Saturday, March 31, 2007

Spring is here and Celebrated!

Springtime finally arrived in the Big Apple! The days and nights are equal and the Goddess Ostara warms the Earth making the calla lillies start to bloom as we look forward to Easter! Whatever, it's a perfect excuse to go out and enjoy life! That's what all my girlfriends kept saying and they were so right! We decided to have a Springtime girls-night-out dinner and cocktails on March 21. Rita found a charming mid-town eatery called Irish Rouge that was perfect. I think the most perfect thing was the Ladies night special where girls got to order three dollar Cosmopolitan cocktails! They were delicious. Since it was in an Irish restaurant some of the girls must have though it was a late St. Patty's Day celebration and wore green. But we all had a beautiful time catching up on all the gossip and girl-talk about CDI - Cross Dressers International. Rita, Lucille, Joanne, Amy, Trish, Madeline, Phyllis, Melanie, Michele, Rochelle, and Caprice Bellefleur were among the girls who just wanted have fun that evening. Also present was Christine James from the International Foundation for Gender Education. Some of the girls even starting singing Irish folk songs and doing the jig like Riverdance on Broadway. I don't know if it was the new Springtime Spirit or the Cosmopolitans, but we sure know how to have a good time! After our party at Irish Rouge was over, some of the girls wandered over to Dave's bar to play pool. I thought about going home, but I then I figured that an evening with just Ladies was a bit much, so I headed someplace nearby where I knew some hot masculine men would be, at the 9th Avenue Bistro where Will Clark's Pono Bingo fundraiser was having its weekly event. I did meet up with more Drag Queens, like some cast members of The Facts of Life Lost Episode: The Best Little Whorehouse in Peekskill, who were lots of fun. But I also met some very wonderful, very virile hunks, drenched in testosterone, Mr. Eagle 2007 Rick Weber and Adult Video star Dean Flynn star of Spyquest 3.

Photos: Rita, Clover Honey and Madelyn. Kristine James. Dean Flynn and Clover Honey. Cast Members from Facts of Life: Lost Episode.

Birthday Boys in the Band

On March 20 it was time to Rock and time to celebrate Birthdays. I headed uptown to Penang Lounge, an exotic Malaysian restaurant, lounge and funky concert hall on Manhattan's Upper West Side to commend the birthdays two dear friends and members of the maxium classic 80s rock and pop band, RUB. The birthday boys were lead guitarist and vocalist Robert Urban and keyboard player and vocalist Gordon Smith. The other band members are Steve Sullivan on Bass and drummer Ant Maulella keeps the beat by banging on the electronic drums! We had a fabulous time with rocking with the guys and making birthday wishes over delicious spring rolls and strong Asian Martinis made with kumquats and ginger. The audience was filled with enthusiastic celebrants and special guests who were allowed their turn at the mic for special birthday songs and well-wishing. These included Cher impersonator and vocal sound-alike Howie V who rocked the house with "If I could turn back time" and VIRGO who instead of singing his original music opted for a tune the band is more familiar with, a Eurythmics "Sweet Dreams." Rock charteuse Franchesca also did a Annie Lennox number along with some Pat Benatar!

Photos: RUB with Clover Honey, Virgo with Clover Honey, Dancing with Franchesca, Ant and Gordon.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Morgan Rice (Barbie Stiletto) Memorial

It was with great sadness that I attended the Memorial service that honored and celebrated the life of the recently departed actor, theater producer, vocalist, colleague and friend Morgan Rice, also known as Drag Diva Barbie Stiletto. Of course, being sad was the very last thing Barbie would have wanted. She always advocated enjoying life with a big lipstick-framed smile. But the loss of such a wonderful person and a dear friend requires a time for mourning. On March 19, colleagues, family and friends of Morgan gathered in St. Peter's Church in Midtown where his memorial service was held. We celebrated Morgan's life with laughter and tears, stories and song. Among the service attendees were members of the NYC Gay Men's Chorus and Drag performers Lady Bunny, Jimmy James, Jacqueline Jonee, Howie V and Millie Sheaintwright. The chorus beautifully touch everyone's heart with vocal renditions of "Sing Me to Heaven" "Family" and "Love Lives On." Alan Anderson welcomed everyone and Millie and others told stories, often hilarious, of remembrance. Millie was Barbie's mentor and received valuable guidance and advice in her emergence as a Drag Queen form Ms. Stelletto. Barbie always told me how "bubbly" she thought I was and often told me how much she admired my Drag and my spirit. And I truly admired her talent. She was a true class act with looks, moves and incredible vocal and singing skills. I'll never forget how amazing she looked on the grand stages during the Gay Men's Chorus concerts - Like the time she impersonated Liza at a Carnegie Hall holiday concert, her "Mascara Song" from La Cage solo in a stunning Bob Macie gown at Lincoln Center, and her Drag MC solo at the "Tales of the City" concert. But what I'll remember most was the wonderful friendship I received.

