MURRAY HILL‘s Saturday-night shows at Mo Pitkin’s have reached a fever pitch of all-encompassing hilarity. Mur—a drag king, I mean a male schlub with a heart of gold and a stomach of pewter—has honed his ad libs, impressions, and off-key singing to a level that’s crying out for screaming masses and TV cameras—with film in them yet. He’s Jackie Gleason on crack.
And there are guest stars. Two weeks ago, those included a riotously upbeat vocal group called PEOPLUTION, high-kicking drag star EDIE, and DANIELA SEA, a hot-looking scenestress who was scooped up from downtown dykedom and cannonballed into The L Word. “She was waiting tables at Cowgirl Hall of Fame,” Murray told the crowd, “and the next thing, she’s spooning with JENNIFER BEALS. And she’s a lesbian!”
The evening’s surprise guest was ALAN CUMMING, who knows Daniela on a rather intimate basis. “She fucked me up the ass with a strap-on,” he gleefully announced, meaning, naturally, on The L Word. (Honey, that’s not spooning; that’s a much rougher utensil.) “That’s a first for TV!” Cumming added, as I bit my tongue rather than scream out, “Um, The Sopranos!”; that character wasn’t a lesbian, and besides, I’m really well behaved in public.
Cumming then gamely showered the audience with titillating trivia questions about himself and gave the winners his suggestively named body-cleansing products as prizes. (The soap is called Cumming in a Bar, the body lotion is Cumming All Over, and I’m surprised there isn’t a butt scrub called Cumming and Going). One of the not-too-hard answers was that he’s uncircumsized, something even the drunk lesbians at my table guessed correctly. And before he was Cumming out the door, he plugged the expensive Broadway revival of the anti-capitalist The Threepenny Opera (also featuring Edie, who’s “ensemble”) that he’s starring in. “It’s about the poor and whores and beggars,” he said. “How much are tickets?” asked Murray. “They’re like $110 or something stupid,” answered charming Cumming. But at least with him in it, you get an uncut version.
Everything’s cutely clean in Broadway’s imminent ’20s musical The Drowsy Chaperone, though the modern-day Man in Chair who narrates the show within the show tells us that one character is “an aviatrix—what we now call a lesbian.” (She’s not wielding a strap-on, however.) At an open rehearsal for the press, a producer greeted us by saying, “Welcome to the musical you’ve never heard of,” and admitting even he used to confusedly call it The Droopy Xylophone. So what the hell is it? Basically a retro romp featuring SUTTON FOSTER, who also starred back when it was called Thoroughly Modern Millie (ba-dum-pum). The best excerpt they presented to us had Foster singing, “I don’t want to show off no more,” as she jumped through hoops, shot a bird, and threw her voice, all while triumphantly changing keys and outfits. She even came back in another fabulous ensemble, singing, “I don’t want to encore no more.” Brava already!
I give her a V for virtuosity, but at the V for Vendetta premiere, I told RICHARD BELZER that V really stands for Victims Unit, and he was nice enough to courtesy laugh. What else does it stand for—maybe vagina, hint hint? “ Vagina Monologues,” Belzer said, taking a higher road, “which I’m a big fan of. I’m working on The Scrotal Monologues. Isn’t everyone?” Don’t look at me. Before I left him to his sac, Belzer tried to convince me to do an audiobook and said that, like his friend GORE VIDAL, I should split the oratory chores with a noted actor. Just then, Belzer’s TV co-star CHRIS MELONI walked by and I hit him up for the job. His response? V for vague. (By the way, the vaginal thing sort of enters into the movie when . . . no, see for yourself. She’s a lesbian! You’ll be Cumming in a Theater.)
People of all sacs and sacs-ualities can start lining up for Bi the Way, an upcoming documentary about bisexuality produced by ARIANNA‘s ex, the openly bi MICHAEL HUFFINGTON. Arianna’s probably furious and screeching, “I thought he was gay!”
