By Bob Levine
Summer Camp in Cherry Grove. Another season is flying by. When you are here as long as I have been, you realize how fast things move. It feels like we are at an adult summer camp. We live on campus with many planned activities such as yoga, shows, rehearsals, discussions, parades, meetings, parties, bingo, the likes of a summer camp and living this childhood fantasy. We have the instructors in charge who have organized the event. We love the “kamp” and we want it to continue each year.
Luncheon birthday parties were big in CG on Aug. 8. Mike Fisher had his annual luncheon on his oceanfront deck. There were some 150 guests including street style icon Nick Wooster; Jeff Mahshie, who will be designing costumes for the Roundabout’s production of “She Loves Me” in March; and the creative director of M. Kors accessory line Richard Sinnott. Catering was by Freddy Marcado.
Michael Moran hosted a beautiful party at the Belvedere, catered by Top of the Bay as a 40th birthday celebration for his partner, Matthew George. New York cabaret singer Annie Roth was among the many guests, accompanied by singer/pianist Tardo Hammer. Lovely party.
The archives show at the Community House, sponsored by the Arts Project, was chaired by Lee Sharmut, with lots of help from George Lyter, Carl Luss, Paul Jablonski, Clara Bogetti, Lorraine Michels, JoJo Gerard, Brian Clark, Troy Files and others. This event was historical and most interesting. The show consisted of many old slides, film clips by siblings Mary and Bill Ronin, old costumes, props, a new film about the history of The Invasion by James Belzer, and archive films by George Lyter. It was a retrospect of the history of Cherry Grove since l947. The work involved was enormous — just finding things, setting up the theatre and coordinating. The next archive show will be in 2017.
Toni Sesta, Jane Haber, and Hussein had their annual tequila pool party on a fantastic, beautiful day. At least 60 guests were present. The highlight of the afternoon was having a Donald Trump piñata hanging off the balcony. At least 10 people hit him with a bat or with another object until he fell to the ground broken into pieces. What fun and screaming went on. Michael Coffindaffa, Frank Borsas, James and Lola arrived dressed in serapes, mustaches and sombreros. The pool was filled for hours with many playing volleyball and drinking tequila — just having a cool, fun day. The food was perfect for an afternoon poolside party. Some of the other guests were Mella, Lucille, Pat, Diane, Joan, Lorraine, Bobbie, Doreen, Richard Cooley, Jack Roullo, CJ Rosen, and Peg.
Richie Mastascusa and his partner, Wes Pope, had Richie’s mother, Marilyn, as their guest from Medford, Massachusetts, along with his sister, Diane; and his aunt and uncle, Joan and Bob Smith. Richie appears frequently on Dr. Oz as the Pilates and fitness guru.
East Village performers, longtime art scene duo, Peter Cramer and Jack Waters, spent a weekend in the Grove and co-hosted talks, under the auspices of Fire Island Artist Residency (FIAR) for LGBTQ, an artist sponsored event. Their first symposium was at the Community House where they spoke about People with AIDS, and their experience of traveling through Europe in the 80s as struggling young artists and film makers, also living in the New York underground world of gay and off beat characters. Honestly not one of my favorite events. I found their lecture a little self-serving, and the gentlemen themselves, while intelligent, not qualified to speak as authorities of the history of Cherry Grove.
Electra, the talented and fantastic drag performer who had performed in Cherry Grove for years, made a one-night return after a gig in Provincetown. She is still the best Bette Midler impersonator, who then transforms herself on stage into the best Barbra Streisand and then into Elton John. She doesn’t miss a beat. It was great to see her perform once again. Roseland had an outdoor dinner party with guests Jack Quinn, Curtis Strohl, Sam Green and Chris. Jay, Michael and I were invited to join Peter Chase and Charles Mohr at Pea Pod, to celebrate Charles’s birthday. Mitch Volk and Dan Karis were their guests as well.
The 67th Annual Art Show, sponsored by the Arts Project, included 22 local artists who displayed their talents. Each artist sold at least one piece proving to be a great success. Artists were: Michael Abdis, Larry Crawford, Jack Dowling, Cathy Ecdahl, Hannah Barrett, Devan Shjimmoyama, Joe Sinness, Leila Babirye, Dominic Nurre, Michael Fisher, Pajulo Freitas, Janice Marie Gabriel, Neil Giles, Circe Hamilton, John Mansueto, Lorraine Michels, Dean Sidaway Bozeman, Sharon Way-Howard, Warren Boyd Wexler, Lloyd DesBrisay, Michael Fitzgerald, and Dennis McConkey. The President’s award was given to Jack Dowling. A total of 18 raffles were won among people in the community.
Hedda Lettuce in “Big Queen, Small Throne” appeared at the Community House on Aug. 8, with her cabaret act. She’s a combination of Dame Edna, Dolly Parton, Joan Rivers, and a touch of Bette Davis. She was terrific!
• Tuesday, Aug. 19 at 9 p.m.: Lady Bunny in “That Ain’t no Lady” will be appearing at the Ice Palace.
• Saturday, Aug. 15 at 7:30 p.m.: See screen legend Debbie Reynolds appearing at the CG Community House with Musical Director Joey Singer. Tickets are still available, and I’m looking forward to it.
• Sunday, Aug 16 at 5 p.m.: Strut Your Mutt presented by Ariel Sinclair and PAWS at the Ice Palace.
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