Image: Caricature of Morgan Rice from Sardi's

Shortbus DVD release - LOADS of Excitement!!

On March 15, I was thrilled to be attending the official party to celebrate the DVD release of John Cameron Mitchell's (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) acclaimed, erotic film, Shortbus. The movie, one of my favorites, is quirky, hilarious and unflinchingly honest, and emerged as one of the sensations of this year's Cannes Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival. John promised the DVD release gala would be "Loads" of Fun, and considering the Loads that were released in the Shortbus movie, I had no doubt that this would be one very exciting release party! And it certainly was!

Other guests and performers included Jay Brannon, Justin Bond, Scott Matthew, Penny Arcade, Bradford Scobie as Dr. Donut and Holcombe Waller who came in from Portland and stopped by to sing a few songs in advance from his show at Joe's Pub. The event was part of the Unisex Salon night at The Delancey on the Lower East Side presented by James Coppola and Earl Dax. Everyone was wishing Earl a fond Farewell since he is leaving the Salon for another exciting project. I ran into lots of comrades like Lady Maria, T Boy, Acid Betty, Hot Tay, Kelvin, Sharyn Jackson (editor of Go NYC magazine), Sequinette and go go goddess Glenn Marla. The hottest act of the evening was, of course, the fiery, flaming performance of Modern Gypsy, where Michael Dirt, assisted by the lovely Trina Rose, spits fire and juggles, twirls and spins ropes and other objects that are set on fire! The amazing act has to been seen to be believed. It all takes place in the pool of a turned-off water fountain on the roof-top deck. It's a magical pagan-esque blending of the elements for sure!

Photos: John Cameron Mithcell and Lady Clover Honey, Clover with Jay Brannon from Shortbus, Lady Maria and Lady Clover Honey with Michael Dirt and Trina Rose of Modern Gypsy, Sharyn Jackson (Go NYC), James Coppola and Lady Clover Honey.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Here! TV network and Leather Men

On March 13, I had an acting gig playing the part of a Leather-Woman cinematic film viewer for Here! At the Movies, a fun and exciting series on Here! TV, America's premium Gay television network. Here! offers a wide variety of groundbreaking and acclaimed original movies and series plus the world's largest collection of Gay and Lesbian films appealing to the diverse LGBT audience. The Here! At the Movies series is anchored by the gorgeous and talented Ben Harvey who played the role of host commentator sitting in a cinema theater amongst Leather Men – and one Leather Woman- Me! In this particular episode, classic Leather and Motorcycle themed movies like Ghost Rider with Peter Fonda were viewed. Ben made commentary and gave interesting fun facts about the movies while hilariously trying to control his nerves while being surrounded by Leather-Fetish clad enthusiasts. Director Michael Eldridge gave me some fun lines including one about chaffing and had me hit Ben a few times with my riding crop. “What’s the Safe Word?” I asked. I hope I didn’t hurt Ben - and if I did, I hope he enjoyed it!

One of the most enjoyable things about the opportunity was running into familiar faces. I’ve seen Ben around the nightclub/party scene a few times while corresponding with my Under the Pink Carpet crew since he’s also a reporter for Here! News. It was a big thrill to run into one of my most favorite Leathermen, Bruce-Michael Gelbert. Bruce-Michael is a former Mr. Fire Island Leather and is well known for lending butch and exciting Leatherman character to the scene. He’s also an accomplished writer/journalist for NY Theatre Wire, Q on Stage, New York Q News and Fire Island Q News. I also ran into Ryan Wolowski, the creator/producer/host of Out & About TV. It was even more of a thrill to see him, since I’ve never seen him all decked out in Leather before! He looked incredibly handsome and virile in his leather duds. Out & About is a weekly series that covers Queer parties and events and is seen on MNN Manhattan Cable television on Fridays. I highly recommend subscribing to the Here! TV network through your cable provider. It has some of the most compelling and entertaining series, specials and films you’ll find on television.

