“I can’t tell the boys from the girls in here,” said drag king MURRAY HILL to the very drunk and rowdy crowd at ZEN. “I’m playing above a sushi restaurant — I’m huge!” Brooklyn native Hill, the “hardest-working middle-aged man in show business,” filled the house with bull and baby dykes for his premiere L.A. show. After bumming beers from the audience, Hill brought out the WAU-WAU SISTERS (pronounced “vow wow”), the hottie lesbo duo known for their singing, stripping and acrobatics. Sisters TANYA and ADRIENNE started in country gear, looking like younger, tighter versions of the Del Rubio Triplets minus one as they sang: “We like all the pretty boys we see, but nothing compares to family.” A gag involving Adrienne wearing only a “Chicago or Bust” hitchhiking sign and a six-pack of Bud brought one fan to the stage, which caused Hill to rush out and announce, “Ladies and gentlemen, let’s hear it for this drunk lesbian!” Murray got into gag-drag as Dolly Parton before the sisters finished the show with a naughty schoolgirls number that involved a sexy strip, a simulated crucifixion and patent-leather shoes. The audience — including performance artists MISS SATANICA and MISSY CUNUNDRUM, writer EILEEN MYLES and a gaggle of female Outfest staffers — went nuts. Wau-Wau wow.
Free food, booze and oh, yeah, a full slate of fine films were some of the many highlights of the IFP LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL, which offered festivalgoers a triple crown of parties. Opening night kicked off with a screening of The Cooler, and afterward the film’s stars — WILLIAM H. MACY, ALEC BALDWIN, RON LIVINGSTON, ESTELLA WARREN and SHAWN HATOSY— were among those who squeezed their way through a shindig at the SUNSET ROOM, where fellow festival attendees such as HEATHER GRAHAM,
BILLY BALDWIN, GUY PEARCE, PETER BERG, JOHN CAMERON MITCHELL, CHRISTIAN SLATER and
ROBERT TOWNSEND worked the Armani-clad courtyard crowd while inside young Hollywood hipsters like OLIVER HUDSON ogled the fabulous FAYE DUNAWAY chatting with Cooler director WAYNE KRAMER. Next came the centerpiece premiere at the ARCLIGHT: Mayor of the Sunset Strip, director GEORGE HICKENLOOPER’s bittersweet biopic about RODNEY BINGENHEIMER. The requisite rock & roll crowd was there — newlyweds GWEN STEFANI and GAVIN ROSSDALE, BELINDA CARLISLE, ERIC ERLANDSON, TIM ARMSTRONG, THE BANGLES, MICHAEL DES BARRES and ex-wife PAMELA (producer RICK RUBIN was among the overflow crowd in an adjoining theater) — but who knew Rodney had such a following among Tinseltown’s Tiger Beat set? For example, Dawson’s Creek alumnus JOSHUA JACKSON, actors CHRIS KLEIN,
NATASHA GREGSON WAGNER and COREY FELDMAN. When restless filmgoers began yelling “Start the movie!” we saw a bucket of popcorn go flying over DAVID ARQUETTE’s head (sister ROSANNA must’ve been in the better-behaved balcony section, along with JEFF GOLDBLUM, ANNE HECHE and drama mama KAREN BLACK). Once the credits rolled, Hickenlooper and longtime Bingenheimer buds KIM FOWLEY, DJ/Dramarama man CHRIS CARTER and Hollywood eccentric RONALD VAUGHAN surprised the L.A. legend with keys to a ’67 GTO, compliments of Brian Wilson, Debbie Harry and Nancy Sinatra (among others), who pitched in after hearing that Rodney’s beloved blue baby was stolen from Canter’s parking lot. Word was that Phil Spector might show at the after-party, but the lucky, laminate-wielding few who made it past DEEP’s toady little doorman had to settle instead for the scandal-free likes of MATT LeBLANC, KROQ’s JED THE FISH, and groupie LORI MATTIX, reminiscing about her Rodney’s English Disco days. No settling needed, however, for the closing party at the WADSWORTH THEATER. After a little redistribution of corporate wealth (cash prizes were handed out to the festival’s feature and documentary winners) and a screening of Camp (director
TODD GRAFF’s musical homage to the famed Stagedoor Manor summer camp for the performing arts), the well-heeled crowd traded in their stilettos for flip-flops before spilling out onto the theater’s sprawling lawn for a bucolic backyard barbeque. Industry types dined on campfire fare like fried chicken and s’mores while strategically positioning themselves around picnic blankets and ping-pong tables, and as the vodka-soaked night wore on, some began to wonder if the tire swing really was such an inspired idea or just a tragic accident waiting to happen. Too bad presenter JAKE GYLLENHAAL didn’t stick around. He missed Camp’s stellar young cast belt out a few tunes from the film’s score to a rapt audience that included host ISAAC MIZRAHI, icon CARRIE FISHER, P.T. Anderson staple JOHN C. REILLY, Stagedoor Manor veteran JON CRYER, party boy ANDY DICK and Laurel Canyon’s ALESSANDRO NIVOLA.
