The Xtravaganza Ball: Hard to Put Into Words (Photos Inside); Latex Ball Coming Up

The morning was swept away as I hugged my pillow and dreamt of Father Jose Xtravaganza’s iconic 30th anniversary WRATH OF THE GODS & GODDESSES” BALL last night at XL Nightclub. I dreamt of Aphrodite and Hercules and Gods and Goddesses and princes and princesses and sugarplum fairies and lots of other fairies and girls that would be boys and boys that would be girls. I never wanted to wake up. The Ball was everything. It was glamour and drama and love and sadness as those that have gone with God were remembered. It was beauty and emotion. It was professional. Grandfather Hector Xtravaganza was a proud father surveying the universe he presides over. I sat as a judge next to the legendary Patricia Fields who was flanked by the joy that is Jack Mizrahi.

Jack is usually an emcee and he commented on the uniqueness of his new role. Pat Fields was amazing. She was unforgiving as a judge. She was fair but demanding. She wanted excellence, and she chopped those who didn’t bring it. I chopped some guy in the Thug Realness category. He came at me at intermission with anger, demanding to know why. He pointed out that he had brought the required spear and, as he yelled at me, he was full of fire and brimstone. I explained to him – although all around me said I need not explain – that if he had come to the stage with the attitude he was coming at me now, like a thug, I would have given him the "10" and the prize he coveted. On stage there was nothing Thug about him. He got chopped.Xtravaganza Ball

Nunney Karma competing in the BQ Vogue Fem category was all attitude and athleticism and creativity and confidence. He twisted and pranced to his just reward. Jennifer Paris had to tell the MC and the crowd that she indeed was born a man as there were few believers in the crowd. She was recruited to be an Xtravaganza on the spot.

Claudia Charriez Xtravaganza was radiant. YouTube her on The Tyra Banks Show to believe. Claudia and I talked about ourwonder years at clubs gone by, when she and Jennifer were the new kids on the block. They are goddesses now in this Ball world and in mine as well.Xtravaganza ball

Lady Bunny was stealing the show, dancing and toying with every camera in the room. There were many so photos; video should be all over the internet. She was asked to the stage as a legend and told the adoring crowd that she represented the International House of Pancakes. As I have explained, the Ball has representatives from the various "Houses" that make up the culture, competing for prizes and glory. It was glorious.

XL was perfect. I hadn’t ever been. Old friends, owner John Blair and GM Tracy Choi, gave me the 50-cent tour and massive amounts of drink tickets. I keep finding them in the pockets of my jacket, which I got from SEW on Mott Street. I felt like a million bucks, all decked out in their duds, which are anything but duds.Xtravaganza BallBINGO moves tonight from the Bowery Poetry Club (now-shuttered because of renovations) to Duane Park, as Duane transforms it into its brand of paradise. BINGO lands softly on the enclosable roof of Hotel Chantelle.

Tonight I’m going to dream of another fitting befitting of the glow that the Ball has bestowed on me. The next big Ball is the Latex Ball at Roseland Ballroom on August 18th. Thousands will show as all the houses will represent. This will be the 22nd Latex Ball and it is, of course, a GMHC affair.

The Latex Ball’s theme: 

The House of Latex Project presents The Enchanted Forest

“The place in which inner darkness is confronted and worked through; where uncertainty is resolved about who one is; and where one begins to understand who one wants to be.”- Stephen Sondheim, Into the Woods, 1987

The inner life of forests has always enchanted us. It is that special place where roots, soil, leaves, insects, flowers, animals, and water collide to create the circle of life. And it is there that the sounds of the raindrops falling from the leaves of ancient trees were transformed into the deafening sounds of our ancestors beating on their drums. Inspiring them to create and spread the magical stories of our creation, our past, and our future – that we now call fairytales and fables.

Tonight’s categories will take you into this inner sanctum and help you travel from tropical jungles to alien worlds; from confronting scary spirits, to places of indescribable beauty. To a place where magical herbs grow unnoticed until they are found to hold the power to help cure illnesses and diseases. We hope your enjoy this trip filled with joy, adventure, mystery and beauty that we call The Enchanted Forest.

