By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Wherever LARRY TEE DJs, my bony legs follow. At Distortion Disko Thursdays at Duvet, I regularly submit to his assortment of hypnotic catchphrase songs to the point where I'm a "hollaback girl" with a "sweet child o' mine" who's "hung up" with "my humps" and I'm "sorry," but "I just like to call you my bitch." Well, two Saturdays ago there was a whole other chance for ritualized Tee dancing when the new club Element launched the weekly party called Bankthrown by Larry, who DJs, and Distortion co-promoter JOSH WOODand my lovely lady lumps weren't sorry at all, bitch. The bash was a smash. Before I went, the advance press release did have me a tad nervous when it explained that the club's crescent logo "is representative of the female and is completed with its male counterpart, represented by the floating divider." That seemed shockingly limitedyou know, a female being completed by a malebut relax, they just had a Sunday gay tea party and Bank wasn't exactly a seaquarium either. (Oh, Michael, please resist the hideously popular faygeleh urge to equate women with fish. Clams are slammin', even when bearded. Whatevs.) Anyway, it was so gay that the floating divider had no crescent attached at all; the crowd was homo-cutie heaven, and it's always nice to see the first couple of gay media, Logo's JASON BELLINI and Twist's (and Logo's) WILL WIKLE who's also known for Big Brother 5even if I'm just a smidge insanely jealous.
The club? A former bank (ka-ching, ka-ching), it takes the Happy Valley formulamain floor for dancing, balcony for posing, basement for falling apartand makes it plush, with all kinds of warm tones, luxe lamps, and smoke machines. Now that there's even somewhere to go on Saturdays, I only have Mondays for watching sitcom reruns over takeout tacosand I still won't. (Note to the Times: It's true, gay nightlife has, against all odds, reached a whole new dizzying peak. Call me for a quote.)
Curry in a hurry
Before acting all crazy-foolish in nightclubs, it's lovely to sit still and be dignified while watching ultra-serious flicks like Street Fight, MARSHALL CURRY's riveting documentary about the Newark mayoral race between an idealistic CORY BOOKER and crusty, creepy bully SHARPE JAMES. (Guess who won?) Before the film's premiere screening at the Core Club last week, wide-eyed Curry told me, "I shot 200 hours of footage and edited it myself, spending month after month in my apartment, wondering if anyone's gonna see it." Well, the academy obviously saw itthe film is Oscar- nominated against the penguins, the amputee sportsmen, and the voracious fish. "Anyway, was CHENEYgate overblown at all?" I asked, dragging up the old and the obvious. "It was underblown," Curry insisted. "The guy has such disdain for the press. I think the event shone a light on that and how it has life or death consequences."
Standing nearby, the film's co-executive producer RORY KENNEDY told me what an inspiring one-man band Curry is and how he shot 200 hours of footage, etc., etc. I guess he's a really voracious fish. But what about that Cheney thing? "It's not the most important issue," Kennedy said, "considering the Iraq situation and joblessness here, but I think it's deserving of some attention. It sheds light on the need for gun control." To hear that from someone who happens to be R.F.K.'s daughter and J.F.K.'s niece was especially major and chilling. And it became even more relevant when, after the movie, Bookerthe dreamer who lost to the monster (though he's running again)told the crowd he now has to drive everywhere with two armed security guards.
On my way out, co-host MOBYa sweet child o' minetold me, "Cheney was drunk! He was thrown out of Yale for being drunk, he had two DUIs, and he admitted to drinking that day. Why else the delay?" I was too drunk to answer, but would surely try to do so later.
Short attention span theater
Hey, let me be clear that was a total joke; I don't even order Shirley Temples, let alone Dakota Fannings. But while I attempt to recover from the incredible intoxication of my Diet Cokewith a dangerous lemon wedgeI have some quirky quickies for you: Tony winner LIEV SCHREIBER tells me he might do The Homecoming with director JOE MANTELLO and he's definitely going to play the title role in Macbeth for MOISÉS KAUFMAN in Central Park. Isn't that the bad-luck play? "I was just thinking that myself," Liev said. "Hopefully it doesn't kick in until you're in performance."
