Pound Sign

New York City, pop culture, art and nightlife. Because nobody else is blogging about those things.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Charles Nelson Reilly has passed away at 76.

Another sad day for obsessive fans of game shows like us.

Ok, so where can we sit outside and still get breakfast...

Last night Clams performed in the First Anniversary show of Sweet and Nasty Burlesque at Rififi, and after the post-show backroom hangout broke up, the two of us headed downtown, inspired by the lovely spring night. We ended up on St. Mark's Place, at the Grassroots, the old-school dive bar that was our go-to bar for two years, five years ago when my NYU classes were around the corner from it. It was an incredibly nostalgic way to close out the night, and it made us very happy to order cheap beer from the same bartender (sadly, he used to know us so well we'd be drinking for free by the second round) and sit looking out at a St. Mark's that is so dramatically different then the one we hung out on all the time just 5 years ago--Chipotle? a goddamn Supercuts? But as long as the Grassroots is still hangin' in, there's hope.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Triumph on the seashore!

Last night was one of the proudest of my life, as Bump 'n' Grindhouse was an absolute smash success! The show ran like clockwork, and every performer absolutely brought their A game the whole night! We were so lucky to put together an array of fabulous talent and it all came together exactly the way we hoped. We had a packed house beyond capacity-in fact they turned people away! The response after the show was so positive, not only from the whole audience but from other performers and producers whose opinion I respect so much.

I'm happy to say that the kind of last-minute changes and potential problems that happen before every show were handled on the fly really well by our producing team. I knew that fortune was smiling on us when one of our performers discovered she'd forgotten her CD 15 minutes before we opened the house, and Clams found it on her Ipod (seriously, you have that Esquival song?!), and the house photographer Norman Blake had a cable connecter in his bag, and the DJ Donny V. dug the right adaptor plug out of the back of the Sideshow's antique soundboard, and bang, we had the music. All proof of how important having a cohesive team that can work together well. And we'll definitely be doing it again!

There's really nothing better then finishing the night off drinking with your friends at Cha-Cha's on the Boardwalk, in the breeze off the water, basking in the glow of a successful show. Absolutely made the hard work, and the previous nearly sleepless night working to just about the limit of capacity, all worth it. I love my friends and I love doing what we do.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My kind of venue.

From the letter sent to producers, about the rules of use for the Sideshow by the Seashore stage at Coney Island:

"Performers are asked to remember that the snake cage is not a table."

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Important tip.

When you're at the Slipper Room, and you go up to tip Julie Atlas Muz when she's go-go'ing, and she throws her leg on your shoulder and asks you "how's your back?", answer honestly, because the next thing you'll be doing is carrying her around the crowded bar on your shoulders.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

It looks like when I was still in the channel's demographic

Last night we sequestered ourselves at home to try and get on top of all the work we have to do--Exotic World sponsorships, Jen's working on two new numbers for next week, etc.--and we discovered that the guys from the funny sketch show Human Giant were doing 24 hours live on MTV, from noon to noon today. So we had it on in the background all night, and right now, in fact; over the course of it they've had on just about the whole New York City alt-comedy crowd at some point in the night; including a lot of people that Clams has performed with, several What's My Line mystery guests and a bunch I've talked to about being our What's My Line mystery guest. For one slightly surreal sequence late last night, live on MTV all at once were our mystery guest from this week's show, Nick Kroll, and four guys that I've exchanged multiple emails with about being on the show. It was one of those "but wait, I'm from Ohio." moments.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I'm getting very excited about this.

The final Bump 'n' Grindhouse lineup:

Clams Casino in...Attack of the 40 Foot Homewrecker!
The White Boom Boom in...Hepcat Howler!
Lola Pearl in...Zombie Space Girls from Beyond!
Legs Malone in...INFESTED!
Kit Cat in...Hellkitties-a-Go-Go!
Pinkie Special in...The Despicable Doctor Pink and the Chest Bomb!
Creamy Stevens in...From Hell Came a Hitchhiker!
Precious Little in...Disco Zombie!
Nasty Canasta in...I Spit on Your Lap!

Plus: your emcee Lady Aye, Bastard Keith as the Voice of Doom, and Vlad and Creighton from Ghoul-a-Go-Go, takin' you in and out of the intermission. We'll have a nurse standing by in the lobby, William Castle style! I'll be picking up clothes off the stage! It's going to be awesome. Seriously, May 25.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I stay the same, but sometimes I have a different lovely assistant.