The Latex Ball’s categories:

RUNWAY
Cinderella – A classic story where a young girl goes from rag to riches in spite of her evil step mother and step sisters. In the classic Disney animated film, Cinderella is the much-loved only child of a widowed aristocrat. After deciding that his beloved daughter needs a mother’s care, Cinderella’s father marries Lady Tremaine, a proud woman with two daughters from her first marriage, Drizella and Anastasia. Plain and socially awkward, these stepsisters are bitterly envious of the beautiful and charming Cinderella. After the death of Cinderella’s father, Lady Tremaine and her daughters take over the estate, and begin to abuse and mistreat Cinderella out of jealousy. Despite everyone trying her, Cinderella becomes a kind woman and befriends the animals living in the forest around her, until her Prince Charming comes along and saves her.

Women – $ 1 Trophy
The Fairy God Mother came to rescue Cinderella from her misery and granted her a blue dress and glass slippers. Tonight, bring your wand and transform your simple look into a glamorous effect before our eyes. Don’t forget your wand!!!

Butch Queen – $ – 3 Trophies. European (Small vs Tall vs Big)
Lady Tremaine (Tall) and her daughters Drizella (Small) and Anastasia (Big) drove Cinderella to tears with their shade. Before Cinderella could get to the ball, they tore her dress to shreds to prevent her from going. Tonight, we want to see you take those tattered and shredded pieces of fabric from Cinderella’s original gown and create a Victorian BQ high-fashion effect and walk with your wicked step-family attitude.

All American – $ -1 Trophy. All American
Welcome to Prince Charming’s ball!! The King and Queen are ready to marry you off and set you on your regal way. Bring us Prince Charming in your ROYAL HOUSE COLORS.

Butch Queen Up In Drags vs. Fem Queens – $ – 2 Trophies
From Rags to Riches is how Cinderalla’s life unfolds. Tonight we would like the BQUID to bring it as Cinderella BEFORE her fairy godmother came and transformed her into the belle of the ball, and we want the FQs to bring it like Cinderella in her blue gown as she steps into the ball with one of her feathered friends on her shoulder cheering her on as she gets her prince. FACE
In the original story of Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault, seven fairies were invited to the christening of a King & Queen’s long wished for baby girl. Each fairy brought her gifts of BEAUTY, WIT, GRACE, DANCE, SONG & the ABILITY TO PLAY ANY MUSICAL INSTRUMENT. An eighth fairy was accidently not invited to the party, and showed up plucked and gave the little girl the gift of a curse – should the princess prick her hand on a spindle, she would instantly die! Fortunately, a quick thinking fairy granted the princess with one final gift and transformed the shady fairy’s curse into 100 years of deep sleep that could only be broken by the kiss of from a king’s son.

Women – $ – 1 Trophy
Paint your face as a gift of beauty, wit, grace, song, or music – and dance down the runway to the judges and give them the best gift of all – your face!

Drags – $ – 1 Trophy
The overlooked and understated fairy served Sleeping Beauty’s face with a look that made the poor child go to sleep for 100 years! When she awakens, will she gag and live for your wicked beauty – or will she fall back into slumber for another 100 years?!!

Butch Queen – $ – 1 Trophy
The King’s son traveled through the enchanted forest on his steed and stumbled upon a sleeping beauty like no other. In your most royal garb and crown, bring us your look of love tonight. Will your kiss wake her up to love at first sight or will it send her back into a dip of deep sleep?

Fem Queen – $ – 1 Trophy
Sleeping beauty’s face remained ageless when she pricked her hand on a spindle at the clock stopped at the age of 16, keeping her face timeless and effortless. Bring us an effect that only a true Sleeping Beauty could wear to sleep for 100 years and sell us your everlasting carta with a bejeweled mirror. Honey, this Princess is ready to become Queen of Carta!!

