Kristine W, Delta Burke and Britney Spears. Whew!
Plus Crobar, opening at last - with Victor Calderone in residency!.
by Matt Kalkhoff

If Miss Cleo herself had told me at the beginning of October that I’d come face-to-face with three gay icons before month’s end, I would have called her a crazy bitch and hung up the phone. Yet that’s exactly what happened.

But it’s not like I should be that surprised. This is New York City, after all, and if such fabulous things didn’t happen here, what would be the point in paying such astronomical rents?

While she may not be the most famous of the three divas (yet), Kristine W was definitely the most entertaining and inspiring. Thanks to the Fly Life PR team -- Martha, Peter & Carmen -- I caught Kristine’s comeback performance at the glamorous Tribeca Grand on Tuesday, Oct 21.

After chatting and posing for pictures with friends and members of the press, the former Las Vegas performer and Miss America contestant took to the stage in the hotel’s lounge sporting a slinky leather dominatrix-like ensemble and funky black wig. Backed by a live band, the divine Miss W belted out 10 songs, including classics like “Feel What You Want,” “Land of the Living” and “One More Try,” as well as material from her gorgeous new album, “Fly Again,” which was released on the Tommy Boy label that same day.

The album’s title track serves as its first release, and will likely become Kristine’s seventh No. 1 hit on the Billboard dance charts thanks to the remix talents of the Scumfrog (it was No. 4 at press time). Junior Vasquez mixes are also forthcoming, but make sure you check out the album version too as the song is quite riveting in its original form.

“Fly Again” is not only an artistic triumph for Kristine, but also a medical one as well. Arjan Timmermans’ profile and album review in the Oct 17th issue of the Blade (www.nyblade.com/2003/10-17/arts/music/dance.cfm) recounts the resilient singer’s harrowing battle with cancer after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2001. Thankfully, the cancer is now in remission and Kristine’s feeling (and looking) better than ever.

We are all fortunate that Kristine W is still in the land of the living, so let’s make sure we continue to support this remarkable artist who has given so much of herself to our community over the years. In other words, treat yourself to the album (buy it, don’t download it!), and keep up with the flamboyant chanteuse online at KristineW.com.

Delta at Elmo; Britney at SBNY

Rounding out the trio of superstar celebrity encounters are Delta Burke and Britney Spears. Next magazine hosted a private reception for the former Designing Woman and current star of Broadway’s “Thoroughly Modern Millie” at Elmo on Thursday, Oct 16. She was later crowned -- literally, with a
glittery tiara -- Queen of Barracuda 2003 by Cashetta during her weekly
Star Search show.

A steady flow of complimentary cosmos (thanks to party sponsor VOX vodka) and local celebrities kept us engaged until Ms. Burke made her grand entrance. After settling in at a corner booth with a cosmo of her own, the charming and ageless beauty (she represented Florida in the 1974 Miss America pageant -- notice a theme emerging here?) greeted and graciously indulged fans by posing for photos with her many admirers.

Perhaps not quite as accessible, but still fabulous nonetheless was Britney Spears’ who gave a “surprise” performance at SBNY the following night. After an introduction by Lady Bunny around 1:30 a.m., the perky pop tart and her troupe of back-up dancers filed onto their custom built stage igniting an earsplitting frenzy of cheers from the tightly packed crowd.

Britney proceeded to lip-synch her way through a medley with two songs from her new album, “In The Zone” (Jive Records) -- an unidentified track and “Me Against the Music” (sans Madonna, unfortunately) -- and “I’m a Slave for You.” No one really seemed to mind that she wasn’t singing live either.

But at least the infamous choreography and considerable cleavage were authentic (relatively speaking). And you have to admit the idea of Britney Spears performing in an intimate venue like SNBY is pretty darn cool. Congrats to Larry Bullock and the rest of the Splash crew for pulling it off.

NBC’s Dateline even ran a few clips of the “racy” performance, but only identified the venue as a “Manhattan nightclub.”

Attention Nightlife Cynics

Crobar is finally opening (!) on Friday, Dec 5. And guess who’s returning for his long-awaited Saturday night residency?

That’s right, the incomparable Victor Calderone. The master manipulator of music will debut his regular biweekly party in late January. In the meantime, fans can catch him during a teaser event at the club on New Year’s Eve. Visit VictorCalderone.com for further updates.

In other news, congratulations to DJ Billy Carroll and his partner Mitchell Greenberg who recently celebrated 23 years together. You are an inspiration to us all.

Until next time: Be Smart. Be Safe. Be Yourself.

© 2003 Matt Kalkhoff

These articles appeared in NY Blade on November 7, 2003