Dear Mike Albo: You are a genius. (I would add “fucking,” but we’re a family newspaper.) Your performance at Wigstock as a disturbed Paris Hilton–type celebrity who is always on her cell phone shocked me out of my mid-’90s haze, where all the familiar faces of a bygone era reminded me just how boring the 2000s are. Lady Bunny, Sherry Vine, Dee Finley, Flotilla DeBarge, Candis Cayne, and
Lady Miss Kier—it was like an East Village high school reunion.
I was starting to get verklempt for an era that I wasn’t even around for, except I realized that I don’t really like lip-synching to middling house music. Still, it’s better than what we’ve got today, right? Mike, I especially liked your hot-pink bikini that didn’t fit you quite right and the blond ponytail hairpiece hanging off the side of your head. My favorite part is how you were always on the phone with your long-suffering friend Amanda, who could never understand a word you said, even though you were totally shouting like you had Tourette’s or something. “Amanda! I’m getting off the plane! Call you when I get off! Bye!” “Amanda! I’m getting human hair extensions! Human hair extensions! Human! Human! Human!”
I loved it when you called her during your most intimate moments because you didn’t ever want Amanda to feel left out of your fabulous celebrity life. “Amanda! I am going to the bathroom right now! I’ll call you when I’m done! I love you!” “Amanda! I’m getting fucked right now! No! I don’t know who it is! I can’t see! I’m totally bent over! It’s probably Rick Solomon or one of the Strokes, that Fabrizio guy! I’ll call you when I’m done! Bye!” Poor Amanda.
The audience didn’t seem to know what to make of you, because you weren’t totally dressed up in a glittery gown and didn’t have a super-crazy wig on, but I was laughing so hard I couldn’t focus my camera. I wished you had gone on forever, but instead I bought your book The Underminer, written with your BFF Virginia Heffernan, about a mean, self-promoting, blowhard so-called friend (totally fucking genius, omigod), so I could have more of your dark, twisted humor.
After you left, I felt so depressed. I wished the Jackie 60 crew would put my head in the guillotine during their French Revolution skit, choreographed by the wonderful Julie Atlas Muz. It was an all-star cast of the big guns from New York’s supreme nightlife crew—including the heads of state, Chi Chi Valenti and Johnny Dynell, the inimitable Hattie Hat, Studio 54 photographer Bobby Miller, and burlesque lady Amber Ray, back from the clutches of L.A.
Backstage it was like a twisted version of Hollywood, one where the drag queens and the burlesque stars are stalked by the press like real celebrities. But after 20 years of Wigstock, with 15,000 people in the crowd at Tompkins Square Park, the drag queens and burlesque girls and Murray Hill are totes famous. (Mike! Did you totally hear the joke that Lady Bunny told about Murray Hill? She said Murray seemed a little “fishy”!)
Mike! Did you see the prettiest girl in the world, the
World Famous *BOB*, with her twinkly eye makeup (done by
Karl Giant) after her opening performance to the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey? She was surrounded by so many photographers, it was almost like she was Nicole Kidman on the red carpet at Cannes. As they snapped away, lightbulbs flashing a mile a minute, she turned to me and said, “Can you tell I didn’t get enough attention as a child?” No, pony, I can’t.
Mike? Are you listening? I love you! I’ll call you later! OK, bye!