In the meantime, put your droopy xylophone back in mothballs because gay porn star GUS MATTOX will no longer be providing us with saucy screen visuals. (You can practically hear him singing, “I don’t want to show off no more.”) After only two years in the jizz biz, Mattox is retiring with grace and his original name, TOM JUDSON. (“I know when to get off,” he says, winkily.) He’s certainly going out on top, as it were. He just won the GAYVN award for Performer of the Year, a stellar feat considering he’s 45 and all the other nominees were baby sluts in their twenties. Yet more impressively, Mattox/Judson is definitely the only nominee who’s a legit actor soon to be in TERENCE MCNALLY‘s gay-relationship play Some Men and who once pranced around in Cabaret, which you’ll remember starred that Cumming guy as a sort of leering human strap-on.
At the party for Find Me Guilty—a comfortably old- fashioned courtroom romp—I was strapped far away from the room with the big names, so I stood around the B-list area sucking down a clam and thinking, “If Daniela Sea aimed her appendage at VIN DIESEL, would she be a Diesel dyke?” They should have let me in.
I aimed my own utensil at the LGBT Center premiere party for The Lady in Question Is Charles Busch, the documentary with the good sense to feature me not only in the film but in the V.I.P. room. “I wish it was 1932 and I could make six movies a year!” drag theater icon Busch told me before greeting his public. “I’m only alive when I’m on a soundstage!” While shining a lit match at him as if it were a klieg light, I asked the urgent question, “Who would you rather be, Joan Crawford or Norma Shearer?” “Well, Norma found personal happiness as well as a career,” said Busch, “and she had the support of a loyal husband, but poor Joan had to pursue everything by herself. That’s why I love her so much. She was totally on her own.” I got the weird feeling he had thought about this a little.
The Adams family
A solo act, New York Post gossip teller CINDY ADAMS has served me huge helpings of chicken and personal advice when needed—the woman can host, dish, and analyze all at once—and now the whole world gets a piece of her humanity with Living a Dog’s Life, her tasty Yorkshire pudding of a book about her quality quadrupeds, Yorkies JUICY and JAZZY JR.
“But what’s with the dog fixation?” I had to ask her on the phone last week. “Don’t you know actual humans?” Cindy explained that within a three-month period six years ago, she lost her husband (funnyman Joey) and her mother and was beyond devastated. So she got a dog (Jazzy Sr.) for comfort, and all was cozy enough. “Then when the dog died, it nearly killed me,” Cindy told me. “Even if you write a gossip column, you have a heart. Even people like you,” she added, laughing.
Fortunately, the new pooches are all shiny, fluffy, and exciting. When she gets really lonely, does she ever look at them and think, “Hmm”? “Let’s not get sick,” she admonished. “But they do sleep with me and cuddle with me.” Do they bathe with her too? “No, but only because they don’t like water!”
What they do like is being pampered, stroked, and treated like they’re the shit. “They have about four teeth each,” Cindy informed me, “but you have to have them done once a year or they get bacteria. The vet gave me a 15 percent discount because of who I am, and the bill was still $900. It cost me more than Joey!” But at least the dogs will never get gingivitis again (unless they stop flossing).
As for a certain dog of a wedding, wasn’t Cindy a flower girl at the DAVID and LIZA fiasco that still haunts memories? Did she think that union was doomed? “No, I thought it was the marriage of the century!” she deadpanned. “Everyone around me was 18th Century Fox. MIA FARROW kept asking me how she could get some Vaseline. Her lips were chapped.” Probably from screaming objections.
Elsewhere, young thing KATE HUDSON told Cindy she went on a website that tells you what dog you’ll come back as after you plotz. Kate found out she’ll be a Yorkie, just like Juicy and Jazzy! ( GOLDIE will be so proud.) Cindy? “Probably a pampered poodle.” With a little pit bull thrown in? “You can put that. That’s so you.” Pause. “Anyway, I want a jeweled collar and a pretty bow.” So she’ll be a Jewish poodle? “A noodle. What’s a Jewish noodle? A kugel!”
Last question before we all risked croaking and coming back as borscht: Are Juicy and Jazzy Jr. dating each other? Cindy’s answer was as effortless as Busch’s about Joan versus Norma: “No, they’re not dating. They, like their mother, are fixed.” Strap that on, kids!