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Tuesday, February 15, 2011


It took a huge breakfast at Veselka, the drive back to the mountains, two naps and a cigar -- but I have finally recuperated from the brilliant Valentine party at the Gershwin Hotel and the insane after party that Mike Anton, map publisher and sometime contributor of photos to The Unknown Playwright Speaks, decided to host on the spur of the moment.

First, let me say that Neke Carson pulled out all the stops with the line up of performers for the evening. The incredible performer Oliver Edgar read a poem. Phoebe Legere, who was Lady Gaga-esque before Lady Gaga was in junior high, played a delightful set, and there were so many more -- dancers, opera singers, piano players. There was even a Bollywood dancer-singer!

And the lovable hostess and Gershwin Hotel owner Suzanne Tremblay had tray after tray of delicious vegetarian Indian appetizers going round the room at the perfect moment -- midnight, of course -- to perk up anyone whose energy was beginning to flag. (I especially love Suzanne because she gave me a residency grant to live in her hotel for 2 months in 2008 during the rehearsals and run of Ukulele Land.

The entire ground floor of the Gershwin was abuzz with a couple hundred avante garde artists, including many of the old crew from Andy Warhol's Factory, and it felt like an event from a bygone era in a lot of ways. My great friend the movie music composer Francis Kuipers showed up on my invite, just arrived from his home in Italy.Penny Arcade was there. Playwright, long-time Warhol intimate, and bon vivant was also there.And so many more.

At one a.m. we hopped in a cab and adjourned to Anton's place. Soon it was thronged with all sorts of creative types -- artists, writers, film makers -- and me playing my ukulele and singing and leading some singalongs. It was damn close to being a hipster hootenanny, if that's possible.

Anyway, the imbibing and music went on until  5:30 a.m. -- when I stretched out on the sofa. One guest -- a true Gorgon if ever one walked the earth in the 21st century, or ever for that matter -- was the last guest other than myself. She (who shall remain nameless) refused to leave, even though she had spent the previous two hours glowering and cursing at anyone who came near her.

Anton, one of the most easy-going cats on the planet, gave up trying to coax this creature out the door when she dropped her head to the kitchen table and appeared to pass out. I heard him go to bed. Perhaps an hour or ninety minutes later I was awakened by noises that sounded disturbingly like retching. I tried to go back to sleep and ignore this, and eventually found slumber.

At about 9 am the beast began crashing through the apartment, still intoxicated from drinking whiskey mixed with gin and -- I learned during a phone call this evening with Robert Heide -- her meds for schizophrenia. After smashing a few of Anton's chotzkes, she without so much as a how-do-you-do sat down on my feet. I yelped and pulled them out from under her plump bottom and got up. She promptly stretched out, chuckled an evil laugh, and grabbed the sleeping bag I'd covered myself with and, mercifully, hid herself.

I promptly got into my shoes, grabbed my coat, shouted a farewell to Anton, and slam-locked the front door behind me and headed for the aforementioned breakfast.

Rather than end on this note of madness, though, I'm posting a photo below. I took it with my cell phone. The subject is Alan "Springman" Bolle -- one of the delightful artists who made the after party a fun event, the end of it notwithstanding.

February 14, 2011 -- truly a night to remember!

Not the greatest photo, obviously. Maybe I can get Alan to supply a decent photo that captures his madcap spring-covered persona. Anyway, Springman was there! 
And spring-like weather is on the way!


  1. THE AFTERMATH: It was late last night when I wrote the above post. There was more after I left.

    Anton texted me around 1 pm to saying the woman had finally left, apparently still in quite bad shape.

    The sound of curios being broken was in fact some of them being toppled. Not much broken at all.

    The sound of retching? That was the guest spitting out her false teeth, rather than anything in her stomach. Anton pointed the teeth out to the Gorgon before she left. Her response was to threaten to kill him if he told anyone.

    Totally mad! Perhaps I should be more sympathetic. I tried that while she was there. It was a wasted effort. If someone is on meds, are they working if that person drinks and should not?

    Anyway, you had to be there to grasp what it was like. Be thankful you weren't.

  2. Uke! you are thee best!!
    Thank you for your euphonious sounds and this account, above, and the subtext.
    keep the spring in your spirit,