Had a blast with my buddy Jason last night at the party for Michael Musto's new book Fork on the Left, Knife in the Back (Vantage Point). I guess as I get to know more people and they get to know me, I'm less of a fly on the wall than one of the happy maggots feasting on the fame, quasi-fame and frivolity.
Michael's a New York institution, like the Empire State Building or that weird smell you keep telling tourists you don't notice. He's also a fabulously funny writer, and his new book has fresh stuff in it, making it a must-buy. (No, really, I must buy it—it wasn't given away for free at his party unlike the Bacardi.)
I'd never been to the Copacabana on W. 47th, but I loved it. It felt like a throwback to the disco era—like 54, or maybe 47—and was oozing with cheesetastic outfits, semi-boldface names and genuine merriment. The love Musto engenders from certain circles is shocking considering his ability to cut a bitch with his words. He's embraced because he's unafraid to cut deserving bitches but is generous to those who haven't earned the scythe yet. He's authentic, and if his book is anywhere near as fun as this party was, you should check it out. (And not ...of the library.)
We arrived and ran into my friend Kenneth, who was waiting for artist and designer Scooter LaForge. They'd both turned on Madonna during (actually, before) HydrangeaGate but I have to stick with my gays even over my diva, so I was looking forward to chatting with them more later on. When I caught up with Scooter, he confessed that Madonna's response to HydrangeaGate had won him back. He met Madonna during the American Life era and said she'd been really nice, which is saying a lot since that was the era of, "I'm hot!"
Inside, the low lighting and kitschy decor helped to distract from the fact that most of us were dreaming we were 40 again, and the alcohol made quite a few of the attendees act like 20-year-olds. Mike Diamond, who doesn't need to have lighting on his side in order to make a splash, was interviewing as well as dancing with the kinda-stars.
My first celebrisighting was Geri Reischl, who dubs herself "Fake Jan"—she replaced Eve Plumb when Plumb refused to return for those godawful/gotta-love-'em Brady specials. She was decked out in the fishnets she'd worn at Chiller Theatre, when I first met her, and was traveling with her personal publicist/photographer. Nice chick! She'd apparently originally met Musto bar-hopping one night.
I met up with Joe of Joe.My.God. and also one of his most vitriolic commenters, World of Wonder's Wayne, who I hadn't realized was the dude sitting two down from me at yesterday's screening of The Strange History of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Wayne was in Versace delecto and like me was roving about looking for good photo ops. He found some.
It was also a pleasure seeing Eddie Rabon, one of (one of???) Broadway's finest dancers. (And he dances well, too.) He was there with a friend, enjoying his last month or so as Mr. Gay U.S.A. I then spotted Paul Iacono from (the new) Fame and The Hard Times of R.J. Berger (on which he played a horse-hung nerd), but he was chowing down on the amazing food so I didn't want to give him indigestion by introducing myself over a meat course.
Then things got nuts when hostesses Countess LuAnn de Lesseps and Lisa Lampanelli arrived. The clusterfuck around these women and guest Jerry Springer was a nightmare! I mean, Downtown groupies with cameras were unselfconsciously elbowing me to get their shots. But it was unnecessary as all of the stars were beyond accessible and gracious, posing for like an hour, even when they got frighteningly cornered on the second floor.
I missed getting a shot of Springer greeting a Sarah Palin impersonator, which was quite surreal to witness. She's pretty spot-on and apparently does more than just look like idiots!
Finally, the stars dispersed and made their way upstairs to a VIP area beside the stage. Promoter Chip Duckett, who spoils me rotten, pulled me into VIP, where he introduced me to LuAnn. One of my least-fave Housewives stars (and now one of the only ones left on RHONYC after they axed several), she was lovely and sweet to me. (So far, the only annoying Housewife who's also been annoying in person was Jill Zarin.) LuAnn was with her boyfriend and having a ball despite a lot of people doing things that probably wouldn't pass muster, etiquette-wise.
I was thrilled to meet Jackie Hoffman, who I've loved forever. I told her I used to see her in stuff at Tweed in NYC and she said, "That was ages ago...with Varla???" Yes! I totally remember the sick takes on the already-sick classics of Tennessee Williams, like Cat on a Hot Tin Trough. She was great and quite low-key compared to her stage persona, possibly due to the close proximity of alpha females Dirty Martini and Bridget Everett.
Everett probably made the biggest impression, doing everything but howl at the moon and flashing the apoplectic crowd. She ended her act in a stirrups position with the audience standing where the gyno would be.
She's got a powerful voice but could have been mute and still wowed everyone with her...stage presence is not really the right phrase...her visual domination.
Dirty Martini has a voluptuous-plus burlesque act that always has host Murray Hill's drag king-sized libido working overtime.
She arrived on stage in purple and stripped to "Purple Haze."
Lampanelli sang a funny song about how she didn't want to be an insult comic anymore, insulting people along the way.
Musto spoke at last, gushing to us all about how fabulous we were, and we all air-kissed him back for inviting us to such a memorable bash.
Now I have to go see how he wrote up his own party and if he kissed or dissed himself!