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Hey... What about the grand days of BoyBar??? Matthew really put a lot into those shows... Glamamore... Connie... Robi Martin... Diandra... Missy... Raven... Codie... Perfidia... Lulu... Mona... even Rockin' Rita Fierce!

those nights of wig-drama... BM's gossip updates...... Flotilla's arguments with everyone... Robi's papi-of-the-minute... the chasers finding their way backstage... aaahh! the smell of hairspray and Chanel No 5...

i also miss (sort of) being in the downstairs coat-check with Sally and Andrea either making out, fighting, drinking, or throwing drinks... johnny... thanks for being the sane one behind that wall...
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This starts it all from Night Nurse:

Ok, I am starting the topic that I mentioned from the Chrysis topic in NY Girls Forum. Eve and I have had several discussions regarding what are the parallels and "rivalries" between these two NYC performance institutions in the early 90s. I do remember one night at the Boy Bar, Matthew was talking to someone about a show, and he quipped "we'll have none of that Black Lips nonsense" or something along those lines. I never really understood what it was about as I was so JC, and at the time perhaps too intimidated to ask.

They were two totally different types of "houses" to use that term. I always enjoyed Black Lips' shows because they were so egalitarian and edgy, but I loved the glamour-infused Boy Bar, and that's were my roots were.

Now a decade later, time has passed, so let's dish the story, or am I assuming there is more than there was?
There was always a certain BoyBar/Pyramid rivalry, even from day one. As well as an incredible cross-pollination.
I, of course, adored the glamour and spectacle that was BB, and was honored when Matthew invited me into several BB shows. Glamour? Me?
BTW, Tanya Ransom and I went to the newly opened BoyBar once and were told by the staff, "No drag queens allowed!" Then Matthew Kasten came along and changed all that.
Do you know who the first Miss BoyBar was? None other than Hapi Phace! I believe she staggered against the backdrop, as she was accepting the "crown," and pulled it down upon herself. A classic! This was very shortly before Matthew came to create the legendary standard of the BoyBar Beauty, and old garlic/JD breath was running the entire show.
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Oh..Don't get me started.

I did hair and Make up at both venues for both
" houses". Mathhew gave me free reign on my work and Antony always had such great ideas. I learned a lot from both places.

Boy Bar not only had cute fags but hot queens and the show always entertained.

Pyramid/Black Lips productions either worked perfectly or were a beautiful hideous mess.

Miss all that so much.

Did hair and make up on many a budding star: Sweetie, Faux Pas, Mistress Formika, Sherry Vine, Floyde, Flotilla DeBarge, Peau De Soir, Connie Girl, Miss Guy, The Princess Diandra, and many more. Legends one and all!
I went to both Black Lips and Boy Bar, and while I appreciated Black Lips and thought it was genius, I always preferred Boy Bar. Of course in those days I was merely a spectator, until my stint in Louis Quatorze during the Channel 69/early Jackie era. But a huge fan nonetheless.

Black Lips got too weird and kooky for my tastes sometimes. Boy Bar combined the camp of a traditional drag bar, with the unique sophistication and genius you only find in New York. The endless paegentry, the glamour battles, the classic showmanship. And what I especially loved was that it was filled with cute trendy boys, and so the cruising element ran in perfect harmony with the drag show element. You could also DANCE, and dance clubs seem like such a thing of the past now.
I can entertain the notion of a BOYBAR- PYRAMID topic, but with all due respect BLACKLIPS did not posess the the same cache' as the two sainted nightspots. I marvelled on some evenings watching a BLACKLIPS show. Antony, Lily, Flloyd, Eve, Johanna all were amazing, and very much added legend to the PYRAMID legacy. I do see it as an offshoot of PYRAMID however, and although worthy of much praise, only a miniscule fraction of the beauty The PYRAMID offerd for so long.

As someone who worked at both venues I was extremely lucky to know the uniqueness of each beast. The hilarious times I spent onstage at PYRAMID with TABBOO! and Hattie and Hapi and Linda and Faux were times I will always treasure. When I went to BOYBAR on Mona Footes good word to Matthew, the first thing he did was get me with Glamamore and glammed me up. BOYBAR was about the gorgeousness of artifice. The sparkle and gleam of an unattainable glamorous existence. Matthews knowledge of fashion, and hair, and film, and stage were enhanced and built upon like Pyramid, by the many people he filled the stable with. Hair people, designers, make up artists all clamored to have a hand in the magic. Matthew Kasten knew how to PUT ON A SHOW!!! There are still things Matthew instilled in me like a mother to a budding teenage daughter I will never forget. For instance earrings are ALWAYS to be worn even with a]hairdo that covers the ears. What if by some tragic occurrance, your ear should show during a number and had no ornament. TRAGIQUE!! Never wear your makeup to match your clothes. Accentuate your haircolor with make-up. LASHES AND NAILS A MUST. He was a perfectionist. PYRAMID had a rawness, an edge, even an element of danger in that you never knew what was going to go down once you got out on that stage,because you were playing with so many loose cannons. I remember shooting Cathay Che in the face with heavy cream that came shooting out of a huge green prosthetic cock I wore playing Pugsly in one of TABBOO's Addams Family shows. she was horrified, but her horror propelled my performance to campier heights.