Photos: Out TV reports unite in Leather: Ryan Wolowski(Out and About) TV, Ben Harvey (here! TV), Lady Clover Honey (Under The Pink Carpet) [photo courtesy Ryan Wolowski]

Bruce-Michael Gelbert and Lady Clover Honey [photo courtesy Bruce-Michael Gelbert]

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Women’s Roller Derby - Hot Wheels & High Heels

Also on Saturday, March 3rd,after having Fun with the Boys Off-Broadway, Tony Sawicki, Robin Cloud and myself headed down to the Williamsburg White Room in Brooklyn to attend a unique party titled “Hot Wheels & High Heels.” It was the launch party for a new Lesbian Magazine called Velvet Park. The party was hosted by incomparable Drag King personality Mr. Murray Hill. I told him about me announcing him as the winner at The Glammys earlier in the week. He said he was there but left since the show started so late. He also said that I was the first person to tell him he won. No one from The Glammys contacted him yet. I also go the chance to meet the Gotham Girls Roller Derby League. Yes, and actual team of rumbling roller-skaters made up of Lesbian, Bi and Straight women. They were extremely fierce in the way that they sake and in the way that they party and have fun! We had a rolling blast dancing, flirting and partying. The girls even skated circles around me while Tony video-taped. I thought I had done it all, but you haven’t lived until a mass of tuff women circle around you on roller skates at lighting speeds. The ladies were tuff, but I hope they don’t mind if I also called them delightful, since I loved meeting them. They had names like Ginger Snap, Lady Batterly, Hela Skelter, Penny Larceny, Roxy Balboa and Margaret Thrasher. Margaret is also knows as Ashlie Atkinson, the actress who played Muffler, the Dyke friend in the hit film, Another Gay Movie. She was even more fun in person than her character was in the movie! There was also an amazing performance by Sony/Twist recording artist Kristin Price and Dyke rocker band Triple Crème was in the house. The Guest-Llist included lawyer Yetta Kurland and Sarah Wran, creator of After and a host of the TV talk show She Said What?

Photos: Robin Cloud with Clover Honey and Sarah Wran, Clover Honey with Murray Hill and the Gotham Girls Roller Derby League, Robin Cloud with Clover Honey and Kirston Price.

Boys Just Wanna Have Fun

After meeting some of the cast last Wednesday I couldn’t wait to attend the opening of Anthony Wilinson’s new Off-Broadway comedy, Boys Just Wanna Have Fun on Saturday March 3. The show takes place in the 80’s and the decade never looked so good! All the 80s music reminded me of my childhood. And the colorful fashions were more stunning and fabulous than ever! It’s such a shame that gold spandex went out of style! Most of the comedy takes place in a Gay bar in Staten Island where an undercover cop investigating a drug ring falls for the local heart-throb. As I was told, the Drag characters were ultra, ultra fabulous. Tony Sawicki interviewed the actors after the show was over. We were so glad that the actors who played the Drag Divas stayed in make-up for their TV broadcast debuts. “I’m ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille!” I highly recommend seeing this play! It's the most fun I've had at the theatre in a long time!

Photos: Tom Baran (Danny) and Anthony Wilkinson (Ralph/Rio), Chad Kessler (Pontessa Puree) and Kevin McIntyre (Fanny Fondue)

The glamorous GLAMMY AWARDS

On Thursday March 1, I was an award presenter at THE GLAMMYS, an event that pays homage to excellence in the art of Drag Queen performance. There were awards given for best performance, best comedy, best dressed, best party, best lip-synch and other categories. It took place at the grand ballroom at Downtown's Webster Hall and almost every Drag Personality in NYC was there. It was so much fun seeing all the “Girls” and catching up on all the gossip! I presented on stage with the beautiful Edie and we complemented each other beautifully! I had long blonde hair, she had dark hair in an up-do beehive. I wore a full length gown and she wore a mini that showed off her fantastic long legs, that she threw in a few high kicks while in the spotlight. Me and Edie were also photographed in Next Magazine together in the current issue. I read the award for Best Comedy and announced that the winner was Drag King, Mr. Murray Hill. Unfortunately, he wasn’t around to come up and accept the award. “That’s just like a man!” I joked by saying that familiar line. I also said that this was an important award since a sense of Humor was the best drag accessory. This was the second time I presented an award where the winner was a no-show! At least when I presented The Fruitie Award the winner - a fierce Tranny Rocker called Mercury Madd, came to accept the award all the way in from Kansas.

