By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Linda Simpson's My Comrade magazine benefit at the Ukrainian National Home was a rivetingly kitschy nutfest, especially if you wandered into the Petit Versailles tent, where two guys dressed as Jesus were blowing the steaming pierogies, as it were, of anyone who unzipped. "I don't get it," I blurted, awestruck yet confused as to what kind of party this was. "They're exhibitionists," responded someone with a "duh" expression on his face.
I ran, crying, off to Splash to present an honor at Cherry Jubilee's Glammy awards for drag excellence, where they were all intellectually immersed in the art of the blowjob, as it turned out. Sweetie, who won best lip-synch artist, touchingly told the crowd, "When I'm sucking cock, I'm also practicing my lip-synching!" Lady Bunny won something, but didn't show, so presenter Ariel Sinclair cracked, "She's stuck in a 14-year-old." And Sherry Vinewho co-hosted with Shasta Colawas stuck on the fact that the GLAAD awards seemed to honor gay-friendly straight stars, "but this show is for fags, dykes, trannies, and cross-dressers!" They're exhibitionists! (PS: They're also complete cunts. While I was onstage, someone in the dressing room poured about a pound of sugar into my bag. At least it tasted like sugar.)
On Fridays at Mr. Black, the gays start getting aroused merely on entering; it's a Pavlovian response to recognizing the doorgirl, wacky Irene, from all those years at the Cock. And there are other offbeat arousals there. My last time around, a guy approached me to ask if Alexis Arquette should get his dick chopped off. "No wayit's so big," I shrieked, joking. "I know," he replied. "I dated him!" Well, it must have been celebrity fallout night, because another young gentleman later approached me to say he dated [famous person], "and he liked to lick ass. He always had bad breath." Dramatic pause. "Maybe because he liked to lick ass."
But let's stop kissing ass and start wondering why Kinky Boots' (admittedly minimal) advertising campaign has played down the gender angle as squeamishly as the Transamerica DVD cover. It reminds me of the Brokeback Mountain spots that almost made it look like the straightest love story ever told. And speaking of straight love stories, I do adore the campaign for Silent Hill, mainly because it's allowed so many pervs to change the bus shelter posters into wanky commentaries about Katie Holmes's "silent birth." (By the way, Katie might not have screamed when Suri with the fringe on top was born, but I know I did.)
My life on the Bee list
That flick's more uplifting box office competitor, the spelling movie Akeelah and the Bee, is produced by people named Sid and Nancy Ganis, but they're so not punk and suicidal. In fact, at a special screening, the perfectly coherent and well-groomed couple assured us that Akeelah is a terrific "family film," as I started getting a tiny bit n-e-r-v-o-u-s and wetting my pants. Well, sure enough, it's formulaic and corny, complete with the Billy Elliotstyle parent who has to be won over by the kid's talent, but by time they were spelling pulchritude, I was a sobbing mess.
And it's pulchritudinous to see Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne reunited a million years after What's Love Got to Do With It? The Ganises told me that was no coincidence; Fishburne requested Bassett, having loved working with her, and that's super-sweet, though I kept expecting him to bash her face in.
At my table, omnipresent celebrity lawyer Mickey Sherman refrained from punching me out when I asked for his secrets to TV-commentator glory. "The key," he said, "is being able to start and finish a thought in 14 seconds, before being interrupted by a screaming female prosecutor. Look straight at the camera, don't drool, and know that the moment you're sitting there, your mic is hot. Once, during O.J., I was on a show with Mike Walkerfrom the Enquirer, and we argued. They cut to a commercial and I said, 'Is he a fucking asshole or what?' Walker [who was being beamed in from elsewhere] heard it and said, 'I don't appreciate that.' " How do you spell tense moment?
That kind of conflict is always welcome in reality shows and even more so in speculation about them. Like: Now that Ivana Trump's doing Ivana Young Man, should Melania Trump launch the inevitable answer show, Ivana Old Man?
A cut above (though she had a cut below), Amanda Lepore is striving to launch her own reality series, and at one of those crazed Tuesday nights at Happy Valley, I asked her if it will be similar to Anna Nicole Smith's. "No," she cooed. "I'm already thin."
It's Weill all right
On Broadway, reality has filtered in, but in a deeply artifical way that adds excess poundage to the proceedings. At first, I was excited by the Threepenny Opera revival because it seemed almost like a drag awards show at Splash. But like this column, the production anxiously tries on anything for size: bisexuality, coke, subtitles, modern dress, sing-alongs, house lights going on in the middle of a song, a gay marriage joke, New Yawk accents, belching, and everything but getting stuck in a 14-year-old. It's the Spamalot approach to Weill, and it's also the Pajama Game approach in that loud weirdies (normally my favorite type of people, but not all at once) make up most of the cast. And things are even more spelled out than usual. Lucy, for example, is played by a man in drag, and if you don't get that, he lifts up his skirt and flashes his pierogi. Ana Gasteyerputs the ill in shrillthough she's talented, she sledgehammers every syllablebut Nellie McKay is sweetly affecting, Jim Dale is an old pro with the right vaudeville moves, and Alan Cummingworks his haunting heinie off. By the end, the piece's power can't help but surface through the gimmicks.