By Albert Samaha
By Amanda Dingyuan
By Anna Merlan
By Anna Merlan
By Albert Samaha
By Tessa Stuart
By Anna Merlan
By Roy Edroso
Step right up and get some short, digestible bites for the A.D.D. gener . . . gener . . . ah, never mind. First of all, inquiring minds are still clogged with delightful detritus from that most boring of all Oscars telecasts, enlivened only by that immortal "pimp song." Like, remember when GEORGE CLOONEY boasted about how the Hollywood community was the first bunch of people to talk about AIDS? That's funny; as I just told Poz magazine, the first Hollywood AIDS movie didn't even happen until 1993, more than a decade into the crisis! (Though LIZ TAYLOR at least tried to stir up some interest only four years into it.) And how about that perky cure-all, REESE WITHERSPOON? She's an utter doll, but one reader points out, "I'm so sick of her 'li'l old me from Tennessee' act. Her family is loaded. She's hardly a sharecropper!"
Moving on to tinier telecasts time's a wastin'I've written about how Q Television Network recently screwed over scads of workers and owes a shitload of gay money all around. Well, as one of the people they fucked without a condom-yes, I'm now a sharecropperI just got a communiqué from the "gay premium channel" that was evasive yet rather hopeful. It said, "We are in receipt of your invoices. Unfortunately do [sic] to the fact that the QTN is in a reorganization mode until further notice, no payables are being released across the board. Please check back within a few weeks." I'll due that, girlfriend. In the meantime, that reorganization involves founder FRANK OLSEN and the old board of directors biting the gay dust as a brave person named LLOYD FAN(who was the interim president) takes over this mess by the balls. Will he handle past debts in a timely and sensitive matter? He'd better! If not, the shit will surely hit the Fan.
Rosie the riveting
But please stay seated as I drop my grudges, lift my pants, and move on to a more promising area of filmed entertainment. ROSIE PEREZ called from the Sunshine State, where her documentary Yo Soy Boriqua Pa' Que Tu Lo Sepa (a/k/a I'm Boricua, For Your Information) was sizzling up the Miami International Film Festival. "It's fucking hot down here," she said, laughing. "I don't do well in heat. I know I'm Puerto Rican. But I get all sun blotchy and I get that melasma thing. You should see me walking around with a big old-lady hat!" She's gorgeous, for your information.
The film, which explores relations both good and bad between the U.S. and P.R. over the last couple of decades, is the culmination of two strenuous years of work. ("I tried real hard!" she said, pleadingly. "I busted my ass!") Is it a MICHAEL MOORE, in-your-blotchy-face kind of agit-doc? "Oh, my God, no," Rosie told me. "This is a lot more objective, I would say. I hired JIMMY SMITS to narrate it. I thought, 'I can't be all over the damned thing!' "
The resultwhich will pop up on IFC in Juneseems to be tapping into the boriqua in all of us. "I didn't realize that audiences would get so emotional," Rosie said. "They're clapping, crying, and some are getting angry. I was like, 'Wow.' I guess that's what you'd hope for, not people walking away and saying, 'That was cute.' That would be the worst." Yeah, but it's still way preferable to neat or, worse, interesting.
I'm a theater queen, for your informationyes, let's keep movingso I was first in line with my tongue out for the opening night of the musical version of Grey Gardens, the '70s cult documentary about mother-and-daughter bluebloods who fell into cobwebby disrepute complete with all manner of snoods, raccoons, and melasma. The show is bold and weird and unmissable, with priceless moments like Dad snarling, "If she were the whole horse instead of just the ass, I'd shoot her" as CHRISTINE EBERSOLE's character croons a gleefully racist ditty. Another highlight has little LEE RADZIWILLsaying, "I might grow up and marry a prince" (well, supposedly she did marry a queen) and even more poignantly, it'll be hard to ever shake the love song to corn.
