By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Let's toast Paper magazine's first Nightlife Awards ceremony, an extremely vivid quirkathon where typical backstage banter started with "My mother was schizophrenic, and when she didn't take her meds . . . " Well, I certainly took mine, and spent hours regaling MICHAEL STIPE with the wonders of Neurontin until feeling so embarrassed I wanted to crawl away singing, "That's me in the corner." Onstage, there was a series of giddy highs, like beauteous socialite TINSLEY MORTIMER chirping that her look doesn't really need a makeover and co-presenter THOM FILICIA from Queer Eye saying he agreed, "though I would give you a cock." (Honey, he could just hand one right over to yours truly.)
The big tension was all the onstage back-and-forth about which two-fags-and-an-ambiguous- girl-promoter trio started first, THE MISSHAPES or THE TRINITY. "We did," one of the MisShapes swore to me later on that night, while the official response from a Trinity member was, "I love everyone. My only concern is my hairwhich looks fabulous, by the way." Adding to the texture, one of the V.I.P.'s begged to remain anonymous as he told me he'd love to bang AMANDA LEPORE. Alas, the ceremony was set up to give out trophies, not trannies.
The award-winning club Happy Valley had its first SUSANNE BARTSCHKENNY KENNYpromoted Tuesday-night party, and out came the real heroes of BLOOMBERG's New York: the guy wrapped in plastic and duct tape; the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; the old-timer saying, "It's a bunch of dinosaurs from the Discovery Channel"; and the aforementioned Lepore-lover, who was now gabbing about the go-go boy's wanton appendage. KIM AVIANCE and HARRY both managed to do sexily dramatic acts on the stairwaystages are so '04and whether the MisShapes came before the egg or not, they DJ'd so flawlessly I even did a distracted shimmy in a corner of the dancefloor, hoping no one on the balcony would cue the pee.
To demonstrate my vast range, I'll now swish over to Broadway, where Souvenir is the show about socialite Florence Foster Jenkins, the original WILLIAM HUNG, who couldn't hit a note even with a baseball bat. JUDY KAYE is perfect (if not pitch-perfect) as the perfectly awful but endearing dame without rhythm, tonality, or a singing role in Rent. The result is a neat little portrait of the type of wannabe star that chases me down dark alleys a little too often.
Off-Broadway, Bingo, the musical, is very Tony n' Tina's 25th Annual Steel Magnolias Nunsensecute but generally inconsequential, though I would have applauded louder if I'd won the $3 prize some lucky, big-haired tart from New Jersey got instead. Die, follically incorrect stink bomb.
Pride & Prejudice is a lovely Jane Austen adaptation, with lots of bee-stung lips, dewy eyes, and line dancing. At the equally nicey-nice premiere party at the Central Park boathouse, director JOE WRIGHT told me that, though someone after a suburban-L.A. screening screeched, "That movie was fucking horrible," tonight's crowd was more sophisticated, "and there was even a little round of applause when JUDI DENCH came on." Was Wright ever around Gotham when it was less sophisticatedi.e., when it gorgeously reeked of dirtbags and sleazebuckets? "I wish!" he blurted. "I like dirt. I think it's beautiful." Then why didn't he put any in the movie? "I did," he said, plainly. "There's a lot of mud." M.M.