Tony Sawicki, Robin Cloud and Howie V joined me and we video-taped and produced a news segment for our TV series, Under the Pink Carpet about NYC celebrity Drag culture. I interviewed Edie, Peppermint, Mimi Imfurst, Epiphany, Acid Betty, Milan, Jesse Volt and others. Jesse Volt was given the special honor of receiving The Legend Award! It was especially exciting to interview Jesse since I’ve been a fan of hers for several years. She answered my questions with humor and intelligence. She has contributed to much to NYC and our culture and truly is deserving of the honor. Milan is part of the fierce dance performance group called Daisy Spurs. We talked about how lucky she is to be the only Drag/Gender-Bending member in a troupe loaded with hot, talented, flexible men!

Photos: On Stage at Webster Hall - Clover Honey with Edie, With Jesse Volt, Clover Honey with Milan of Diasiy Spurs and Linda

New OUT Elected Officials

I sit on The Board of Directors of the NYC chapter of The Stonewall Democrats. I help provide them with a Transgendered viewpoint along with Judicial Delegate Melissa Sklarz, the first openly Trans person elected into office in New York State. Our goal is to advocate for legislation that guarantees equality and fairness for the LGBT community in New York City, and to support openly LGBT and Gay-friendly candidates for greater representation in the political process. The organization is under the leadership of newly-elected President Matt Carlin.

At the meeting on Wed. February 28, we had some exciting and wonderful news, indeed! In this year with no regular elections, there will be two special elections and the candidates highly favored to win Assembly seats are both OUT and members of Stonewall. The first member is Matt Titone, an openly Gay lawyer, who was chosen by the Staten Island Democrats to run for the seat held by the late John Lavelle (the 61st District). The second is Micah Kellner, who is the only Democrat running for the seat which will be vacated by Pete Grannis when he is appointed Director of the Department of Environmental Conservation (65th District-Upper East Side). Micah came to ask for our support after stating in an interview published in this week's Gay City News that he's Bisexual. We are very proud to support these outstanding members.

Queens District Leader Danny Dromm was also there and we talked about marching in the inclusive St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Queens. It is such a shame that the Manhattan parade still discriminates and doesn’t allow LGBT people to participate. Especially in this day and age with an Out Lesbian as the Speaker of the NY City Council, Christine Quinn, who’s also Irish American. Also there was Drew Tagliabue, the Executive Director of PFLAG (Parents/Friends/Families of Lesbians and Gays,) Jon Winkleman, Yetta Kruland, Marty Algaze and many others.

Photos: Stonewall Democrats President Matt Carlin and Queens Borough District Leader Danny Dromm, Drew Tagliabue of PFLAG, Next Assembly Member Micah Kellner.

Erotic and Off Broadway Games

The game is BINGO and it’s always a fun evening at Will Clark’s Porno Bingo at 9th Avenue Bistro in Midtown. There’s always a fun, flirty, unpretentious crowd and you get to meet live Porn Stars and other local celebrities – all while raising funds for a worthy charity. After hob-knobbing with Politicos and future Assemblymen at the above event on Wed. February 28, I thought it would be fun to let loose with Will, Manny, AB, Trey and the rest of the regulars. The special guests for the evening were Porn Star Kyle Douglas along with playwrite/actor Anthony Wilkinson with the cast of his new Off-Broadway comedy- Boys Just Wanna Have Fun. I haven’t seen Anthony in a while and he was still looking better than ever. He and the cast of his last hit Comedy – My Big Gay Italian Wedding, appeared at a Gay-Wedding themed performance at OW Bar years ago where I was the hostess with a white beaded wedding gown. It’s always great to see Erotic Star Kyle Douglas in-the-flesh. He lights up every room he steps into and he’s as gorgeous on the inside as he is on the outside. I could add that his heart is also as big as his “package.” Anthony and Deirdre Hoetmer of HHC Marketing were telling me how Boys Just Wanna has some fabulous Drag Queen characters. I met an actor who plays one of them, Kevin McIntyre who portrays Fanny Fondue. I also met Tom Baran, who plays the heart-throb and others from the cast. I looking forward to seeing the play on Saturday.

Photos: Tom Baran, Anthony Wilkinson and Kevin McIntyre of Boys Just Wanns Have Fun, Erotic Film Star Kyle Douglas, Anthony Wilkinson and Deirdre Hoetmer.