TEAM REALNESS
Any type of Realness, Male Figure, Female Figure – $ – 2 Trophies

In the original story of Hansel and Gretel, two siblings try and find their way home from deep in the forest. Unfortunately, the birds ate the breadcrumbs they left behind and they found themselves at the hands of an evil cannibalistic hag. Forced to outwit her in order to escape her stew pot, bring to the judges your realness as Hansel and Gretel and see who survives to live another day in the enchanted forest. FASHION
In Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Alice is transported to another world and told that she is the only one who can slay the Jabberwocky, a dragon-like creature controlled by the Red Queen who terrorizes Underland’s inhabitants and bring peace back to the forest. With the help of the mad hatter and Mirana of Marmoreal, the White Queen, Alice is able to outwit the evil queen and slay the Jabberwocky, and save the forest and return back home.

OTA Labels – $ -2 Trophies Female Figure vs. Male Figure
The Mad-Hatter is hosting a “Wonderland Fashionista Affair” at his house and only the richest of them all will attend. Bring us this Season’s Labels…

Sneaker vs Sneaker – $ -1 Trophy
Wonderland is full of bright colors and outrageous surprises. Bring us your most colorful sneakers that you would wear to enter the Wonderland forest.

Best Dressed – $ – 2 Trophies Female Figure vs. Male Figure
She really likes the dark side, but she’s so scared of going too far into it that she’s made everything appear very light and happy. In Honor of the White Queen, come dressed in all white best- dressed look.

SEX SIREN
Dating back to 1697, the tale Little Red Riding Hood tells the story of a little girl going to go visit her sick grandmother. During her trip she bumps into the biggest, baddest, and hungriest wolf in the forest. At first he’s ready to eat her, but decides on another plan. The wolf runs to the grandmother’s house and eats her, then waits for Little Red Riding Hood to arrive so he can eat her. When she arrives, she is confused by the deepness in her grandma’s voice and the size of her Grandma’s hands and teeth, she gets a little too close and is quickly gobbled up too!! Luckily a lumberjack from the forest steps in and chops the wolf open and frees the Grandma and Little Red Riding Hood!!

FQ – $ – 1 Trophy
Little Red Riding Hood is on her way to visit her sick grandma, but had actually planned a date for later that evening. Bring it in a red cloak and sexy lingerie underneath!

BQ – $ – 1 Trophy
The lumberjack stepped in and rescued Little Red Riding Hood from the big bad wolf. Bring it in your plaid sexy wear and show us how chopping wood all day does a body good!

TM – $ – 1 Trophy
Come as the biggest baddest wolf in the forest ready to eat some young tender white meat. The bigger, badder, and hairer…the better. BODY
Written by a female author in 1740, the story of Beauty & the Beast is about a merchant, his three daughters and a tortured prince who has been cursed to live his life in the shape of a beast. Lost in the forest on his way home from a failed trip to bring back his daughters jewels and riches, the merchant bumps into a castle and seeks shelter for the night. The next day, the merchant steals a rose from the garden to bring to Belle – it’s all she really wanted, since she was his most humble and good daughter. Enraged by the merchants disrespect, the owner of the castle – the Beast, forces the merchant to give up his daughter Belle in exchange for the rose and gives him the riches he promised his other two daughters. Belle agrees to live with Beast and is showered in the finest clothes and jewels but misses her family. The Beast agrees to let her leave for a week and when she fails to return he almost dies of a broken heart. When Belle finally
 returns she finds him half dead and weeps over his body and her tears magically break the curse and the Beast transforms into the most handsome Prince she has ever seen.

Beauty and the Beast
Team FQ & BQ – $ – 2 Trophies
Bring Belle and the Beast to the runway in their finery. In his search for love, the Beast has spared no expensive and showered Belle with the most beautiful ball gowns and jewels money can buy. Tonight, you are the most elegant couple at the ball. Bring the house down.

Women – $ – 1 Trophy
A rose is a rose is a rose….come covered in roses and show us why the rose is such a powerful symbol of beauty.

BIZARRE
OTA – $ – 1 Trophy
Bring the enchanted forest to life in your effects. Forests are often the home to rare animals and flowers that live nowhere else in the world. Show us an effect no one has ever imagined or seen before. You are the forest that brings life and beauty to the world, and especially to tonight’s ball.

