Liza’s Coming Back To Broadway!
By Michael Musto
Photo by Wilson Models
Last summer, promoter extraordinaire Daniel Nardicio produced a Fire Island concert of Cabaret-related chums Liza Minnelli and Alan Cumming, and it proved to be a gay must-see and the buzzy event of the season. This past March, the show morphed over to Town Hall, where the two stars sang separately and together, then cut cake at an after party as everyone squealed. I described the concert as “a total immersion into the souls of these two cutely naughty yet plaintively poignant singer/actors who are connected at the (Mein) Herr-line.”
Well, bring out another cake because the Liza & Alan act is apparently morphing again. I hear Nardicio is planning to bring the show (with some new material) to Broadway! The conjoined-in-eyeliner entertainers are expecting to do 12 performances at the Marquis Theatre in December, when the star wattage can help jolt NYC into the holidays in the most oomphy way imaginable. Billy Stritch and Lance Horne will guide the musical accompaniment as everyone raises a (sober) toast to longevity, pizzazz, and the stimulating glories of “New York, New York.”
After that, Alan (fresh off his avant garde Macbeth) will have to get ready for the Cabaret revival next year, but his Liza pairing shouldn’t end at the Marquis. Some have suggested that the Oscar winner would be an interesting choice to play the older lady with the pineapple in Cabaret, but why not aim a little higher, fruitwise? Since the production is still looking for a Sally Bowles, maybe we can suspend a tiny bit of disbelief and have Liza play that role again? I'd certainly pay, and so would everyone I've ever met. Hello? She already knows the part!
Meanwhile, Nardicio’s sprawling underwear parties at Cherry Grove’s Ice Palace bring out a bevy of scantily clad male nymphs and an occasional mature gay overseeing the action while saying, “Willkommen.” Well, I was that gay when I hosted the bash the other night, and while I did wear underwear, it happened to be under several layers of shirts, pants, and jackets. (Hey, I’m not giving it away.) Scarily enough, everyone else was attractive, not to mention giddy, game, and goosey, too. I even met someone who was introduced as “the guy who designed Gaga's wheelchair.” "No, I didn't,” he responded, testily. "Yes, you did," insisted the friend. And I realized that too much time in the sun can be seriously damaging. Just then, I pranced to the end of the dance floor and pulled back a white curtain that was mysteriously dividing things. And what I saw…I’ll never tell! But next time I might wear one less layer.
At the same hotspot, Nardicio has continued his fully-clad “Icon” series—the one that first brought us Liza and Alan—while cooking up some festive ideas for next year's attractions. Margaret Cho told him she'd like to do an act with her good friend Patty Duke. (I'm gagging. That's already my favorite sentence I've ever written.) The equally unlikely but magical twosome of Lypsinka and Isabella Rossellini are apparently interested in joining for some very esoteric act or other. And I also suggested bringing Elaine Stritch back from nowheresville (they can use Gaga’s old wheelchair) and also pairing Bernadette Peters and Patti LuPone in a sort of theater-queen's-wet-dream Gypsy convention. Whatever the final lineup is, you should start fastening your strap-ons. 2014 is going to be even gayer than the pineapple in Cabaret.
This Saturday night’s Icon was “the sultan of bad taste” John Waters, who dispensed a healthy batch of anecdotes and observations with his customarily wonderful wry wit. At the Ice Palace, Waters talked about his favorite gay slang (“my significant otter”; “blouse” for someone who’s a feminine top). He said he’s written a TV version of Hairspray, which hasn’t been picked up yet, “but it might happen”--and if not, he’d love to see Hairspray on Ice. And then, in an onstage Q&A presided over by yours truly (in lots of layers), Waters revealed that he once made out with his drag star, Divine, in a car, but there was no real sexual frisson between them and it never got beyond that.
“All right, then, who would you fuck/marry/kill?” I asked, launching a bout of that familiar parlor game. “I don’t say negative things about anyone,” Waters gently warned. So I made one of the three name choices an object, offering, “Barbara Walters, Donald Trump, and a bag of excrement. Go!” And Waters still chose Trump for the kill! What a good sport!
By the way, I stayed at the ornately beautiful, all-white, all-male Belvedere Hotel, and judging by the guys running around there, BVD must be short for Belvedere. I recently ran into Bruce Vilanch by the hotel’s pool, and the comic surveyed the place for the first time and declared to me, “This was obviously Liberace’s starter home!” It’s a great place for a “blouse” like me.
And by the way, nude guys are visible on Fire Island even when their posteriors are being filmed for posterity. In fact, I hear HBO’s The Normal Heart—based on Larry Kramer’s landmark slice of gay history—recently shot a rather raunchy scene involving a four-way in the Meat Rack, while Mark Ruffalo’s character watched. Life is a cabernet, old chum.