Frank and Open Discussions

A visit to the land of Oz and straight talk from Rihanna and Ian Benardo, among others

It was on to indulging in chicken at Monday's Hard at the Plumm, where promoters Chuck Attix and Maverick Cook always show up in priceless matching outfits, like gay members of the von Trapp family. The night's entertainer was Ian Benardo, who made it to No. 1 on amIannoying.com (beating Mohamed Atta, Hitler, and even Paris Hilton) because of his controversial appearances on American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance? As Benardo explained to me, "I asked Simon, 'Do you even have a work permit?' I also said, 'You have bigger breasts than Paula,' but that part was cut out. On Dance, [producer/judge] Nigel Lythgoe told me, 'I have three words for you: You can't dance.' I said, 'I have three words for you: Fuck you.' Then I realized that was only two, so I added 'exclamation mark.' " But that's four! I'm confused. (And almost as annoying as Hitler.)

Tuesday night at Lotus, I danced in my seat to the gorgeous new Deborah Harry video for "Two Times Blue," directed by unsung visionary Rob Roth . As we ate to the beat, there was also a burlesque show of exhibitionists stripping to Harry's songs, but after the first performer slipped, co-host Misstress Formika announced, "Next week it'll be Paraplegic Burlesque ." Exclamation mark.

Hairspray's Penny Pingleton, the adorable Amanda Bynes, celebrated her Dear clothing line at Sushi Samba the next night and told me she loved playing a girl who rebels against mama and sleeps outside her race. Has Bynes ever tried black herself? "I don't kiss and tell," she replied quickly, then added: "But there's no turning back!" Good answer! As for Dear clothing, Bynes explained that it's an ultra-affordable line of wearable chic for schoolgirls. "When I was young, I shopped at Payless," she confessed. "I didn't know there was anywhere else!" I was shocked—not that she shopped at Payless, but that I had actually just heard Amanda Bynes say, "When I was young . . ." "But I'm 21!" she squawked, sensibly.

Details



Speaking of Payless: I was a guest on the first day of Star Jones's taping at Court TV and must report—sorry, folks—that she was ultra-professional and a team player. I was on to debate the proposed banning of the word bitch—and free speech in general—and loved it when Star said, "I would die for your right to criticize me, Musto." I also enjoyed it when the daft councilwoman who wants the ban found herself merrily chanting along to a Snoop Dogg lyric about a bitch.

That night, Flava Men at Escuelita brought a bevy of flaming pier queens and trannies with breasts bigger than Paula's. Lighting up the room, a plus-sized voguer named Saley was the most graceful thing I'd seen since I climbed over to Rihanna.

And that brings us back to (dil-)doe-doe-doe-doe.

WEB EXTRA

But stop everything! I just learned something far more devastating than the fact that nightife has died again. Lance Bass has broken up with Brazilian hottie Pedro Andrade! Ain't no lie, Pedro, bye bye bye.

musto@villagevoice.com

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