What I Am Doing for My Summer Vacation: Liza Minelli & Alan Cumming

7.26.2012

By Daniel Nardicio

Daniel Nardicio's Icon Series will bring an idol to Cherry Grove

"It's like the old prostitute said: It's not the work, it's the stairs"

Being a producer is unlike most careers, because you spend all this time working on something that is probably going to be over in an hour or so. It's like spending months trying to get laid, only to have it over in less than two hours.
I've been working for years in the lovely little hamlet of Cherry Grove, the birthplace of the modern gay movement, and, not often mentioned, the summer home of patient zero, Gaten Dugas. He lived on Ivy Walk in an old house and supposedly had sex with anything that walked.
Shortly thereafter very little was left to walk in Cherry Grove.
I love it here and, although it's not as swanky or sexy as it's neighbor, The Pines, the Grove is, as one resident put it, "A community of 200 characters played by 200 people."
It's the hometown I never had. One where trannies and ex-sex workers own property; where the rich have dinner with paupers; where no one cares if you love men; where my bisexual carpenter has a business card which reads: "I go down on anything but price."
I've been building my business here for years now, with a much-maligned underwear party that started out as a lark but has grown to such a sleeper hit that it's now, as Fleshbot called it, "the most amazing weekly party in the world."
The world? OK, I'll take it.
Then I decided to add more to the mix: an Icon Series. 
All of my favorite performers of all time: Alan Cumming! Margaret Cho! Sandra Bernhard! Justin Vivian Bond!
And they all said yes!
It's been thrilling to say the least, but nothing compares to the call I got in late spring from Matt.
I had been trying to get through to Liza Minnelli. One, because she's an idol of mine, and two, because if you're going to produce and Icon Series, why not shoot for the top?
Or as I heard once: Go for BIG Ideas, small and medium have too much competition. 
This late spring day, the called Matt, phoned to tell me that Ms. Minnelli had, in fact, said yes to my idea of pairing her with Alan Cumming. (A pairing, I might add, which has never been attempted.)
I found myself squealing on the street after that call.
And practically every day since.
Well, the date is coming closer. August 4, to be exact. The same weekend four years ago I asked Lady Gaga to appear for my birthday at The Ice Palace, which she did. Now, the same stage where Lady Gaga once performed will also have... Liza Minnelli? This whole thing is thrilling.
I guess the reason for this isn't to brag, but to remind myself to think BIG. There have been some bitter queens in the Pines who have complained that I got Liza and Alan in THE GROVE. When they asked, "Why the Grove?" my friend said to them: "Because Daniel asked them. And because Daniel is nice."
So i guess the moral of this story is for me to be nice, ask for what you really want, and let go of the results.
Wish me luck!
 
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