Bash Compactor: A Ball for the Bulge

| 11 Nov 2014 | 02:14

    Though the venue was new, the annual Bowie Ball resurrected old New York Saturday night at Santos Party House. With considerably less freaky stuff going on Downtown these days, I was initially worried that there wouldn’t be anyone left to fill the event’s outrageousness quota. Fortunately, I was wrong—maybe it’s the ethanol in their hairspray or the recent advances in pancake makeup technology, but the drag queens and club kids of yore were looking sprightlier than ever. I spotted eternally pouty designer/personality Richie Rich. Was he having fun? “He’s pregnant,” sighed a member of his entourage. Who was the father? Rich responded by turning away and burying his face in a guy pal’s neck.

    Introduced by drag queen Deryck Todd, the night’s performances kicked off with some fine young men called “The Pixie Harlots” clad in lace, leather, L.E.D. lights, sequins and corsets doing a dance to Bowie’s “Fashion” that ended in a stylized orgy under an American flag. The following hours saw interpretations of Bowie from lesbian cover outfit Ziggy Starlet and the Spiders from Venus, designer Keanan Dufty’s group Slinky Vagabond, and gay nightlife impresario Michael Formika Jones, who dedicated his song to “the real freaks” who dress up “every goddamn day.” “Don’t just live it assholes, be it!” he snarled.

    Curvaceous burlesquer Dirty Martini did a Susan B. Anthony-themed dance to “Suffragette City,” hoisting a “votes for women!” sign before making her booby tassels spin. The night’s best performance came from DJ Michael T himself, who strutted through “1984” and “Watch That Man” with the poise of Liza and the fancy footwork of a different Michael (in high heels, no less).

    Justin Tranter of Semi Precious Weapons showed up around 2 in the morning to hang out by the stage looking glam. By this point the substances had kicked in and couples were making out in all corners of the club in a kaleidoscopic Bowie fantasy. I sat down next to Santos employee Michael Ray, who told me Debbie Harry herself had stopped by early in the night for a drink and a dance. OMFG. It would’ve been even cooler if the man himself had shown, but I can see how it would be weird for anyone who’s not a megalomaniac.

    The costume contest took about five minutes, making it somewhat anticlimactic despite the presence of Stella from Project Runway and a female Ziggy Stardust who took her tits out. It being 3 am, everyone really just wanted to dance and find a stranger suitable for groping. I was disappointed at the lack of goblin kings, as Labyrinth was my introduction to the greatness of Bowie (and his bulge). The club stayed open slightly past 4 am, and though there weren’t many revelers left by 4:15, Michael T performed his customary dance during the last song. He also thanked everyone graciously for coming. “We’re trying to keep New York alive…the good part of New York!” Amen to that, sister.