the real topic should be how JACKIE 60 took the creme de la creme of both houses and perfected the recipe to new heights. JACKIE had all the best elements of both BB and PYRAMID. The cast of kooks that scooted across that stage was really SOMETHING. Oh well another time.
Sweetie: The real topic should be how JACKIE 60 took the creme de la creme of both houses and perfected the recipe to new heights. JACKIE had all the best elements of both BB and PYRAMID.

That is so true Sweetie. Jackie brought together so many worlds, that's a big reason why she worked.
One thing is for sure...
There would be no Jackie 60 without Boy Bar, Pyramid or Patricia Field for that matter.
It's not a coincidence that the Boy Bar staff, the Jackie 60 staff and the staff at Patricia Field was almost identical.

And all the talented people behind the scenes doing wigs, costumes, choreography whatever...
was (AND STILL IS) all one Downtown family.
Blacklips included.

Blacklips @ Jackie was sort of like Chi Chi's dark little secret. Sort of like the retarded Kennedy daughter that they hid away in an asylum.

(Who knew that one day that little retarded girl would sell out Carnegie Hall!



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  • antony_johnsons
Alright, now that we got that out of our system...
If you want to talk about the now legendary "Blacklips", I found a topic already started.

Now back to Boy Bar.
Where do we begin?

I know...

Who can name the Boy Bar Beauties AND their monikers? (Matthew -this doesn't include you!)

1) Princess Diandra -
2) Robbie Martin -"A Little Bit Of Nothin'"
3) Connie Girl -"THE Connie Girl"
4) Sister Codie Ravioli -
5) Glamamore -
6) Flotilla DeBarge -"The Empress Of Large"
7) Miss Shannon
8) Miss Perfidia

Sombody help me!
I saw Connie last night (she does the door at Sammy Jo's "Gary 49" party @ Mr. Black).
Well she almost fell off her stool when I asked her about "Blackie" she was laughing so hard.
"Blackie!!!! I don't think so."

Anyway , I got to the bottom of the famous "Exitte" story. (pronounced ex zeet)
The young Connie was on the train with the legendary Christine and Christine was saying "Girl, you got to get a name".
Connie looked up at the EXIT sign and said what about "Exit"?
"No girl, it's not fancy enough".
And Connie said, "What if I pronounce it "Exitte" like in French"?
So Connie was "Exitte"...
(luckily for one week).

I was going to save this story for Black History month but I couldn't wait.

Connie Fleming as Angela Davis, Jackie 60, 1999.


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  • conn7
Originally posted by sweetie:
Miss Missy was "a little bit of nuthin". and it was always SISTER Cody Ravioli, the accent on Sister. I can hear it in my head perfectly. Matthew isnt it true you tried to call Connie Girl BLACKIE originally?? I laughed out loud as I just typed that!!

Sweetie i could start an entire years worth of postings of just the silly names we had for each other
Connie was Exitte long enough to perform at "Whispers" once or twice under that name, though we started calling her Exeunt to be very Shakepearean. That was when we injected a dose of glamour into our campy, deconstructed surroundings and were secretly worshiping Matthew and his "Beauties" from afar. And well we were-- they were incomparable. And really, to this day, few come close!

Peau De Soir, on the other hand...
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I was never worthy of that honor.

I appeared at Boybar 2 or 3 times, once as the gag entry in the Miss Boybar pageant. My drag was still in it's...hmmm, experimental phase. Matthew was very sweet and encouraging despite my well intended sloppiness.

I absorbed a lot during that time. I am now in a somewhat similar position. I own a lot of costumes, I tell people what to wear, I have their hair done for them, I steer them away from minimal makeup (a scary trend). While my style is quite different (I love makeup that matches wardrobe), the attention to detail really rubbed off on me. What do you look like from head to toe? Do you have curves? If you have a gut wear a corset, if you're skinny pad your hips, if you want to wear a babydoll then at least push up those tits!
Two Kastenisms that have stuck with me: No lingerie-as-outfit and don't wear too much black.
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