In case you haven't heard, Michael Musto, the longtime Village Voice nightlife reporter and gossip-with-a-purpose, was fired by the paper in a recent "bloodbath" of employees. What the bottom-liners at The Voice don't seem to realize is that in firing Michael Musto, they've voted to kill the paper off entirely. As the editor of a teen magazine I founded, I was often told, "You are that magazine." I always knew that wasn't entirely true, but I do think that proclamation applies to Michael Musto—he truly was the voice of The Village Voice.
More proof that the Internet makes dumb people dumber, mean people meaner, and suspicious people into paranoid conspiracy theorists: When Michael Musto first Facebooked Angelina Jolie's preventative double mastectomy news, the first comment was from a woman who theorized that Jolie was just using the specter of cancer as a smokescreen for replacing her saggy boobs. And she meant it.
I mean, Jesus...the woman did something radical to help herself and her family. I don't think I'd have the courage to do something similar. Good for her. I would think if she felt the need to have plastic surgery, she would be able to do that without coming up with any sort of cover story at all.
Last night, we attended Michael Musto's Disco Extravaganza at 54 Below, a heart-filled effort to revive the disco era decades after its death under mysterious circumstances. (Did it die out naturally like the dinosaurs, or did those "disco sucks" schmucks commit foul play?) It was a lot of fun, even if the prominent stage in such an intimate space confused some attendees about whether they should be dannnncing, yeah!, or watching the performers. Holding it on the site of the original studio 54 was as good a way as any to conjure up the ghost of Disco Sally.
The evening began on point, with the bow-tied doorman bluntly but amusingly informing those who'd arrived with extra plus ones—even the esteemed photographer Patrick McMullan—that there was no way they were getting in. He was a one-man velvet rope!
Inside, McMullan and others were snapping photos of those attendees who'd arrived in '70s wear. For anyone keeping score, the main drawback to polyester boogie shirts that haven't been worn since 1978 would be the smell.
Nobody was giving blowjobs in the corner, coke dust wasn't raining from the roof and we didn't find any money hidden in the walls, but the 90-minute set list was satisfying, featuring the cruise-ship-ready stylings of Elektrik Company (great singers, great at shaming us for not dancing), the incomparable Orfeh (who blew us all away with her "Come to Me" and "Don't Leave Me This Way") and a rockin' and ramblin' "Y.M.C.A." by original Village People person Randy Jones.
Musto himself, did a carbs-in-cheek, fatphobic (wait, that's an anachronism if we're back in the '70s) send-up of "I Will Survive" but was singing, seriously singing, on "Macho Man" and "Last Dance" (he noted he'd be a disco queen like Donna Summer, except gay-friendly, then asked, "Too soon?"). I'm not saying his vocals were a revelation, but he sounded better than Ethel Merman on her disco album.
It was cool enough hearing those songs performed live, and then Tish & Snooky—original backing singers from Blondie and Downtown legends who were in the Drop-Outs and the Sic F*cks before opening Manic Panic—really lit a fire under us with their "Freak Out."
Steve Rubell would've been proud. And horny. And in need of some blow. After the fold, check out some of the musical highlights...
Paul Iacono, known for a part in Fame and as the titular star of MTV's big-dick comedy The Hard Times of R.J. Berger, has come out in an interview with Michael Musto. Good for him! I remember seeing him at Michael's last bash, so perhaps he's been grooming Iacono for this interview for a while!
This past Monday, I was thrilled to attend The 6th Annual Broadway Beauty Pageant, a hilarious and ribald event staged at Symphony Space (before a sold-out crowd) to raise money for The Ali Forney Center.
As a member of the Host Committee, I'd pledged to sell $500 worth of tickets, which I absolutely did—mostly to myself! I took José, brought my pal Jason along (VIP tickets including the afterparty) and the rest went to a Boy Culture reader who later informed me he'd been a homeless gay youth just a couple of years ago and to a lucky, last-minute couple.
As much work as it was trying to interest people in tickets, the show would go on to sell out, raising a record-breaking $75,000.
Arrived early to cover the junior red carpet, but it was kind of a bust for me because as a hobbyist blogger, I don't have pro lighting and it was in a 100-degree antechamber that might as well have been a cave.
I grabbed a few quick tidbits from the contestants but skipped everyone else, including judges Jackie Hoffman, Michael Musto and Tonya Pinkins, feeling bad about taking up anyone's time when they were impossible to see. Speaking of which,I didn't see expected guests Paul McGill, Rachel Dratch or John Glover, but I did at least make the acquaintance of Broadway expert Richie Ridge, one of whose helpers turned out to be Alex, a Boy Culture reader who kept my spirits up in the stifling heat.
Sat down just in time to see the show open, featuring hysterical emcee Tovah Feldshuh who, as she pointed out, starred in Broadway's longest running one-woman show—take that, Lena Horne. She cracked wise about Grindr, Boy Butter and her many unconsummated Tony nominations. She was, without a doubt, 10 times funnier than last year.
KEEP READING FOR TONS OF PICTURES & VIDEO, SOME OF IT RATHER REVEALING...
Here's Michael Musto's year-end wrap-up column, complete with images of Musto as some of the year's biggest newsmakers. He kinda reminds me of Richard Benjamin as Donald Trump!
As of midnight last night, it was exactly six years since my first post. It's been a tough thing to keep up with a dayjob and outside activities, and just when I think I might walk away, a valuable connection or interesting opportunity or a kind word comes my way. Thank you all for reading me.
Of whom are you more jealous?
Here are my favorite 100+ posts out of nearly 11,000. Please take some time to read (or re-read!) a couple and tweet or Facebook any you like.
FROM BOY TO MAN: BC B.C. (2007): The entire history of my novell and novel Boy Culture as well as the movie version; might be my ultimate post.
BOY ON FILM (2006): An account of the NYC launch party for Boy Culture as it played the TriBeCa Film Fest.
FRIENDS AND "FAMILY" (2006): The movie version of Boy Culture hits Chicago.
RAPT PUPIL (2006): The final night of Outfest with Boy Culture; I was fat but on the other hand got to meet Bryan Singer.
"Your pictures suck" (2008): An art critic attacks me, but not without sustaining some hits in return.
DRAWN TOGETHER (2008): How my desire to draw related to my secret desire. One of my absolute favorite posts.
LOST ANGELES (2009): My favorite photographic travelogue of L.A.
ART IMITATES LIFE (2006): My 9/11 and my distaste for grief tourism.
BURNING MAN (2007): Tribute to my late high school friend and first romance.
LOST BOY FOUND (2011): There is a book in here somewhere.
CIAO HOUNDS: OUR TRIP TO ITALY (2011): Finally got José to Europe.
ILLINOIS DEATH TRIP (2007): Ruminations on death while revisiting a past home, and the past.
PASSING BY (2008): Mourning the loss of a person I only met once.
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