VOGUE
An orphan with the ability to fly and never age, Peter Pan is one of the most beloved forest dwellers of all time. With his crew of other orphans known as the Lost Boys, Peter Pan invites Wendy Darling to be the house mother and join his wild adventures on the island of Neverland that have inspired us for more than a century now. At the Mermaid Lagoon, Peter Pan saves the native princess Tiger Lilly and fights off the evil Captain Hook and his crew of pirates. Captain Hook tries to poison Peter Pan but his best friend, a fairy named Tinkerbell, drinks it and is saved by the promise that we will always believe in fairytales no matter how old we get!

FQ – $ – 1 Trophy
Tiger Lilly is the prettiest Native in the forest who fiercely took on Captain Hook and his men. Tonight bring us this princess warrior, ready to fight and snatch that trophy for her tribe.

BQ – $ – 1 Trophy
This mischievous man-child can fly and twist and turn in the air on a dime. Tonight bring us that childlike spirit and energy and take flight!

Women – $ – 1 Trophy
Tinkerbell is Peter Pan’s best friend and always has his back. She’ll even drink poison to save him. In a fairy effect, spread your fairy dust love on the runway.

Drags – $ – 1 Trophy
In the end, Wendy chooses to go back home and leave Neverland, but not before she leaves her mark in her signature blue dress. Show us what you got and why you’ll always be remembered in the forest of Neverland.

Pop, Dip & Spin vs New Way – $ – 2 Trophies
Captain Hook and his pirates are always in search of treasure and will do what they gotta do to get it. In a pirate effect, show us why we will always treasure the Pop, Dip & Spin, and why New Way gets the crowd to their feet.

Twist – $ – 1 Trophy
Sometimes parents just don’t have it together and can’t take care of their kids, so the kids are left to figure it out on their own. We call these the Lost Boys. They’re young, they’re strong, and they have what it takes to survive in a hard world. And when the pixie dust touches their skin, they get cunt and twist it out. Bring it in a lost boy effect and let the battles begin!

GRAND PRIZE
As A House – $$
James Cameron’s film Avatar took us to a whole new world where the forest was the center of all life. As a house, take us to the future of 2148 and into the forests of Pandora, where the cure for HIV has been growing deep in this alien world. Your house has recruited 1 Legend, 1 Face, 1 Runway, 1 Vogue and 1 Realness to find this rare flowering plant that is the panacea to all that ails humans, including the HIV virus. Your house holds the key to end the pandemic of HIV and on Earth. Bring us your best, as undercover Avatars to help humans find the secret location of this rare alien flower.
 

This Strange Weekend Ahead

There is a consistent desperation in the voices of friends and promoter-types; the summer seems to be grasping for straws or gasping for air or fill-in-your-own-saying/proverb. Mark Ronson is at The Montauk Beach House tonight. I asked a honcho over there what the game plan was for rain on a big event at their big pool party, and was told "we don’t have one…it hasn’t happened yet.” I love that attitude. But what can be done short of enclosing the whole place in a retractable dome? At beach retreats, rain-outs are part of the landscape.

I’m staying in Brooklyn tonight…maybe. I might slip into the city for Frankie Sharp’s escapades at XL. He’s in the Lounge of this chic playpen with the amazing Lady Bunny. They have Shangela from RuPaul’s Drag Race and performances by Ebonee Ecxell and Epiphany Get Paid. Amanda Lepore and Marco Ovando are in the big room. As I keep saying: keep your eye on Frankie Sharp. He’s an up-and-comer.

I’ll probably stay near home in BBurg…maybe. I am totally psyched to attend the One Year Anniversary of Eight of Swords, 8pm to 11pm, 115 Grand Street, Brooklyn. There will be live performances by CornMo, Wi Hula Hoop Harlot Melissa-Anne, sword-swallowing and fire-eating by the fabulous Lady Aye, and my friends from The Love Show. The group art show entitled “Hitmen and Harlots” will feature work from "over 35 tattoo artists, photographers, graphic artists, and fine artists including: Diana Brozek, Diana More, Jess Versus, Karen Rockower Glass, Kati Vaughn, Linda Wulkan, Mike Suarez, Nalla Smith, Nyahzul, Sweety, Tasha Rubinow, Woodz, Wyatt Mills, Zoe Bean, Nash Hogan, Mia Graffam, Adam Korothy, D.C.Wallin, Dan Bones, Drew Linden, Fred Harper, Gerald Feliciano, Guy Ursitti, Jim Gentry, Joey Wilson, Liz Huston, Molly Crabapple, Sara Antoinette Martin, Sara Best, Sarah Rockower, Sophie C’est la Vie, and others."

