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Knockering on Heaven's Door 

Edited by Kateri Butler

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Bust, the NYC-based magazine "for women with something to get off their chests," offered up a, uh, perfect pair -- of entertainers, that is -- drag marvel JACKIE BEAT and the burlesque babes of the VELVET HAMMER at last Saturday's benefit bash at SIXTEEN-FIFTY to raise funds for the mag, which has just re-launched as a quarterly. The busy king-size queen (who'll be hosting Club Makeup's goth ball this Saturday) served up boobylicious soul grooves in a ghetto-fab-Britney-Spears-meets-punk-chick ensemble: purple ponytails and schoolgirl frocks. A different kind of bling-bling took over the stage when V.H.'s glamour girls presented a condensed version of their hit show (which filled El Rey the night before and the night after with such luminaries as thespians TYNE DALY, PETER FALK and BILLY ZANE, E! fashion fiend MELISSA RIVERS, directors BARBET SCHROEDER and ALEXANDER PAYNE, La Luz's BILLY SHIRE and artists ZAMORA THE TORTURE KING and THE PIZZ; even ELTON JOHN and ROD STEWART were rumored to have gotten an eyeful). In addition to lovely locals such as V.H. creator/producer MICHELLE "Valentina Violette" CARR and co-producer RITA "Ursulina" D'ALBERT (pictured), the Bust night featured ANN MAGNUSON and Big Apple(d) babe THE WORLD FAMOUS *BOB*, plus some new pasties on the block belonging to East Coast hottie JULIE ATLAS MUZ, who mesmerized with an exquisitely choreographed dance/fight with a severed hand. Comedian CRAIG ANTON didn't fare as well with his off-color joshing, which pissed off some gals so much that they started heckling hardcore, finally yelling, "Show us your dick!" over and over until he left the stage. Which just goes to show ya, today's foxy feminists have not only Bust but balls.

--Lina Lecaro

A WORD TO THE WASTED

If it occurred to you, during their Oscar acceptance speeches, that HALLE BERRY and JENNIFER CONNELLY were both looking a little, you know, gaunt up there at the podium (gaunt being the least of Ms. Berry's problems that night), you should have tuned in to the IFP/WEST INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS on Bravo the night before, where, every time the DJ cued the Bollywood dance music for Ghost World, the camera would train its eye on dangerously trimmed-down Interview cover girl THORA BIRCH, looking every inch the radiantly beautiful end-stage tuberculosis patient struggling valiantly not to let the death-terror leak through her courageous young smile. Even scarier to contemplate was presenter CHRISTINA RICCI looking as unlike Christina Ricci as Christina Ricci could ever hope to look -- all scrawny and sunken and chiseled and (just speculating here) liposucked half to death, more Morticia than Wednesday, and very much the opposite of sexy. Lucky we weren't drinking that afternoon at the awards ceremony, or we might have pushed our way through Six Feet Under ingénue LAUREN AMBROSE's circle of friends and admirers, pinched those plump, perfect cheeks and shouted, "You're beautiful! Don't lose a pound!"

--Ron Stringer

HOT CROSS BUNS

A curious mix of sceney-boppers, fetish folk, Queer as Folk wannabes and biological women who were trying their very best to look like boys dressed as girls packed DRAGAPALOOZA at THE PARLOUR CLUB, the latest dive (it was formerly a hustler bar called the Pub) transformed into a hepcat hotspot. (Are there any real dive bars left in L.A. anymore?) The event, hosted by JERSEY SHORE and HAZEL NUTTE, conjured up a slumber party in a girls' dormatory -- better make that reformatory! The Parlour's mind-blowing martinis fired up the heaving horde into a sweating, screaming, silly state, although the crowd couldn't top the performers, who took sweating, screaming and silliness to new highs, or lows, as the case may be -- and it definitely was. Queen after queen lip-synched (with tongues firmly in cheeks -- ouch!) to diva-power songs while prancing down the makeshift runway in cheerleader outfits, Carnaby Street mod minis and beehive wigs that would've made Divine sick with envy. About halfway through the show, things turned interactive with tutu-clad Go-Go JANE WIEDLIN and a couple of hot, shirtless leather boys crawling on the floor, offering dollar tips clenched in their teeth to the entertainers. Managing to maintain some semblance of dignity were tattoo artist JOE VEGAS, MISTRESS SABRINA BELLADONNA and actress (and birthday gal) FANCY FREE. After the show ended, the festivities did not. While the Dragapaloozans shyly asked Jane for autographs, an impromptu interpretive dance party, lead by the Velvet Hammer's JANET "Boudiccea" AUSTIN, broke out to the theme of "Welcome Back, Kotter," which caused many of the WeHo-ens to flee in horror. At least, we think it's the song that caused the rapid exits.

--Pleasant Gehman

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