I went to see the Chippendales in Vegas a few years ago, and was surprised how gay-friendly it was. Returning this past week to catch the final night of Nyle DiMarco's residency as celebrity host, it had only gotten gayer—while still maintaining its unique status as the premier male burlesque stop for ladies.
The Chippendales Theatre at the Rio, plus Nyle's sexy-as-hell promo poster!
The show is a nonstop parade of irresistible, hypermasculine clichés designed to elicit scream after scream—Marines, construction workers, motorcycle gangs, they're all there, as are the mostly hairless, uniformly muscled, TALL, sometimes tattooed men who thrust their way through the numbers.
So many men, including my Chippendales hubby, John, center
As bulky as they are, most of the guys are terrific dancers, the music is up-to-the-minute, the costumes are on-point (and half-off!) and the newly installed LED displays let you check out every flex.
Christian Slater and writer/director Justin Kelly (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)
Last night was the NYC premiere of the skin-soaked thriller King Cobra, writer/director Justin Kelly's take on the gruesome 2007 murder of porn impresario Bryan Kocis at the hands of rivals Joe Kerekes and Harlow Cuadra, all over the right to use then-newcummer Brent Corrigan in a video.
Hunting Season's Jake Manabat, Marc Sinoway & Tyler French (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)
Sinoway, Misha Osherovich, yours truly & Andrew Glaszek (Image courtesy of Matthew Rettenmund)
The premiere, at IFC Center, attracted Kelly; Christian Slater (who stars as Kocis); Younger star Nico Tortorella (whose sexual orientation would make a great thriller in its own right, IMO); Hunting Season stars Marc Sinoway, Jake Manabat and Tyler French; History actor Misha Osherovich; photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders; Undetectable and Hustling actor Andrew Glaszek (who years from now will be known as the “It” ginger of NYC); and more.
Following the screening and a lively Q&A (somebody asked Slater if he would try gay porn if he could start his career over), the after-party was held at the Cock, a dive bar that even other dive bars would sneak into to avoid being seen. Which means it's tacky, sleazy fun.
Hey, it wasn't the first time in history a star and his director left a screening and headed straight for Cock.
It was great to connect with the other attendees (no, not a euphemism), and to congratulate Slater on a fine performance. I also shook hands with Kelly after having been a disembodied voice on an intercom during a recent Q&A session with the gay media. (Coming.) I fear he hates me because I asked him why he's attracted to non-rah! rah! gay subject matter, considering the fact that King Cobra follows his debut, 2015's I Am Michael, about the XY publisher who went from gay activist to ex-gay activist. It was meant as a compliment.
I wish I could be more complimentary about his earnest King Cobra, but the film is uneven and, like Kocsis, fatally flawed. Then again, like Corrigan, it has an undeniable watchability.