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