In somewhat better-luck news, the revival of the flimsy but fun-ish Pajama Game can't throw flannel over the show's dull patches, but it can fizz when given half a chance. That particularly happens whenever HARRY CONNICK JR. is deadpanning, tinkling the ivories, singing along to a tape of himself (the kind of trick that happens in other shows, though not openly), and coming off like pure velvet. KELLI O'HARA, who did wonders with her nonsensical, brain-damaged character in The Light in the Piazza, sings well as Babe, but it's Harry's Game all the way, and I'll gladly play along. The man puts the thread in my buttons.
Let's never zip up BARRY Z, the cable interviewer with unexpected questions like "Why did you call the movie Capote?" Barry recently taped something at the NAPTE convention for JAY LENO's "Pitch to America" segment, proposing a show called Body Parts of the Rich and Famous. "We'll have JOAN RIVERS's cellulite and Michael Jackson's nose," Barry told me, excitedly. Which ones? . . . The most unusual other TV-land development, whispers say, is that JAY BAKKER, TAMMY FAYE's grace-espousing punk preacher son, will be the center of a Sundance channel observational-documentary series (you know, reality show) done by the World of Wonder team that brought you Transgeneration . . . The best Freudian slip camouflaged as an illiterate remark that I heard a Fox News Channel anchor say in the last few weeks was JOHN KASICH's on-air comment, "I'm not here to be a shrill for any administration!" . . . Anyone acting shrill on the big screen? Well, a queen at the aforementioned Duvet cornered me to shriek, "I just saw Brokeback Mountain and I thought HEATH LEDGERcame off like BILLY BOB THORNTON in Sling Blade!" (Or maybe Kelli O'Hara in The Light in the Piazza.)
Truly retarded, Pop Bitchthe British douche, I mean dish sitejust ripped me off faster than I can hide my coat in Larry Tee's DJ booth to avoid the "mandatory" three-dollar cloakroom charge. They ran an item called "Big Questions: What people are asking this week" and bizarrely enough only included one such question, a blind item about a sizzling gay affair, lifted directly from my column. Big question: Why?
At Happy Valley, I put a more penetrating query to drag presence TOBELL VON CARTIER, who'd just had a birthday party at PAT FIELD's house: How old are you? "I'm fine," she responded, blithely . . . At the same happy boîte, a guy swore to me that KENNETH COLEis looking for influential New Yorkers to put on billboards as part of his next campaign and I've been enthusiastically pitched to him. Here's a shocker, Kenneth: I'm available!
I'm also stunningly resourceful. Last week, I noted that a LADY BUNNYjoke"How does CLAY AIKEN remove a condom? He farts!"might not be applicable anymore since the American Idol runner-up's supposed Internet hookup said the singer is a top and didn't use condoms. (Clay's record-company flack had no comment when we asked.) Well, I begged you all to submit new Clay jokes to take that one's place rather than let icky behavior shatter all our cheap yuks, and you came through like raunchy bottoms. But the hands-up, I mean hands-down winner is the delightfully cynical TIMOTHY KIRK, who graciously supplied all these wowsers:
"How does Clay Aiken clean off after sex? With a green beret." "Why was Clay Aiken never circumcised? Because there is no end to that schmuck. (Talk about the 'Measure of a Man'!)" "What did Clay say while shoving his member in JOHN PAULUS's ass? 'This is the Night'." "Why wouldn't Clay eat after performing on American Idol? He had a little Ruben backstage." "Why won't Clay go to Chelsea? Because Chelsea's a girl."
And finallyrim queen, I mean rim shot"Why won't Clay use a condom?" And the punchline? "Ewwww," says Kirk. "There's no joke. He is just a creepy thing who shouldn't be allowed to fuck real queers anyway." Point taken.