Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Models in Underwear

I usually wear pretty lace panties, but when fashion designer Andrew Christian gave me a pair of men’s briefs at a recent promotional Summer Fashion Preview gala, I still appreciated receiving them. The event took place on May 4th at the Hot Mess party at Porky’s in Chelsea where Andrew Christian, Sweat Ink and Close Up Clothing fashions were modeled. There was no fashion runway, but some underwear-clad models improvised by walking across the top of the bar. Thank goodness I didn’t spill my diet coke! Seen: Sweat Ink’s Shana Comacho, Close Up’s Michael Van Bemmel and Joe Sylvester, James Coppola, photographer Jeff Eason, Howie V, Drag Divas Spicky Hilton, Logan and Chandelier.

Happy Birthday, Miss Understood

In 1969, Drag Queens at a Greenwich Village bar called The Stonewall Inn threw a riot that sparked the modern LGBT civil rights movement. This month, Drag Queens at The Stonewall threw a riotous birthday bash for infamous and colorful sister diva, Miss Understood. “Miss U,” as she is called by her friends, has been a fierce Drag performer for over a decade and is the proprietor of Screaming Queens Drag and entertainment agency. Queens, friends and admirers came from near and far to sink their teeth into a piece of understandable birthday cake! Sweetie is the MC of the weekly show called Riot and the performances that took place that evening were a delightful demonstration that was so over-the-rainbow!! Joe Birdsong of Capture Café danced in a number with Miss Understood that had his pants sliding down to reveal a little too much. Seen: Daniel Nardicio (The D List), James Coppola (Hot Mess), Trina Rose (Modern Gypsy) and Drag Divas Zondra Fox, Madelyn Madelaine, Manila Luzon, Cathy Valdez, Iggy, Olivia Satine and others.

Madonnas at The Monster

Some people who were among the many who couldn’t get a ticket to the sold-out Madonna concert at NYC’s Roseland Ballroom on April 30th did the next best thing. - They enjoyed themselves at The Monster nightclub for a Madonna-thon of the Material Girl’s music, videos and a live show with City’s top Drag Queens and Madonna-wanna-bes impersonating a night of Vogue and Hard Candy! I created a sexy fetish “Justify Your Love” look and ran into my girlfriends Madelyn Madelaine, Madison Mansfield, Laverne and Michelle who were filled with Blonde Ambition. Jesse Volt hosted the show that included a madonnalicious performance by Laritza Dumont who was visiting from Florida. Also seen: TV reporters Ryan Wolowski (Out & About) and Syk Palkowitz (Delusional Diva), Broadway’s Beth Sacks (Phantom of the Opera), owner/manager Charlie Rice and many others!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Fresh Fruit Awards

On April 16, I had the pleasure of participating in the annual Fresh Fruit Festival Awards, held at The Metropolitan Room. The Fruits of Distinction Awards (or "Fruities" as they are lovingly known) honor outstanding artistic achievements by the festivals participants and to those who contribute to the LGBT and the Arts Community. I greeted attendees, and warmed the audience up with and a vocal rendition of "Cabaret" with the words changed slightly. aI then introduced the MC for the awards, Mr. Murray Hill. I am also on Fresh Fruit's Board of Directors, led by artistic director Carol Polcovar. Together we boldly promote a Queer multi-media, diverse festival, providing venues, networking, exposure, and Community that builds talent, knowledge and artistic expression. The festival has welcomed artists form all over the world as well as local performers from the NYC area. The Festival is also the most inclusive expression of LGBT arts ever held in the City of New York, with performers that have backgrounds and identities that include all racial, religious, national, sexual orientations, and gender expressions celebrated on stage and in the audience.

Honorees included
Drag Divas Jacqueline Jonee and Millie Shyanitwright for their sublime job as hostess of The Art of Drag at The Cherry Lane Theater last July. Also honored were Le Petite Versailles, a drag dance troupe who perform in community gardens and gave a fairy like dance in the festival. During their dance at the Awards, they placed root vegetables near their crotches as phallic symbols. When they asked if anyone was hungry, Millie jumped out of her seat and took a suggestive bite out of a Freudian carrot. This made Carol Polcovar a bit worried about the Lesbian feminists in the audience, but all agreed that The Fruities are a delicious blend of seriousness and craziness. Other award recipients included Mariette Pathy Allen for her photography of Trans Ladies who came to the awards with Denise Leclair, the executive director of IFGE (International Foundation for Gender Education). Female to Male Transgender Performance Artist Scott Turner Schofield also garnished a Fruitie for his one-man show, Debutant Balls.

Studio 54 and Rollerina celebrated

Studio 54 is indisputably the most fabulous, decadent and notorious nightclubs that New York City - and the World - has ever seen! On April 25, Dance 208 at The Center held a fantastic dance recreating and honoring the legendary hotspot while celebrating the renowned "Queen of Studio 54" Rollerina. Rollerina is the celebrated Drag Queen who was known in the 1970s for roller skating around the streets of Greenwich Village the paths of Central Park and the dance floor of Studio 54. She would wear flowing skirts, church lady hats, crazy glasses and blessed people with her fairy wand. She is still around today, kicking and making appearances - although she no longer roller skates. She is especially revered by Drag Queen artists today, whom she paved the way for. Decorating the walls of The Center were works of art re-created by artist David Avielles that were seen at the original Studio 54, including the infamous Man In the Moon with a Cocaine Spoon wall sculpture. "The Center does not condone drug use." explained Dance 208 manager Joe Fiore. "The Moon is there for nostalgic reasons only." Joe didn't think it was proper to reveal a lady's age when he introduced Rollerina for her big speech, but she proudly announced that she was 60 years old. She later said to me "I feel like I'm 40 and I don't even use Viagra!" She also said she was proud to have me as a God Daughter. One of her favorite memories of Studio 54 was Halloween of 1977 when a prop that looked like a popper sprayed everyone on the dance floor with fairy glitter. Studio 54 is no longer around, but we all are glad that Rollerina is still here, still celebrating original gender expression and creativity and an inspiration to us all.