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
If you want to create your own diva legend, head a gay skip away to Marie's Crisis, the unkillable piano bar where people have long gathered 'round the keys to shriek "I'm still here!" At peak moments, singing waitress MAGGIE WIRTHwill winningly belt out a number to add to the kick the booze she just served you already started. Between show tunes last week, Wirth gave me some verbal liner notes on her career, which has been a mixture of "Pack up the luggage, tra-la-la " and "You'll be swell, you'll be great." Her credits? "A tour of Oliver!," she said. "A tour of The Sound of Music," she added, making a wretching noise. Her favorite obscure musical? " Henry, Sweet Henry." Her fave number to perform? " 'Ring Them Bells' and also what we call 'the drunk medley': 'Melancholy Baby 'Bye Bye Blackbird and 'Show Me the Way to Go Home'." Why does no one at Marie's ever want to be shown the way to go home? "There's no agenda, no microphone, no lights," she said. "Just singing. And it doesn't matter if you're good, bad, or indifferent." Oh good, because I'm really bad. One more question: Who sang "I'll Plant My Own Tree"? Nah, too easy.
On actual Broadway, Talk Radio is about a media person who mercilessly ridicules everyone he comes in contact with because of a deep-seated uneasiness and self-loathing. Couldn't relate to that at all.
Up my poofter alley, Curtains reminds us that, as with everything from A Chorus Line to The Producers to The Drowsy Chaperone, Broadway loves nothing more than a show about a show (if not me interviewing moi). This one adds some murderous intrigue, but you don't really care much whodunit. The plot is just an excuse to hang CAROL BURNETTstyle sketch material (with hints of MEL BROOKS) onto the backstage frame, along with witty choreography and pizzazzy performing. Like the show within the show, Curtains seems written in 1959 (despite the dick jokes) and there are definite leaden stretches and droopy moments, but you look back on it all rather fondly because it aims so hard to please. (Try getting the song that rhymes "thataway" and "Piscataway" out of your head.) Its best asset, DEBRA MONK, hits it out of the park as the brassy producer with a distaste for high art. She'd love Curtains.
Less of a mystery is the fact that LINDSAY LOHAN's people asked for extra security when she DJ'd at the Plumm last week because Lindsay heard her father might be coming. More scarily, now that he's free, that makes two Lohan parents currently piggybacking on her fame by trying to push their own TV shows. And you wonder why the poor thing had to go to rehab at 20! And even miss Marc Jacobs's show!
But enough about them. Come see me this Saturday the 24th at the GLBT Expo at the Javits Center, from two to four p.m. I can explain some things.
Web Extra: Wait, there's yet another chance to catch my radiant beauty in person! Do you live in Chicago? Or can you get there rather quickly and on the cheap? Then hie thy literary ass over to my book event at Sidetrack (3349 N. Halsted) on Wednesday March 28 at 6:30PM. The highbrow chatter and the smell of Poppers will make for a bracing combination.