My tired ass has watched Wigstock morph over the years from an East Villagey performance-art showcase to a splashy showbiz parade dripping in production numbers—but what production numbers! From Shasta Cola ’s mammoth homage to Björk to Richard Move ’s inspired tribute to Martha Graham , done to the score from Psycho, this year’s dragfest was a spectacular revue fit for a slightly left-of-center TV variety show. There was way more razzmatazz than transgressive art onstage, but it was still hard to avert one’s eyes from the hairy legs, tucked penises, drizzled-on pantyhose, and constantly lip-synching mouths. Interestingly, the “real” entertainment biz weaseled in from every which way, courtesy of Broadway’s Saturday Night Fever (“I get dissed and raped,” said the cute singer Orfeh before launching into “If I Can’t Have You”) and Hollywood’s Flawless (local queens-made-good enacted the title song, an ode to perfection). Female model Kylie Bax even dropped by to promote The Big Tease,a Scottish hairdressing flick she’s featured in, only to have Wigstock high priestess Lady Bunny quip to her onstage, “I can tell you’re a supermodel because of the tracks on your arm.” And the music biz showed off its tracks with way too many long-winded dance acts, reminding me of my recurring nightmare that Kristine W is still singing from last year’s Wigstock. But I don’t care-this event is still the best excuse to pretend you’re a woman since 12-carat wedding rings!
The day’s surreal quality had been established earlier on when this little piggy went to Markt, the trendy Belgian restaurant that cements Belgium’s status as one of the truly Low countries. As a confused waiter paced back and forth with three unclaimed plates of food, a seemingly knowledgeable woman-let’s call her Groucho-took our drink orders. But some time later, another server-Zeppo-came around and took them all over again, explaining that Groucho was actually the hostess, not a waitress at all. A new wacko, Gummo, then insisted on jotting down our food order, only to have Zeppo come back and make us repeat that info because Gummo was only in training and didn’t actually place the order with the kitchen! PS: Despite the quadruple recitation, they got our food wrong.
Want to really blow a gasket over fright-night frustration? I’ll tell you the newest idea of what makes for an exciting movie premiere-say, for Stir of Echoes. Eighty different publicists-let’s call them the Manson family-phone to make sure that you’re coming, the last frantic ringaling happening mere hours before the screening. (You also get faxes.) Having reconfirmed, you show up all silky-smooth and confident, but Ed Koch-standing outside with a camera crew-has to urge the doorman to let you past the ropes. Inside, they look at you like you’ve just landed from the planet Melmac. Your name doesn’t quite ring a bell, but you flash the invite, so they say you can certainly come in-just not here. You see, the theater is way overbooked and you’ll have to slither over to some spillover place down the block. On the way there, you run into a guy who says, “Where are you going? There are seats inside the premiere with your name on them.” Confused, you keep crawling to the spillover place, which has even less charm than a regular night at the movies, especially when the flick turns out to be quite amateurishly done. You go home and pass out in the spillover bedroom. Tomorrow morning-Belgian waffles!
You-all right, I-finally did get an invitation that reeked of some class. It was for a Moomba bash celebrating that hotshot new series Action, and it came replete with Ray-Bans and champers, so even if you didn’t get in, you were already ahead of the game, kiddo. The premiere episode-exposing all the schmucks and yutzes of Hollywood-is so zingy it even manages to make Keanu Reeves look funny. Future guest stars will include Sandra Bullock, who Jay Mohr‘s producer character will do dirty things with, and Scott Wolf, who gets called “Mini-Me” and “Party of 5’2″.” “Every guest star either gets a hand job or blowjob or knocks me out,” Mohr told me at the party, as I angled for a guest spot.
Buddy Hackett-an Action regular-said, “I think the show is very normal and ordinary. It just hasn’t gone through the sterilizer. Once on an NBC show, I couldn’t even say ‘pull a hair out of my nose’!” Here, it’s more like pulling a dick out of your face. Mohr told me that in one plotline, his gay action star wants to publicly come out, so to make him stay closeted, Mohr generously lets the guy service him. “The censor said, ‘Can you do one where he doesn’t blow you?’ ” related Mohr. “I said, ‘He’s not blowing me. He’s just going out of frame.’ I don’t know what’s on their minds.” We’ll see if that bit gets on, but already, in the premiere episode, a gay billionaire-let’s call him Barry-manages to parade his gigantic schlong around (hidden by Mohr’s large head). “I had to stare at that guy’s cock the entire day,” Mohr told me, as I felt a sudden urge to sleep with Barry Diller. Was the actor hung? “He was average, but he had donkey balls!” he exclaimed, and even Hackett perked up for a second.
Mohr waved hello to a guy across the room, then cracked to me, “Slimy agent.” He introduced me to his assistant and said, “He used to be a boxer, so I don’t have to lay a hand on anyone and act like a Baldwin.” And he truly doesn’t lay a hand on anyone. I caught him chatting up the slinky Anh Duong and writing things down on a napkin, but I was wrong in thinking that Mohr, who’s married, wanted some Action. On demand, Mohr showed me the napkin, which only had the correct spelling of Duong’s name-no number. “There isn’t a piece of pussy in the world worth that ulcer!” he told me. And he was off.
He must have gone to the legit stage because that’s where all TV names with any edge seem to be heading these days. Wit‘s new star Judith Light has impressively completed the trilogy of Who’s the Boss? actors that hit the boards this year, though I caught up with the show mostly to see the cute guy from Melrose Place. Interestingly, Light’s Playbill bio doesn’t skimp on her TV movie credits-in fact, she lists 14 of them-whereas Grant Show, that Melrose hunk, is extremely coy about his tube work, undoubtedly figuring we came to see him because of his performance in that regional production of Bus Stop. His bio mentions all sorts of Cleveland Playhouse vehicles and dramatic studies in London, then says, “While in Los Angeles, Show worked in television for several years.” As if we’re not going to notice he was on Melrose Place! And as if that’s not why we love him!
In any case, they’re both terrific, she as the cancer-ridden scholar at the mercy of he, the callow medicine man. The play starts with a single light-not Judith-propped up in front of white hospital curtains, then illuminates its subject for nearly two hours without remission-I mean intermission. The scene where Show shoves his hand up Light, whose feet are in stirrups, is a far cry from sitcom land, and by the end of the night, you know who’s the boss-Judith Light! Now, can I have your order? That last columnist was actually the hostess.