Night Of A Thousand Judys: Part 2
I ventured out to Merkin Hall on Monday night, after a stop at The Night Hotel on 45th for a glass of wine. The hotel is this dark little glam spot on 45th street that seems like, at 5:00PM all the vampires who make this place their home will just now being stirring around in their coffins to suck the world dry. The logo even looks like a graphic designer vampire crafted it...
Now, in case you are wondering. This whole mid-nineties glam vampire, "this is a place where human sheep come to lose their mortal souls" vibe??? I LOVED it. I like a dash of danger in my bars, and I'd been told that the waitresses were very welcoming, and that if I sat at the bar they would make sure I was well taken care of. They didn't disappoint. They were both so sweet, and seemed to take a genuine interest, chatted me up like they were hosting a very intimate party, and the glasses of wine were generously poured, with great happy hour prices.
This particular night my soul was left intact. No wan and pale emo man slathered in eye makeup up lured me up to his room. Instead, I skipped on out into the night and headed toward Merkin Hall! Yes, that's its name, and yes, many a merkin joke was made throughout the evening.
I arrived about twenty minutes early, which was plenty of time to check out the surroundings and the masses of gay folk who had attended the benefit. There were loads of men in blue gingham dress shirts, and a couple of them even sported red tennis shoes. I felt a little out of place, but only because I was alone, and didn't know anyone there. Every one else seemed to be completely at home, or was putting up a very good front. I headed over to the restrooms, and luckily there was a cute boy in line who I chatted with for a while, and he regaled me with the fact that this benefit was an extension of "The Meeting", a monthly show at Joe's Pub, which pays homage to varying gay icons. While he loved Judy, of course, he was primarily a fan of "The Meeting", and visions of me and this big hunk of inappropriately aged blond corn fed cuteness watching "Summer Stock" with me on a Wednesday evening, and of the two of us shopping picking out "His and His" throw pillows at the Jonathan Adler, well they faded. In the meantime, I had spotted a woman near us in the corner that I recognized as an important personage in the Judy fan circles, and I'd always appreciated her level headed words, her "appropriate" levels of fandom, and her seemingly kind nature. I wanted to introduce myself to her, but I was torn! Salvage my future relationship with this cute boy? Or meet my future Judy fan bosom buddy? Cute boy? Or Judy friend??
|Judy Garland by Pablo Lobato|
In the meantime, I was enjoying the show. All the fancy gays preening and parading, the art work up for auction... here I was admittedly surprised to find the offerings rather sparse. There were about five pieces up, one of which I recognized from press at last year's auction, and one which was essentially a glorified ad for the event. There were two pieces there, however, that were pretty terrific. One was this gorgeous caricature of Judy from Meet Me In St. Louis by Pablo Lobato, who's work has been featured in many publications, including "Entertainment Weekly". At the beginning of the show it was already up to $500 and was sure to rise by twice that towards the end of the evening. The other piece I loved was by Felix D'eon, an artist who does these very detailed, retro works (some of them slightly obscene) in which he queerifies mid-twentieth century comic book art and Greek mythology, among other things. I had actually purchased one of his sweeter, more tame pieces awhile back, and the piece on display was a playful drawing of a youngish boy in Dorothy drag and a young man flirtatiously grabbing his wig. Again, if I'd had money to spare...Incidentally, the photo I snapped of the piece does not do it justice, so rather than post a blurry representation of his work, I give you this, as a prime example of his stellar illustrations...
|"Spaceman Embrace" By Felix D'eon|
Before I knew it, they were playing chimes over the loudspeaker and dimming the lights to let us know it was time to head into the theatre, and when I sat down in the balcony I was pleased that I had a great view of the stage, and was flush with excitement for the show to come.
Coming Soon: The show itself!