(with additional reporting on the Rodney Bingenheimer evening by Lina Lecaro)
BEND IT LIKE RUBBER MAN
The red-hot mamas of BALLYHOO ROYALE brought new meaning to the words Sunset Strip in a HOUSE OF BLUES show headlined by former Miss Exotic World KITTEN DeVILLE and GINGER GOLDMINE. Almost the entire staff of Jumbo’s Clown Room was in the balcony hootin’ and hollerin’ as their co-workers
GYPSY and LOLA POP strutted their stuff while designer MICHAEL SCHMIDT, filmmaker AUGUSTA, ex–Miss Exotic World LOTUS DERRINGER and Blondie’s FRANK INFANTE cheered on ANN-MARGARITA, who began her gender-bending Elvis striptease in a beaded white jumpsuit previously owned by Donny Osmond. Chanteuse ABBY TRAVIS, in a mile-high headdress and hot-pink heart-shaped pasties, celebrated Father’s Day with a nearly X-rated version of “My Heart Belongs to Daddy,” but the most disturbing — and tender — moment came during the performance by show-stealing contortionist DANIEL BROWNING SMITH, also known as “The Rubberboy.” His mom, who sat proudly at a stage-front table, wasn’t the only one screaming as Daniel executed a series of pretzel moves that concluded with him bending over with his head between his legs. Let’s just say that he proved it would be impossible for him to ever be bored.
I’M THE ONE THAT HE WANTS
Friday the 13th is known for freakish and fantastic surprises, none of which was in short supply when comedian MARGARET CHO and the L.A. Cacophony Society’s REVEREND AL RIDENOUR got married — twice. As the sun set, the couple had a traditional Korean service involving both families, a live rooster and hen, and an ample supply of flying chestnuts and dates. The latter is a fertility ritual, and Cho made a show of tossing the fruit off like hot potatoes. Also cast off after the traditional gig was the bride’s “won-sam” costume, which she promptly replaced with a black-and-red patent leather corset for greeting guests while THE CENTIMETERS creeped and crooned. Wedding planner AVA STANDER, also co-designer with Cho of the “High Class cHo” clothing line for zaftig beauties, spun around like fringe on a flapper’s dress as she introduced the betrothed’s family members to a colorful spectrum of guests including shutterbug
AUSTIN YOUNG, cartoonist DAME DARCY, concert promoter BILL SILVA, designer JARED GOLD, writer RICHARD RUSHFIELD, ex-Germster DON BOLLES, actors DICK RUDE and RYAN LANDRY, and the fagulously wigged-out LADY BUNNY. If the first service was for the family, the second was for the fiends: Bridesmaids were gothed out in dark sparkle dresses and black bouquets, wedding bands were extracted from small coffin-shaped boxes, and Cho’s outfit was a 150-year-old beaded gown, complete with 30-foot-long veil adorned with black rubber snakes, à la Medusa. Everyone must get stoned.