Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sexahol Review

On Thursday, July 26, I was a performer in a new Cabaret and live performance series called Sexahol Review. The show featured an eclectic mix of performance artists and offered Comedy, Music and Burlesque! Playwright, songwriter and performer Evan Laurence produces and hosts the show with help from David F. Slone. The two of them performed a hilarious Improve Comedy number with audience participation. David also sang his own unique version of a Cole Porter classic set to modern hip hop music with members of the crowd volunteering to act out the characters from the song on stage. The beautiful Alexis Karl belted out some opera arias - hitting the high notes with style! Downtown Burlesque Diva Nasty Canasta treated the crowd to a unique and sexy ensemble where she started out looking like a Disney character and ended up looking - HOT! Singer/songwriter Michael Lynch also did drag and everyone went wild over his one song about the Stonewall rebellion of 1969. I wore a spangled dress that lit up the room like a disco ball and sang some Connie Frances classics and told my jokes about transitioning into Straight Female sexuality. The show took place at the fantastic Performance Art Space, Mo Pitkin's House of Satisfaction on the Lower East Side. We performed in the beautiful cabaret theater with burgundy curtains and high ceilings on the first floor. The audience was very responsive and wonderful. We had a great time and we're grateful that the series got off on a terrific start!

Photos courtesy Jed Ryan

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Rainbow Place - Comedy with Puppets

On July 22nd, I was cast along with Tony Sawicki and Stephanie Butler of Under the Pink Carpet in a special staged reading of a play called Rainbow Place, a comedy with puppets and live actors (think Avenue Q) that offers a “slice of life” glimpse at several characters who frequent a neighborhood LGBT bar in Chelsea. The reading was one of the many theatrical presentations at the 2007 Fresh Fruit Festival held at the Cherry Lane Theater.


With a twist that would cert
ainly avoid typecasting, I played a fag hag character/Straight woman named Ann who hangs out in the bar with her Gay friends while her boyfriend is home watching sports. Stephanie Butler played Rita, a Transsexual woman who is delighted with her recent SRS (Sexual Reassignment Surgery). Tony Sawicki played the part of a wisecracking leather man named Scott, who although very macho, is a professional florist.

Other actors in the play included Neil Fasolino as the friendly Bartender and Cher impersonator, with Faith Ballenger, Cookie Pemberton, Hans Von Rittern, Michael Lester, Steve Hauck and Ch
ristine Tracy-Garrison as patron bar flies.

Rainbow Place was written by playwright Nick Curto, who is also the President of All Out Arts and CIN (Creative Industries Network). The production additionally featured the creations of professional puppeteers Hal Rainbow, who also co-wrote the script, and William Abbott of the famed Swedish Cottage Puppet Theater located in NYC's Central Park.

Photos: Stephanie Butler, Clover Honey, William Abbot & Hariette puppet, Tony Sawicki; Niel Fasolino and Clover Honey; Stephanie, Faith Ballenger, Neil, Clover and Tony; Cast on Stage at Cherry Lane Theater.


SWISHy Bingo Games

On Wednesday, July 25, I was the special guest at Will Clark's Porno Bingo, the sexiest and most exciting Bingo games around! The game raise funds for local charities and community organizations. The prizes are the hottest Adult Male erotica packages with theater tickets and various other fun stuff thrown in. The Beneficiary this week was SWISH (Straight Women In Support of Homos). The wonderful and supportive ladies of that organization sometimes jokingly refer to themselves as Fag Hags and Fruit Flies and they're a big and vital part of the Queer Community. I'm very proud that the TV series I work on has a Fag Hag reporter and being someone who transitions into a lady, I can't help but admire those who were born ladies and make a big contribution to our community. Many of my girlfriends from CDI game to the Bingo night to show support. I joked that SWISH would be forming a sub group called SWIST - Straight Women In Support of Trannies. Village Voice columnist Michael Musto made a surprise appearance during a game wearing a T shirt with the printed slogan: I Love Trannies!

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Art of Drag - at Fresh Fruit Fest

On Wednesday, July 11, I curated a special Performance Art showcase exhibiting the special entertainment, portrayal and expression of Drag Queens. The night was called The Art of Drag and was a gala evening of The Fresh Fruit Festival, held at the prestigious and historic Cherry Lane Theater in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. I evening was complete success with every seat in the house sold! When someone is born Male, the privileged, strong and fearless Gender, and he has a female spirit inside that needs to be expressed, he creates a Drag Queen persona. The results can vary from Comedy to Tragedy, but either way, it is most often great Theater and lots of fun. I created a showing of different kinds of Drag Queen performers with different types of Drag expression with different ways and reasons for doing Drag.

The hosts of the show were Jacqueline Jonee, the elegant, concert pianist and Cabaret Diva along with Millie Shayntwrite, host of Lavender Vaudeville. The two of them as hostesses complemented each other beautifully with Jacqueline being very classy and Millie being very sassy! The first performance was The Church Ladies for Choice, and they were thrilled to be making their off-Broadway debut. They usually perform in the streets at protests and rallies, using Drag to make Political statements for LGBT rights and Women’s Pro Choice rights. After that Maria Casta Diva demonstrated her vocal skills as she sang live Opera arias. Then performance artist/dancer/choreographer Agnes DeGarron, Radical Faerie Legend and original founder of the nun order Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, did a fabulous act combining dance, art and some comedy. The outrageous Zondra Fox performed a shocking piece using sequins and hairspray. Petit Versailles, a downtown art group that uses Drag to invoke nature and Earth Mother spirits in community gardens on the Lower East Side closed the show with a marvelous avante guard dance movement ensemble. They charmed the audience with poetry and synchronized movements like little faeries.

Those who attended the event included Joe Jeffreys (NYU Historical Archives, Drag Video Verte af Lincoln Center), Veronica Vera (Head Mistress of Miss Vera’s Finishing School and author of Cross Dress for Success), Mariette Pathy-Allen (Photographer of Transgender, photo book Transformations), Fernando Espinosa (Photographer, photo book Aphrodisiac), Larry Vrba (Drag Queen / Costume jewelry designer), Madelyn Madalaine (Vice President, Cross Dressers International), Randy Wicker (Randy Wicker Reporting), David Finkelstein (Lake Ivan Performance Group), and others.

Photos Courtesy Fernando Espinosa Chauvin Photography