At intermission, lyricist MICHAEL KORIE told me the creative team only committed to the project once they landed on the idea of setting Act One in '41 and Act Two in '73. Isn't that very Barefoot in the Park With George or whatever? Yes, SONDHEIM was an influence, he said, "and we were also talking about The Hours"meaning the time-spanning trilogy of unhappy women. We agreed that would make a good musical, and Korie crowed, "Christine Ebersole could play all the roles!"
Also gung ho for Ebersole was Queer as Folk's PETER PAIGE, who's working with her on the WB show Related. Paige told me Ebersole recently confessed to him, "I just want to be a gay icon." "I said, 'You are,' " he revealed, "and she said, 'Not big enough!' Well, I think she's thoroughly cemented her iconic status in the gayosphere!" Honey, she isthe gayosphere.
But let's leave some room for JOHN TRAVOLTA, who's taking the lead female role in the Hairspray movie, which they should probably retitle Look Who's Tucking. As long as Hairspray's co- composer SCOTT WITTMAN was in the room, I had to prod him for some out feedback. "He'll look fabulous in his dress," Wittman said, beaming. "You knowhe's got a dress in that closet." Oh, is that what he's got in there? More importantly, can Scientology really be all that thrilled about this high-heeled career move? "No comment!" shrieked Wittman, laughing. "I'm clean!"
Down at the Public, Measure for Pleasure isn't all that clean; it's a racy reworking of Restoration comedy conventions "succumb" is made to sound like "suck cum"but though the characters have suggestive names like Sir Peter Lustforth, I got more of a rise out of the fact that one of the show's cast is actually named EMILY SWALLOW!
Short-attention-span theater reaches its peak with Ring of Fire, the Johnny Cash revue the kids on the boards are likening to a Country Bears jamboree. Fortunately, I like the Man in Black way more than The Woman in White, and after all I am from the Southof Brooklyn. The show? It's better than Lennon, worse than Jersey Boys, with a bunch of chirpy Broadway types pretending to be hillbillies and even playing instruments à la Sweeney Todd. (LARI WHITE's a standout, though; she's a genuine country singer, meaning she grew up far from Reese Witherspoon.) But it's most fun to realize that "A Boy Named Sue" is a tranny-sympatico song; the dad named his son Sue because he knew the kid would get so much grief for it, he'd end up tough and proud!
I'm a Valley girl and there is no cure
There are a lot of boys named Sue and girls named Hugh at Happy Valley, which has those perfectly foofy carnivalesque parties on Tuesdays. Well, the club now has a PR firm that sends out press releases about the bash and promotes celebrity drop-in performers like DITA VON TEESE. That's scared me. The place was fine without celebs and hype. It made its own buzz. It planted its own tree. But I guess the joint needs to turn more of a profit and go for the gold cards. I guess, like Christine Ebersole, it's not big enough! Well, I was praying the PR would do what it has to without any compromising effects on my happiness. And thank God last week all was foofily fine (and still evolving; the basement suddenly became the destination floor as the high spirits got agreeably lower).
In the balcony over at Element's Saturday-night Bank parties, one of the go-go boys is the stylishly skinny and bespectacled GREG EVANS, a photographer/Diesel jeans sales associate who's living proof that gay body fascism is officially no longer neat or interesting. "But I don't think of me dancing as any kind of statement," Evans told me last week. "It's more that I'm comfortable with my body. I'm really skinny, but I don't think I necessarily look bad. I think I look just as hot as any beefy Chelsea go-go boy." More so! No stretch marks! And I adore his glasses, especially since they're not an affectation at all. "They're just so I can see," Evans explained. "But they keep falling when I dance and I shake my head too fast. I'd wear a strap, but I'd look even more like a nerd!"
Before my attention totally plotzes, let me tell you that at that same club for a Genre magazine party, ZULEMA from Project Runway told me she's now playing the role of the sleazy producer in those staged readings of Showgirls. It's the part I played! I've been replaced by a fabulous black woman! And now she'll be a bigger icon in the gayosphere than I am! I'm very . . . I forget.