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Perverts unite! Uh, I mean, connoisseurs of a great long-lost art form unite! The dates for the three-day Second Annual New York Burlesque Festival have been set, with the biggest show taking place at Avalon on May 15. The WORLD FAMOUS PONTANI SISTERS are co-organizers of the event, along with gal pal JEN GAPAY (a former Voice colleague).
The pint-sized burlesque trio of saucy Italian babes is also the subject of a new documentary by REBECCA SHAPIRO called Showy and 5 Foot 2, which screened last Tuesday at Millennium. The film revealed many things about the Pontanis you didn’t know, including their deep, dark secret: HELEN PONTANI isn’t really a Pontani! She’s some blonde chick from, like, Detroit!
Helen (real last name Burkett) should be thankful she’s not an Eye-talian. While the two “real” Pontanis, ANGIE and TARA, were subjected to the pain of audience members giggling at shots of the younger P’s with big guidette hair, Miss B had no bad-hair childhood moments. Before the film started, I noted Angie’s thick accent. “Where are you from?” I asked her. “Trenton, New Joisey,” she replied. Ah, not only are they guidettes, they are fellow Jersey paisans. No wonder those childhood scenes looked so familiar.
Another indie film starring locals premiered the same night. While having a pre-movie dirty martini at Marion’s with burlesque babe JO BOOBS, who I didn’t recognize at first because she was in her “realtor clothes” (or rather, I didn’t recognize her because she was actually wearing clothes), we ran into glammed-out WORLD FAMOUS *BOB*, looking bodacious as usual in a formfitting shiny gown that accented her best assets (there was no mistaking her). She was on her way to Anthology Film Archives to see the premiere of local indie filmmaker and former fashion photographer NED AMBLER‘s flick, Astin Valentine. Miss *BOB* is a star, as is my New Best Friend, THEO (of the Lunachicks) and ANNIE OK. The film—described on Ambler’s website as a cross between a “fictional documentary and traditional drama” about the lead singer of a rock band—is loosely based on INGMAR BERGMAN‘s Smiles of a Summer Night.
Downtownie RICHIE RICH celebrated his 21st birthday with his fabulous friend and co-Heatherette designer TRAVER RAINS at Luke & Leroy last Saturday night. While we were busy attending a socially conscious event for Iranian earthquake victims (true!), Mr. Rich and Mr. Rains were partying it up like it was 1999 with their DJs, MISS GUY and MICHAEL CAVADIAS (a/k/a LILY OF THE VALLEY), and the new downtown “It” BOY GEORGE, who has officially replaced MOBY as the ubiquitous star-about-town. I would also like to take this moment to point out the supremely awesome—if somewhat unknown and underemployed—fact: Richie Rich was once a top ice skater, and trained with Olympic champion KRISTI YAMAGUCHI. He was even a member of the Ice Capades and toured the world! Richie Rich, you are so gay, you are a gay homosexual!