Like a DILFy Colossus of Rhodes, Daniel Nardicio straddles parallel perches of gay culture.
On one end, the quintessential queer New Yorker has developed a reputation cultivating artistic affairs, such as coordinating Alan Cumming’s solo debut at Carnegie Hall earlier this year. On the other, downtown’s “Dirty Daddy” stands ankle deep in the glam trash of gay nightlife, most notably for his boxers-or-briefs only bacchanals.
This duality is evidenced this weekend, where both halves of the homo dichotomy are showcased on Fire Island. In the culturally relevant corner, Nardicio will be producing John Water’s one man show, This Filthy World at Whyte Hall, while on the deliciously smutty side, he’ll also be pimping out his skivvy-centric DWorld Underwear Party at Cherry Grove’s Ice Palace.
Before the curtains raise, lets journey through the homo history of Nardicio’s dirty gay entertainment empire.
Slippin’ n Slidin’
In the early 2000’s, Nardicio broke away from the go-go/drag cookie cutter formula of New York queer nightlife by inaugurating the first new millennial mandatory clothes check underwear party at downtown dive The Slide. Nearly 16 years later, the DWorld underwear parties have graced many a gay bar, including last Thanksgiving’s cameo at midtown’s Rebel, and tonight’s turn at the Ice Palace.
When the Levi Breaks
By 2009, Nardicio parlayed his pimp skills into a position with porn publication Playgirl. His most notable contribution was convincing the baby daddy of Sarah Palin’s hypocritically knocked up unwed daughter, Levi Johnston, to show skin for their centerfold. Forget a VP, Sarah, when will you’re hottie-in-law DP?
How Many Skin Heads Does it Take to Commit a Hate Crime?
All this success led to Europride 2010 inviting the nightlife maestro to attend the first ever Gay Pride March in Warsaw, Poland. Arguably the nadir of his otherwise skyrocketing career, Nardicio and his posse of drag darlings, including Amanda Lepore, Lady Bunny, and Sherry Vine, were welcomed to this hostile hotbed of homophobia by being assaulted with eggs and firecrackers. “The homophobia in Poland was palpable,” said the disrespected Daddy,”It was absolute chaos.”
Life is a Cabaret!
Back in the States, Nardicio’s situation was considerably sunnier. By 2012, the party pimp had ascended to a new tier in his career when he paired Cabaret alums Liza Minelli and Alan Cumming for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS at Fire Island’s iconic Ice Palace, elevating him from promoter to respected producer. This strategy of coupling queer artist with legendary divas would prove to be Nardicio’s defining formula for success.
In 2014, Nardicio repeated his trademark recipe when paired Carol Channing with trans performer Justin Vivian Bond. This wasn’t Channing’s first brush with gender bending. The Tony winner once entered a Carol Channing look-alike drag contest in San Francisco. “And I came in third,” she laughed.
Nardicio continues his summer tradition of importing culture to Fire Island this weekend when he presents the queer connoisseur of camp John Water’s one man show This Filthy World. Fans of Hairspray will be treated to an intro by his longtime zoftig muse Ricky Lake.
Sword and Sandals and Sodomy
Even with all his success as a legitimate producer, Nardicio still embraces his underground party roots, demonstrated by the return of his Roman-themed clothing optional soiree Spartacus next month. If the go-go gladiators aren’t enough for you, be sure to stick around for the 4th Annual Mr Nude Belvedere Contest. One lucky boy will snag the crown, but when it comes to a Nardicio event, everyone comes out a winner.