For tomorrow night's What's My Line? my ever-patient, always hardworking lovely assistant Precious Little has a conflict, and I'm very pleased that Roja Rouge will be assisting in her place! Roja is a terrific performer in her own right, and in fact is the co-host and co-producer of the Night Cap, which, my regular readers will remember, had me on as their special guest last month. So, that's a nice bit of karmic balancing, I think.

This month's show is going to be a lot of fun, so everybody should brave the possible spring drizzle and come down for the Parkside Wednesday night. C'mon, 8:00, it's early!

Friday, May 11, 2007

The real thing.

Here I am in the middle of the whole crew at the end of an exhausting, triumphant night last night: the Starshine Burlesque Exotic World Benefit show! Complete success, made tons of money, amazing show. (Left to right back: World Famous BOB, Jo Boobs, Scarlet Sinclair, Peekaboo Pointe, a portion of Creamy Stevens, Little Brooklyn, Rose Wood; front left to right: Pop Pistol, Amber Ray, Tigger, me, Clams, Darlinda Just Darlinda and Misty Rivers)

Just an entire night of love for the history of this thing that brings us all together. Which makes this story in the Observer even more depressing; a long time coming, and it's finally here. We're all going to have to work even harder to preserve the real thing in NYC.

Monday, May 07, 2007

This month, watch lots of women take their clothes off for a good cause

As this year's Exotic World Weekend, June 8-10, rapidly approaches, burlesque producers, performers and troupes all over the country are putting together benefit shows for the Exotic World Burlesque Hall of Fame and Museum. It's an amazing outpouring of community, hardwork and positivity, and it's a bunch of awesome fucking shows too! Starting this Thursday, there are three in New York, and you really need to get to at least one of them!

This Thursday, the weekly Starshine Burlesque is making itself over as an Exotic World benefit show, with one of the best lineups of performers you'll ever see on one stage-most of them past Miss Exotic World (and in one case, MR. Exotic World) winners. Clams will be part of the jam-packed-with-talent go-go team in Rififi's window before the show, and I'll be representin', helping out with the silent auction and raffle items. Last year their benefit show was packed to the rafters and a hell of a lot of fun. Just 10 bucks for a good cause!

Then, on Sunday May 20, the one and only Miss Astrid (my favorite Teutonic, leather-clad, eyepatch wearing, bitter chanteuse emcee) brings her classic burlesque-variety show, the Va-Va-Voom Room, to the stage at the Zipper Theater, for one night only as an Exotic World benefit! The Va-Va-Voom Room is legendary on both coasts and even if it wasn't 20 bucks for good cause, you should not miss it!

And finally, on Wednesday, May 23 (just two days before our show at Coney Island, ahem), Amber Ray presents Vegas or Bust! An all Vegas themed benefit show at Galapagos. It starts at 9:00, just 15 bucks for the good cause, and it's going to be another outstanding lineup--Clams will be debuting a new number appropriate to her last name, and I think that Neil O'Fortune will be making some kind of appearance, the details of which are yet to be worked out.

That's a lot of good show and generosity combined!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

You see, out of context, "Is it bigger then a breadbox" sounds kind of dirty...

Yesterday, spent the sunny afternoon walking the streets of the Lower East Side taping up our new sniper posters for What's My Line; they take advantage of the double entendre nature of some of the show's standard questions, with the rip-off tabs at the bottom, "man with a van/will paint your house" style. They look great on lampposts and construction walls, you can read them from two blocks away and I think it will get a response-I blanketed the neighborhood and we'll move outward from the epicenter. But it occurred to me while taping one up on Orchard Street, that I have no idea if this is an illegal activity; I got my answer when I looked up and there was a cop standing next to me. He gave me a look and kept walking. So, that's good.

Friday, May 04, 2007

It will thrill you, it will terrify you

Everything continues to come together for Bump 'n' Grindhouse--including the amazing work of photographer Ted D'Ottavio! Ted shoots portraits and publicity photos for many burlesquers (he's shot Clams a couple of times), I'm happy to plug his work because he's immensely talented, professional and a total pleasure to work with. We three producers spent last Sunday at Ted's studio (and in Ted's basement...and on Ted's roof, with the neighborhood kids hollering up at us) shooting publicity shots, which came out really wonderfully and I hope we get some press interest in them! He also put together a great flyer design for us, pictured here-click for the larger version. We've been very lucky to have access to so much talent.