Cheryl: Super Freaks
By Jason Lamphier
New York City partygoers have been bemoaning the death of weekend nightlife for the last decade, but if Cheryl has anything do with it, Saturday will be the new Saturday. The four-person performance-art collective throw their masquerade of the same name at the Bell House in Brooklyn every month, announcing their themes (e.g., Goth Spaceship, Sasquatch on Broadway) with heady online music videos a few weeks before each bash.
'Cheryl isn't about velvet ropes, looking sexy, and who knows who,' says Destiny Pierce, who in July 2008 teamed with friends Stina Puotinen, Sarah Van Buren, and Nick Schiarizzi to launch a dime-store fete at a local dive bar. Billed as 'the dance party that will ruin your life,' Cheryl quickly evolved into a dizzying train wreck of disco, glitter, fake blood, hair extensions, and feline masks -- the scrappy antithesis of Manhattan's posh club scene. Call it the Gaga effect or a liberating reaction to economic woes, but the unhinged shindig has scored quite the following: New York magazine crowned it 2010's best costume party, and electroclash queen Miss Kittin recently tapped the group for a big-venue DJ set in July. 'We don't have a weirdness thermometer,' says Schiarizzi, the troupe's gay member, explaining Cheryl's freak-show aesthetic. 'We don't do subtle at all.'
Cheryl's latest party, "Cheryl: Silky and Jumbo Since 2008," is August 14 at the Bell House (149'7th St., Brooklyn, N.Y.), $5 before midnight, $10 after. For more info, check out CherylWillRuinYourLife.info.