I caught Top Gun at McCarren Park Wednesday night, which completely reaffirmed my love for the borough. We headed to Williams Candy in Coney Island to stock up on caramel apples and gooey cashew treats. Next week, it’s Empire Records. The week after: Raising Arizona.

Talking to Carmen Electra About New Single, XL Nightclub, & Photographer Mike Ruiz

Tonight they will be celebrating the birthday of photographer extraordinaire Mike Ruiz. over at XL Nightclub, 512 W. 42nd Street, Carmen Electra, Martha Wash , The Ones, Janice Robinson and Jason Walker will perform. The event  will be hosted by the luscious Lady Bunny and Bianca Del Rio and the cast of HOT MESS. DJ Escape and Whitney Day will provide the sounds. The whole shebang will benefit the Ali Forney Center (AFC).  Admission is $15 for non-members. They are trying to raise $15,000 for the Center which provides shelter and care for homeless LGBT youth. The center was particularly damaged from the wrath of Hurricane Sandy.

Carmen Electra will perform her new single “I Like It Loud” which was produced  by Grammy-nominated producer Bill Hamel. Carmen will do the media rounds with appearances on The Wendy Williams Show, VH1 Morning Buzz, and Anderson Cooper before scooting over to XL. I asked her all about it.

Why did you decide to be part of this benefit for the Ali Forney Center at XL Nightclub? 
When I heard the center was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, I could not help but to be part of this amazing night.

How did it come about? 
I am friends with Mike Ruiz; he called me and asked me to be part of the benefit.

Have you worked with Mike Ruiz as a model? 
Yes, he’s shot for a few magazines.

You have a diverse career. What are your career goals? 
To continue entertaining my fans and touring the world.

XL Nightclub’s Director of Operations elaborated:
How do you think Carmen Electra will energize your crowd? What makes her work?
She is a versatile entertainer; she’s been on MTV, Baywatch, and she now has a singing career. Gays respect a hot woman continually reinventing herself.  She’s working with Mikey Minden (Pussycat Dolls), and the act is pretty over the top. I saw a couple rehearsals and know the crowd will love it.  She’s come a long way from slow-motion jogs down the beach.

XL Nightclub is no longer the new club on the block. How would you define it and compare it to the dominant gay clubs of other eras… say the Roxy, etc.
XL isn’t just a big dance club; we’re a full-service, 200-seat cabaret and lounge.  In any given week, we’ll have artists like Alan Cumming perform in the cabaret, DJs like Danny Teneglia spin for 2,000 people in the nightclub, we’ll produce a rock concert on our 32-foot stage, host a young-professionals mixer in our front lounge, or host a full sit-down charity dinner. We do it all.

Besides this, what is planned as far as performances and events that you think will be the highlights at XL this winter? 
We have loads of new programming that we’ll be rolling out in the winter. I’m most excited about our new lounge concept.  We’re completely gutting our front lounge and creating an exclusive new “club-within-a-club.”  It’s a high-end exclusive, “gay Bungalow 8”  concept that we think is missing from our community.  The goal is to have it open by the end of January to coincide with our one year anniversary.  More details on that soon.

Fashion Week Has Taken Over NYC

Fashion Week is all around us and I just love the way it conveniently ends at Valentine’s Day. I am a romantic and will concentrate on making next Thursday wonderful. This week, the most fabulous clubs, bars, and lounges are swelling with the most fabulous people. Fashion Week and that pesky Groundhog signify the near end of the cold, economically-incorrect winter. The top-tier patrons will jet off to exotic lands for a minute, chasing the fashion – but the thaw is coming. The spring, where every club cleans up both literally and in cash, looms. Starving stylists are flush this week and even the C-rated models that promoters exploit can be seen working.

