The “Walentine’s day” party thrown by Swiss Ms. Susanne Bartsch at China Club was a welcome step toward bringing back the circusy, freaky joy of old-time clubbing, right down to the straight guy break-dancing with underwear on his head. Adding even more surrealness, someone at the bash told me that cult actress Karen Black will sing “Spooky” at the upcoming Dusty Springfield tribute at Joe’s Pub. That couldn’t have happened under Giuliani.
A couple of blocks away, the WWF joint has given way to the World, where you wrestle down some pure dance fun courtesy of DJ gods like Danny Tenaglia. But it was a “last hurrah” that resulted in the shadiest recent invite—a phone message saying, “The Limelight’s opening its doors for the last time,” without any mention of the fact that the former church is changing hands and will reopen in the fall! Oh, and if you kept listening, “You’re on the guest list plus two” meant “You’ll pay half price.” Well, honey, I paid zero price and stayed home with my sticky, blood-splattered memory book. (By the way, now that it’s official that Macaulay Culkin and Seth Green will star in the movie about killer clubbie Michael Alig, can I remind you that reports about that casting started here when I was a club kid? And in ’98, Alig told me, “The first thing I’ll teach Macaulay is how to kiss.”)
Meanwhile, closing-sale patron Winona Ryder clearly has memories of better times spent in the limelight. Interviewed pre-shoplifting for an upcoming WE network doc called It Girls, Winnie admitted, “I was It, like 15 years ago when I did Beetlejuice. Whatever an It Girl is, it’s not me!” Decreasing fame—ain’t it a bitch.
That Dell commercial slacker is more of an It Boy than ever, but corporate execs must have gagged over all the gay-oriented panting about him. (Don’t look at me.) In the newest commercial, the geek suddenly has a very visible girlfriend. Dude, you’re gettin’ Adele?
Revlon has just plucked the tune “Flawless” for a commercial, and you’re on the guest list plus two to hear how it got there. In ’99, the Ones—a gay trio consisting of downtown divas Nashom (a/k/a Mona Foot), Paul Alexander, and JoJo Americo—recorded the song, hoping to get it into the ditsy drag movie of the same name. The tune didn’t make it, but once it was flawlessly remixed, it clicked, recently climbing to No. 7 on the British charts and getting the guys on Top of the Pops. “We’d given up on the song,” Nashom told me, thrilled, as he unpacked from France and repacked for Portugal. Big deal—I’m huge in parts of Times Square.
And so is Dame Edna‘s latest competitor, Bea Arthur—moving right along—who told me for Out that she once thought of having a lesbo affair, but nixed it. (And that answers that question.) For the same mag, plug-plug, I raised a plucked eyebrow to Janeane Garofalo about her publicized dalliance with Craig Bierko. “Who wouldn’t think I’d be the beard to Craig?” she responded. “If you think he’s gay, well everyone thinks I’m gay. But we’re both straight, though we read very gay.” Craig’s so secure, Janeane added, that “he refers to himself in the female all the time. ‘This little lady’s got to go home. She’s exhausted.’ ”
This little bitch ran to Dawson’s Creek‘s 100th-episode celebration at the Museum of Television and Radio, where there were enough teen idols running around to cement my delusion that I’m still a young girl. (Does that read gay?) Cute Katie Holmes laughed and said, “It feels like 100 years,” though she quickly amended that to “It’s been so amazing. I can’t believe it’s already 100.” James Van Der Beek was thrilled, too, though he conceded, “I think our show is the least ethnically diverse show on TV. We’ve failed in that area.” (And that includes The Sopranos.) It’s sexually diverse, though, and James knows about that, having shot a gay-filled thread of Todd Solondz‘s Storytelling. Alas, that whole plotline was axed. Why? “Ask Todd,” he told me, “though he wrote me a really nice letter.”
Now, please don’t send hate mail as I shockingly reveal that I’m a slave 4 the unwitting camp appeal of the Britney Spears movie, Crossroads. I saw it (that young girl thing again) with a paying audience of people with braces and one pervy old man, all of whom were hooting in derision by the end of it. But why has no critic mentioned that this is the very same movie as Mariah Carey‘s flop, Glitter? In both flicks, a titty girl has two sassy best friends—one black, one not—who end up singing backup for her; she falls for a musician with some kind of dark secret, who writes a song as a love offering and helps propel her career; and she searches for her mama, who (wisely) abandoned her when she was a tot. But Crossroads actually might have the edge because its lead tramp is a valedictorian!
The original Britney, Nancy Sinatra, is a goddess to me, not because she’s Frank’s daughter—though that does add a certain luster—but because her mod-chick fashion sense and surly hits like “These Boots Are Made for Walking” helped transform my sad, little life for years (even when I was male). But don’t feed any of this to Nancy girl. Last week, I told the ’60s diva how excited I am about her upcoming record and Bottom Line gig. “Don’t they seem unimportant in the scheme of things?” she shot back, unimpressed. “But you’re important!” I shrieked, apoplectic. “I don’t know how to judge that,” she said. “If it’s by record sales, then it’s not true.”
But Nancy was a huge chart-topper and still resonates to the point where her California Girl album (due in April) is the culmination of her long-brewing attempt to pay tribute to the Golden State. “Now I feel bad even thinking of promoting a California album in New York,” she admitted, “for obvious reasons. It seems kind of callow and cavalier.” Oh, that self-dep thing again! I convinced Nancy that the entire country’s under siege, and none of us mind celebrating each other’s culture at this point, even California’s.
The fab record—which mixes old and new tracks—is a crisply sung glide through West Coast feelings, from a midtempo “California Girls” (with Brian Wilson) to a mournful “California Dreamin’ ” and beyond, providing the ultimate L.A. confidential. Flawlessly enough, it will be used as a soundtrack for Disney’s California Adventure theme park!
As for former Disney adventures, Nancy envies the support system around Britney, “though I do question the music.” Miraculously, pop culture has brought both stars to the same level; Brit will soon appear on Sex and the City and Nancy’s “Boots” has already popped up there. Naturally, Nancy turned it into a learning experience. Watching the show, she noticed that, as Carrie strutted down the street, the song ended way too soon. “So I called my sound guy,” Nancy related, “and said, ‘We have to extend the fade.’ In the future, the song will continue longer.” It can never be long enough for me.
And now, to make this column longer, I’ll supply my totally wild guess as to what Edward Albee‘s The Goat or Who Is Sylvia? will be like: “We had a goat once.” “No, we didn’t. The goat never existed.” “Didn’t it? Anyway, I said to the goat . . . ” “There was no goat. All right, there was, but it died a painful death.” “Nooooo!” “I ran it over when you became too attached to it. Remember? I had to kill Billy for your own good.” “How could you be so cruel? Anyway, I said to the goat . . . ” (Breaks down crying. They hug. A bleating sound is faintly heard.)
BONUS ITEM: Do you believe in life after “Believe”? Well, Cher does, and I have Living Proof (her new CD title) of it. The diva will perform a top-secret gig this Saturday, March 2, at New York’s Roxy gay dance club. I’ll be busy elswehere. Kidding!