Last night was Nostalgia Thursday for me. I started it with a trip to the book-signing party at Rizzoli on W. 57th for David Leddick's latest beauty smorgasbord, this one entitled Gorgeous Gallery: The Best in Gay Erotic Art (Bruno Gmunder, $54.99). He covers everyone from obvious choices/old-timers like Andy Warhol to artists I wasn't familiar with, such as Taner Ceylan, whose contribution is a photo of Marc Jacobs taking a facial (the photo, not Marc himself).
He also has great stuff by one of my faves, Harry Bush. Maybe my own erotic art will make the cut next time? Maybe if I'd continued on my path and become an artist, that is.
Leddick is 82 but looks (and dates) way younger, even in person where there is no way to PhotoShop one's self. His history as an ad man inspired a popular HuffingtonPost mini-memoir recently. He's charming and graciously signed the book to me using my full name. Most can't even get "Matthew' spelled correctly!
Next, I dashed to Times Square to meet José and some friends for a 60th anniversary screening of Singin' in the Rain, one of the best movies ever. It was preceded by a filmed interview with Debbie Reynolds (who hilariously hammed it up as always), in which we learned that she wasn't too close with Gene Kelly, was terrified of having to dance for the first time and wishes her speaking voice had been lower.
We also figured out that Rita Moreno is in this movie...how all five of us had seen the film multiple times over multiple decades and never realized this, I'll never know. It's like one of those facts that feels made up and quietly inserted into the pop-cultural continuum when you're not looking. (And little "Zelda" went on to win an Oscar a few years later, which none of those great talents around her would go on to do.)
The movie sure holds up well. I only wish we'd had a prettier print—Gene was singin' in the rain and dancin' in the dark. Jean Hagen and Donald O'Connor manage to steal the picture even if Gene Kelly is at his most gorgeous. Clearly the physical touchstone for Jean Dujardin in The Artist.
After, a group of fans dressed up as characters from the movie happily posed for pictures. The guy with the Gene Kelly tattoo showed enough leg to guarantee a ride anywhere he needed to get to, if you ask me.