By Zachary D. Roberts
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell and Laura Shunk
By Albert Samaha
By Amanda Dingyuan
By Anna Merlan
By Anna Merlan
By Albert Samaha
At Paper magazine's Nightlife Awards gala at Good Units, host Pee-wee Herman set the tone with his incredibly harsh words for Carl Paladino: "I know you are, but what am I?" The room of fashionistas was shocked into such a chill, you could hear their drop earrings stop swinging for a second.
Less contentiously, presenter Countess LuAnn de Lesseps gushed to the crowd, "This is such a chic party. There's vodka on every table!" Backstage, I toasted LuAnn because the producers of Chicago have reached out to her about playing Roxie Hart after The Real Housewives of New York season has wrapped (though she'd still have to audition, of course). LuAnn's thrilled because, as she told me, "the part is a great fit." Huh? A cold-blooded killer? "But she's charming by the end and she's misunderstood, like I am," said LuAnn. "People don't realize I'm down-to-earth." And, more importantly, she's capable of heavy dancing! "This isn't Sarah Palin's daughter on Dancing With the Stars," LuAnn said, laughing.
The singing-dancing reality star also told me she's going to belt a Broadway/cabaret-ish song on Housewives very soon. For that show, maybe something from Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown would make sense.
The gals sang, danced, and shot glitter at the crowd at Cherry Jubilee's Glammy Awards at Splash, a testament to all the sparkly creatures who make it worthwhile to leave the house and get utterly wasted every night. Culturally exciting hosts Bianca Del Rio (a Mexican-American) and Shequida (an African-American) were hilarious, going after each other with verbal hatchets and lacquered nails all night. "She went to Juilliard?" said Bianca about Shequida's résumé. "Juilliard is her cousin that she visited in prison!" "Please!" countered Shequida. "We run this country, and you run for the border!"
Of course they went after other drag queens, too, like when Bianca spit out, "I like Acid Betty and I like Epiphany—separately. I'm glad I'm not their landlord. 'Six coins and a dream.' Shut up, bitches!"
I got into the act with my own onstage announcement of the Best Entertainer nominees, which included loving putdowns like, "Amanda Lepore, a natural beauty; Bianca Del Rio, the scariest thing to crawl from the sludge of Hurricane Katrina; Mimi Imfurst, Cinnabon's No. 1 customer; and Shequida, who so memorably appeared on So You Think You've Got Talent? Well, You Don't!" The winner was Sherry Vine, about whom no one has anything bad to say. (All I could come up with was, "The queen of YouTube, which doesn't pay!")
Meanwhile—let me keep going with this insanity—presenter Hedda Lettuce had long run to the exit by then, holding her green hair down in the wind. You see, Best Dance Artist Logan Hardcore seemed pissed when Hedda announced that Logan looked like Little Orphan Annie in her dance number. "Logan shot me a horrid look," blogged Hedda. "Not the fun kind that drag queens have been doing for centuries, but the kind that ends you up on one of those cop shows, handcuffed over the hood of a car." But Logan had done a number from Annie! I'm so confused, maybe from the glitter shot in my face!
But Logan has given me an update: "I didn't shoot her a look for that. I shot her a look when she said the awards were all fixed and transparent, talking about how I had just performed, then won. But I didn't mean to shoot her that look. It's also the way I draw my eyebrows!"
Moving sideways, I judged So You Think You Can Drag?—well, you can—a high-octane contest at New World Stages, though MC Paige Turner deadpanned that she could have had a real job that night "playing Curious George in a TheatreWorks USA production." As always, I voted for Jillian Snow Harris as Liza Minnelli, mainly because she's the only biological woman who dares to do so. (And she's, you know, terrific.) But Jackie Cox won for synching a Rent song, pulling out the crate-packing from her ass region and throwing it at the audience, and saying that when she meets God, her first words would be, "Hey, girl, hey!"
I saw goddess as a judge at the amazing Miss LEZ Pageant at the Knitting Factory, hosted by Murray Hill, the recent Bored to Death cameo player who puts the "yes" back in "polyester." Last year, my consensual-incest remarks had the crowd undecided between laughing and crying. (It's so easy to upset a room of Williamsburg lesbians.) This time, I made people uncomfortable with a "Fuck, Marry, Kill" game in the Q&A segment, but basically, I sat back as the lesbians took the stage and even outdid drag queens in their pageantry, production numbers, and genital pride.
Their platforms ranged from "Don't go out to eat when you can eat out" to "Don't pack a box. Munch on mine!" Runner-up Miss Hey Queen (Ariel Speedwagon) showed us in her talent display how a unicorn's horn helped her get through her first attempt at lesbian sex. But the winner was Miss Rebel Cupcake (Drae Campbell), who triumphantly breakdanced, held up "Give Puss a Chance" signs, and won a bag full of Babeland sex toys and two drink tickets.