Fashionistas and the people who love 'em, all wanting a glimpse at what the netherworld will be wearing next season, filled THE ECHO to check out BROKEN DOLLS:
. The goth-fairy-tale-inspired event showcased six independent L.A. designers who premiered their new lines for a crowd who, even though they may have boasted one too many faux-hawks, grew more and more excited and lively with each creation that came down the runway. COTTON CANDY featuring LIZ McGRATH introduced chillingly delightful garb on a parade of lasses who appeared to have been plucked from a late-1800s TB ward and plopped into Cyndi Lauper's “True Colors” video. Also shown were designs from VERA ICON, IT AIN'T PRETTY, LA RUCA, and SHE BIBLE as well as DEFILE, whose designer,
RICO ADAIR, sent his models down the runway (with instructions “not to smile”) in ultra minis and gutter-punk-influenced garb complemented by prosthetic noses that would have made The Hours star Nicole Kidman envious. Taking it all in were designer VANESSA from the
up-and-coming Xkiller clothing line, and members of the theatrical rock outfit
SOUNDS OF ASTEROTH. Also spotted was the fashion “don't” of the evening: the arrogant SOB, sporting a recycled Alex P. Keaton blazer-with-elbow-patches look, who served attitude to the overworked barkeep because he had to wait a few minutes to close his tab, then made sure the rest of us knew he was “big” enough to give the bartender a hefty tip by waving a $20 bill around a bit first. Get real, mister, it's Echo Park.

—Jen Hitchcock


The PSYCHOSEXUAL BALL, featuring the GENITORTURERS, was crammed with more tools and apparatus than any Ace Hardware store. Led by blond beasty babe growler GEN, the Florida group pulled out all the stops at the KEY CLUB for their only SoCal appearance — fire-eaters, simulated girl-on-girl sex, a Cirque du Soleil aerialist, and a bloody suspension artist who hung and eventually swung from giant hooks punctured into his back flesh. The fiendish crowd — which included mag's FORREST BLACK and
AMELIA G, Retail Slut's PETER and KASTLE (seen earlier that evening on E!'s Wild on Hollywood special) and glam-metal guy TAIME DOWNE — was clad in de rigueur fetish wear, and seemed to love every brutal minute, even if the pit was surprisingly tame compared to the football jocks who packed the place two days later for a KROQ Super Bowl party featuring THE DONNAS. Still, the floor whores did liven up when someone started a sexy version of the arena beach-ball bounce with an inflated condom. Even with all the spikes, chains and piercings clanking about, it was a different kind of metal ménage that took over the Key Club's Plush Lounge: TOMMY LEE and GENE SIMMONS. The latter stole attention away from the room's half-naked S&M performers by playfully fondling three of the Genitorturers' strapped-on dancers while shamelessly advertising his magazine, Tongue, holding it to his chest the entire night. Needless to say, there was more ass-KISSing than spanking going on.

—Lina Lecaro


There's no way the after-party could match what went on in the FABULOUS MONSTERS production of RAMAYANA 2K3, directed by ROBERT A. PRIOR, at the GASCON CENTER THEATER: hallucinogenic projections, dancing monkeys sliding up and down poles, orgy scenes, sexy evil gods and goddesses, wanton acrobatic demons, and your favorite yoga poses all set to a throbbing, trance-inducing electronica score (did we mention the belly dancers?). The first-night fete proved to be more post-2K church social with a twist: lots of vegan food, that ubiquitous Charles Shaw wine, fire dancers and a sand mandala. Multimedia artist
ELIA ARCE, burlesque queen SELENE LUNA, filmmaker LAWRENCE ELBERT, artist
KELLY MAXX, and performance duo MICHAEL MORRISSEY and FRANC BALITON were among those jumping to their feet to applaud the rave-ishing telling of this classic Hindu legend, which dealt with issues of violence, paternity and loyalty at least a millennium before Jerry Springer. The Monsters would do well to try and go to Vegas. Their one blue guy beats Vegas' three anytime.

—Marcus Kuiland-Nazario


“This is so bar mitzvah-like,” remarked BETH LAPIDES to the audience at
SAY THE WORD, an Un-Cabaret production featuring TV writers performing their own work at the SKIRBALL CULTURAL CENTER. Lapides launched the evening with “How To Have a Cold,” where she advised the sick to “blame George Bush for his warmongering, that's why you have a cold.” Sex and the City writer JULIE ROTTENBERG read an essay on her penchant for sleep, a forbidden love that has haunted her since the days of childhood slumber parties, while her writing partner, ELISA ZURITSKY, brought down the house with memories of her first sleep-away camp romance. Politically Incorrect' s SCOTT CARTER went literary with his piece, “Dylan Memoir” (that's the poet Thomas, not the singer Bob), which paid homage to the Welsh drunk as he described a New York bender full of “vomit, its texture as rich and varied as Dylan's verse.” Larry Sanders writer JOHN RIGGI opened the door to his irrational fears with “Scaredy-cat Jones and the Temple of Doom.” Late Night With David Letterman writer MERRILL MARKOE closed the evening with two pieces, one about a dog's insatiable need to play catch, and the other on the permanent place we have in life as an “ex.” The very Westside Skirball crowd, which included Sex and the City writer CINDY CHUPACK and former SNL writer ALAN ZWEIBEL, ate it up — even the bubbies who took tickets at the door laughed at Dylan's vomit.

—Christopher Lisotta

LA Weekly