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The Body Politic

FAHEY/KLEIN GALLERY's double bill of L.A.'s celebrity photographer GREG GORMAN and San Francisco's father of Modern Primitives, FAKIR MUSAFAR, was not as unlikely a pairing as it might have seemed. Gorman filled the larger gallery with a seemingly endless series of photos documenting his current obsession, one very young tattooed surfer boy: See the beauty posing, pissing and cradling an erection. In gallery number two, Musafar's work is another obsession altogether. Self-portraits dating back from 60 years to present show a preteen Musafar with weights hanging from piercings on his chest, to our favorite, the ultimate corseted-waist dandy look of "The Perfect Gentleman," plus there are current photos of body-play personalities including the Torture King. The living-legend quota from both camps blended seamlessly: FETISH MISTRESS MIDORI, president of the Tom of Finland Foundation DURK DEHNER, actor UDO KIER (just off the plane from filming another Lars von Trier film), out-of-drag empress ALEXIS ARQUETTE, Cherry's BRYAN RABIN, Her Eminence HOLLY WOODLAWN, By Hook or By Crook's STANYA KAHN, painter DELBERT McKNIGHT and club promoter/bird watcher JOSEPH BROOKS. Though his subject was both personal and a departure for Gorman, the event was yet another opening. On the other hand, although Musafar -- accompanied by wife MISTRESS CLEO DUBOIS -- has been the subject of numerous books and other photographers such as Joel-Peter Witkin, as well as publisher of his own journal, Body Play, this was his first adventure in the real art world, and his unjaded excitement was actually delightful to witness.

--Ron Athey

Real to Reel

"It's just a fun play about friendship, perception and memory," playwright STEPHEN BELBER modestly observed at the star-studded L.A. premiere of TAPE, his off-Broadway hit about two high school buds who reunite 10 years later, only to discover that they're still as juvenile as ever. Brought to West Hollywood's COAST PLAYHOUSE by the New York­based theater company Naked Angels, Tape's opening night drew plenty of familiar film and TV personalities, many of whom seemed eager to debate the hot topic of theater in L.A.: Is there or isn't there? Angels alumna ALLISON JANNEY, fresh from her West Wing Emmy and towering over everybody in knee-high, spike-heeled black leather boots, countered a French reporter's snobby comment that "L.A. has no theater" with, "There's wonderful theater here! It's just overlooked in favor of film and TV." But then, along comes CAMRYN MANHEIM, who exclaimed, "Oh my God, when I go to London or New York, I feel like I'm in a candy store. There's so much great theater there compared to here!" BROOKE SHIELDS, hotter than the popping flashbulbs in skintight black leather pants and burgundy suede coat, offered no opinions as she darted into the theater with hubby and Spin City producer CHRIS HENCHY. Other lovers of the legit who attended the play and the low-key but high-style after-party at LA BOHÈME included MINNIE DRIVER, MARY McCORMACK, JONATHAN SILVERMAN, JENNIFER GREY -- and, of course, the stars of Tape: DOMINIC FUMUSA, JOSH STAMBERG and ALISON WEST. And in the Hollywood Patriarch department: The Mod Squad's CLARENCE WILLIAMS III, who drew cheers from the crowd, and the immortal MR. BLACKWELL, undoubtedly there to remind us why God created tweeds.

--Mary Beth Crain

Blest From The Past

Talk about being fashionably late. BLEST BOUTIQUE hosted a meet 'n' greet for Heatherette, the new line from NYC club kid du jour (well, quite a few jours ago) RICHIE RICH and partner TRAVER RAINS recently, and the twosome showed up way tardy -- but with a good excuse: They were stuck circling LAX for an hour. Nobody in the chic pack, which included Cherry go-go god RUSSELL, Coalition of L.A. Designers' LEE TRIMBLE, Motochrist-ians RICKY VODKA and DANNY NORDAHL, writer CLINT CATALYST and actress PAULEY PERRETTE, seemed to mind the delay, as most were kept occupied by an endless flow of champagne and cheek-to-cheek air smooches. When Rich (pictured, left) and Rains (pictured, right), who've been riding the '80s wave of tattered-and-torn, safety-pinned and studded T's for more than a year now (Sarah Jessica Parker donned their "Carrie" logo T in Sex and the City ads), finally made their entrance, the fashion freaks who waited were giddy and ready to gush. By the time their traveling companion, trannie gal pal AMANDA LEPORE, a well-known David LaChapelle muse, arrived, everyone was headed to DIRTY, the rockin' new night at THE ROOM, where DJ SEAN "Peaches" MAHONEY spun a spunky mix. While Heatherette's caveman-gone-punk creations are all the buzz, for many Rich will always be the glittery dollar-sign-covered boy who talked trash on Geraldo and Phil Donahue (he'll return to his decadent past as a fashion consultant for Party Monster, the film about murderous clubster Michael Alig). He says he doesn't mind. "They still call Madonna a former club kid, too." Well, maybe a couple of decades ago.

--Lina Lecaro

The Booty Electric

"Ohh, I'm sooo over this," one gal huffed while she stood in line to use a port-a-potty at DJ DAVID MANCUSO's downtown LOFT party. Strangely, it wasn't the line she was moaning about but the unusually civil vibe of the party. Perhaps she just wasn't used to making the scene with such an astonishingly well-behaved crowd -- which might be explained in part by the no-booze policy, or maybe by the fact that it felt like you were in someone's living room rather than in a commercial warehouse space. Those speaker huggers who like to get carried away by waves of massive beats were in for a big surprise: Although the sound was as crisp and rich as could be, you could still stand next to a speaker and carry on a conversation without straining your vocal cords. Mancuso, whose Loft parties in NYC back in the disco days were frequented by the likes of David Bowie, Chaka Khan and Nina Hagen, is famous for his sensitivity to sound quality. At one point, he became annoyed about something but couldn't quite locate the problem. A moment later he pointed to a speaker across the room and shouted, "There!" Sure enough, someone had tossed a sweater on a tweeter which was on top of one of the giant speakers. Wax wizards "LITTLE LOUIE" VEGA, MARQUES WYATT, HARVEY, and local spinsters SCOTT K., TONY WATSON and PAUL T. were among those who came out to pay homage to the turntable titan, who kept 'em guessing all night long with never-heard tracks by Donna Summer and delicious rare white-label grooves. Mancuso's lesson for the watching jocks: as much of a mixmeister as you might be, it's ultimately all about the sound.

--Derrick Mathis


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