As DJs are in high demand, even I have a busy schedule. I will be DJing tonight at Hotel Chantelle and Saturday at the Empire Hotel Fashion Week party, which I did last year as well. Tuesday I am at Toy for a fabulous Fashion Week event hosted by BlackBook, which I will detail on Monday. Wednesday I am at EVR early for an after-work soiree. Thursday I will paint the town red for Valentine’s, surely ending up at Marquee for the opening night of Susanne Bartsch’s and Patricia Fields Valentine’s Day Ball. This is the premiere of Susanne’s game-changing Catwalk Party.

Of note, long-time absent DJ/headliner Sister Dimension returns for this gala. All the unusual suspects will gather, including  that bon vivant Paul Alexander, Michael Fragoso, Marco Ovando, Jordon, Jessica Love, and all sorts of accessorized etceteras and other denizens of the night. Patricia Fields is busy. She will be celebrating her birthday at the launch of Christina Visca’s T@TOY this Sunday from 6pm to 10pm. DJ royalty Johnny Dynell, Louie Vega ,and Lady Bunny will do it up. Toy is at the Hotel Gansevoort on 9th Ave. and 13th St.

Get my column in your inbox before anyone else by signing up for the biweekly Good Night Mr. Lewis email blast. 

Lots of Big Sexy Noise, Parties, Vodka, & Christmas Lights

With a week to go before the big show, clubs must compete with Christmas parties at unique venues where free booze will flow. In fact, it’s pretty easy to get all liquored up in this town without spending cash money as long as you diligently RSVP to the right events. Many clubs are getting people through the doors, but the spend is not there as these holiday soirees eat into revenues and people are hoarding cash for Christmas gifts.

Tonight you can enjoy Russian Standard Vodka at the Bo Concept holiday party at 105 Madison Avenue. This affair is hosted by bon vivant photographer Patrick McMullan, Village Voice columnist Michael Musto, Michelle Park, and Niki and Shaokao Cheng. The music will be by Lady Bunny, who is riding yet another 15 minutes of fame after being used by Adam Sandler in a sight gag during his 12/12/12 routine. The party will unveil “the new collection of Swedish Underwear Brand, Frank Dandy modeled by New York Swim Team. You must RSVP. “ After Bingo at Hotel Chantelle, where Stoli will try to sway me, I might head over to the Jane Hotel  to listen to DJ Wonder and Bianca Linta as I play ping pong. This is a New York vs Sweden shindig and I may seek out aquavit and such.

Tonight I am desperate  to attend Big Sexy Noise performance at The Bowery Electric, 327 Bowery at 2nd Street. Big Sexy Noise features the New York no wave singer, poet, actress, and performance artist Lydia Lunch and ex-Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds guitarist James Johnston. This is post-punk nirvana and I’m there.

Tomorrow night, an event scheduled for November 2nd but postponed by Sandy will occur at SL, 409 West 14th Street.  Amanda Hearst, Georgina Bloomberg, and the Friends of Finn committee will attend The Humane Society of the US’ “To the Rescue! Benefit After Party.” The list of A-listers involved is ginormous. This is a see-how-the-better-half-live event.

Last night, me and mine headed out to Dyker Heights, a Brooklyn neighborhood right before the Verrazano Bridge, to view the holiday lights. There are homes where hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent to celebrate the season. We were in awe of these Disney-level extravaganzas. I have to go out and buy some gifts, a tree, and wrapping paper, so I will leave you here. 

Roberto Cavalli Sex Toys: Small, Black, & Unusual

imageNot content with his pastime of laboriously sewing together wears of all kind (men’s, women’s, beach, under, time, and eye, to name a few), it appears Roberto Cavalli has tiptoed into the erogenous turf with some high-end dildos (sex-wear?). Noted drag queen/Pam Anderson roaster/PETA advocate Lady Bunny unearthed the gem after strolling out to a Roberto Cavalli store while in Paris for the Viktor & Rolf runway show.

Bunny lamented, “They are a little small and they were black … that was unusual.” But this isn’t Cavalli’s first foray outside the province of high fashion. He’s also making his mark with vaguely S&M-themed pet couture and credit cards, which most specifically assures that you, fashionable status-seeker, are part of his elite fashion club — or in the designer’s words, “Like a friend on Facebook.”