By Steve Weinstein
By Devon Maloney
By Tessa Stuart
By Alison Flowers
By Albert Samaha
By Jesse Jarnow
By Eric Tsetsi
By Raillan Brooks
There wasn't a dry thigh in the house at Drip, Lee Chappell, and Shequida's new Monday-night pool party at the Grace Hotel, with DJ JonJon Battles spinning from a land zone. Everyone was waxed, smashed, and splashing around as if in a gay version of a Busby Berkeley aquacade, minus the jeweled headdresses and synchronized wrist action.
Go-go boys, trannies, and the de rigueur guy in the pig suit were running around the extremely moist indoor environs as if they'd crashed into the Hudson but were making a big party of it.
I caught one Speedo-ed cutie fondling the shower chain by the sauna and mistily admitting, "I've always wanted to pull a chain and get wet. At eight, I was obsessed with Flashdance, but my parents wouldn't let me watch it till I was 12. I'm a maniac." Poignant story. More happily, a bikinied transsexual named Gia told me in a frank moment that her idol is Denise Austin ("I live for her Pilates tapes"), and her health-conscious daily diet consists of "Taco Bell and cum." All those chalupas mixed with protein and physical training had the gal doing Broadway-style backflips right into the deep end!
On a stage meant for dry humor, The Third Story proves beyond a doubt that Charles Busch and Kathleen Turner are two different people. At the opening-night party, a whole other being, Xanadu scribe Douglas Carter Beane, kept my athletic theme alive by telling me he's working on "a piece" ("In the '80s, we would have called it a show") that is sort of a hoops answer to Damn Yankees. Beane said the piece involves "biologically female cheerleaders" and "ballet-trained basketball players who have all turned out to be straight." I guess they don't eat at Taco Bell. With a little prodding, Mr. Beane giddily described the choreographer's routines with the cast: "Chassé, dribble, dribble, chassé, dribble, dribble, dunk!"
Choreography was queen at Karole Armitage's "Armitage Gone! Dance Think Punk!" gala at Capitale, which amazingly brought out an art crowd that still has money, and a money crowd that still has art. At the height of the evening, Armitage presented Jeff Koons with an offbeat-looking Gone! award, and the artist clutched it and said, "I feel like I'm holding a vagina in a coupee." I wouldn't know.
Armitage herself waxed nostalgic to me about the spirit she's tapped into to choreograph the new Hair revival. When she was 10, she said, she cut a hole in a poncho that her parents had given her, trying to make it more hippie-ish. "They were horrified!" she remembered. But will she cut a hole in Hair's Broadway stage and fill it with dirt from the Central Park version? Armitage said the idea of bringing in da soil actually did come up, "but some of the crew were against it. We wondered, 'Should we transfer nature indoors?' and decided no. No more nature!" Oh, good. It's bad for my shoes.
I couldn't leave without fishing for my own dirt: At a recent press event, Hair director Diane Paulus introduced Armitage as her partner. Did she mean, you know? "No," said Armitage, laughing. "She's a hot woman, but she does have a husband!"
I danced a coupee without a vagina over to Will Ferrell's opening-night party at M2, where cuter-than-ever Jimmy Fallon was looking to meet the Jonas brother that was there ("My niece will flip!"), and the super-talented Brooke Shields was telling me she doesn't want to be a replacement player on Broadway anymore. "I did that four times," Brooke lamented. "I want to originate something—do the workshop and develop it. I'm tired of learning the show in nine days. During Wonderful Town, I called my husband [Chris Henchy], crying a lot." Maybe she can play a biological female cheerleader in the hoop musical?
An all-new MTV thingie—The College Humor Show—turns frat-boy joking into an Olympic event, zooming in on the inner workings of the CollegeHumor.com office. (As the ads say, "More drinking than Mad Men. More blood than Dexter. Fewer stars than Dancing With the Stars.") This is clearly not Son of Masterpiece Theatre. It's based on the site that just had someone in a frog suit acting out Christian Bale's on-set tantrum. Is it in any way educational? "If you want to get a job at a ludicrous workplace, then this show could be educational," co-creator Ricky Van Veen told me at the kickoff bash, chortling.
The grossest thing in it, Van Veen said, is an employee getting a dart in his eye—but that was scripted. Relax, it's all supposed to be scripted—unlike reality shows, which are scripted, but aren't supposed to be, got it?
And let's hear it for the writers! They got to hold yet more trophies shaped like genitals at the Writers Guild Awards, which went on so long that Anne Meara told the crowd, "I was still ovulating when the opening monologue started." What do you expect when the wordsmiths are running the show? But it was all very wackily amusing, with the host calling it "the 314th most glamorous night of the year" and the Best Week Ever host saying, "As someone who works for a show on VH1, I know I'll never win one." Neither will 30 Rock's Judah Friedlander, who seemed way more impressed with the trophy girl than with the award he was presenting. In the heat of the moment, Friedlander turned to the vixen and blurted, "I want to bang the shit out of you tonight!" She'd be a great trophy girlfriend.
That was just a prelude to a fist, as it turned out. Before presenting an honor, Gilbert Gottfried screeched that Alec Baldwin had gotten so upset about something that he called his daughter a pig. Said Gottfried: "It's hard to explain to a one-year-old, 'It's not your fault! Kim Basinger's a fucking cunt!' By the way, Kim Basinger's a Fucking Cunt is up for best documentary. I think James Earl Jones narrated it. All the other nominees are about the Holocaust. The AIDS can't get you the award anymore, so the Holocaust is the way to go." That's good news for Kate Winslet.
At some point in between all the harsh truths, I managed to find another presenter, Curb Your Enthusiasm's Susie Essman, and ask her how she dug into the psyche of Mittens (the cat she voiced in Bolt. Duh). "It's interesting that you should ask," Essman said. "I didn't approach it as an animal—I'm allergic to cats—but I took the emotional point of view, from the feeling of being desperate and abandoned, which I have been many times. I also had a long talk with my dog."
Well, I don't even have a chia pet, so let me burden you with what's been ailing my nerves: As the original gay, I have been on Logo many times, but weirdly enough, that channel has never once pitched me any of their shows or stars to write about in my long-running, out-and-proud column. Further proof of my own obsolescence or really bad p.r.?
Here's more LGBT injustice: Charles Winters, who does some gay website for party queens, loves to describe me as majorly homely, which is fine—except that I just saw a picture of Winters in HX, and it turns out his face could stop a horse in its tracks and make it melt into glue. I'm just sayin'. Maybe we should battle this out in the (very) shallow end of the pool.
at the Grace