love this town!" but prompted me to wonder about the arts scene in New York when the most creative events are held by people who first made their mark 10 years ago. Thank G-d for them. The show was put together by MICHAEL CAVADIAS, a cutie actor who is best known as his drag persona LILY OF THE VALLEY, and LYLE DEREK, who was once the squeezable go-go boy at the notorious party SQUEEZEBOX.
There was more civic pride at Thursday's "Hooker's Ball," thrown at Crobar by JACKIE 60, another old-school crew. THE WORLD FAMOUS *BOB*kicked off the festivities in a fitting, if morose, way. She posed as Justice, bound and gagged, giant ta-tas exposed, and an American flag covering her loins as a sad version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" played. Later, she admitted to crying midway through, but added cheerfully that she had visited a miniature-pony farm earlier that day.
The evening was modeled after an an actual convention, with placards of the different states hanging from the ceiling, and people on the floor representing the 50 states. "GEORGIA" wore a denim jacket that proclaimed "Pure Sex Domination," and little else. "NEW JERSEY" was fittingly represented by a trio of gay boys in their skivvies, and "NEVADA" arrived in the curvy form of burlesque superstar DIRTY MARTINI masquerading as a Vegas showgirl. (Miss Martini just nabbed the coveted Miss Exotic World crown, which is sort of like Miss America for strippers.) While it was a shame no Republicans were actually present to be horrified by the people at "God Save New York" or the "Hooker's Ball," at the latter show the Dems weren't totally off the hook. The "White House Intern" danced onstage wearing a bikini, a cigar, and star-spangled knee pads.
When host CHI CHI VALENTI announced "NEW YORK," everyone cheered as the state's representativewho appeared to be a 'hotook the stage, clad in capped gold teeth, a big hoodie jacket, and a "New York Fuckin' City" shirt. She flashed a golden grin, waved her bling-bling, and motioned to her fur-clad pimp. For a moment, I loved New York.