Frankie Sharp
Frankie Sharp, center (Photo by Wilsonmodels)

It turns out that NYC nightlife is not over at all; in fact, it’s ovah! (Or going to be.)

I’ve long been saying that when the current crisis is behind us, clubbing will make an even bigger comeback than Glenn Close. People are itching to socialize again and besides, there’ll be a lot of empty, lower-rent spaces ready to be seized on by game (and gay) entrepreneurs.

And sure enough, promoter Frankie Sharp—known for stimulatingly scruffy parties like Westgay and the Williamsburg bar Lovegun—is not only going to bring sexy back to nightlife, he and his partners are going to bring the life back to it.

Whenever we get out of semi-lockdown, Sharp and company are set to open a four-story gay club in Times Square/Hell’s Kitchen called The Q. “We’ll be ready to open doors the moment we’re allowed to,” Sharp told me, “but I may sit and monitor society and community until we’re all ready to be on top of each other comfortably again. I want to be the answer to our trauma, not continue to be a part of it.”

“Will the place feature drag queens?” I queried, going out on a gay limb as always.

“Well,” Sharp replied, “it’s officially going to be the largest queer-owned and operated nightlife venue in Manhattan. Whatever that looks like post-pandemic that’s safe for everyone, yes. Essentially, I’m taking all of my events I’ve ever done in New York in the last decade–nightclubs, cabarets, live music, and drag–under one brick and mortar roof. Aside from the four-floor/five experiences in the venue, we’ll have a full kitchen as well. Enjoy live jazz, performance artists, and drag shows on the ground floor duplex, kiki with your friends or make sexy new friends on the second-floor lounge that also has a secret room hidden behind a tufted wall (I’ve aptly named the room ‘The Gentlethem’s Club’), and eventually sweat it out all night long on the dance floor on the top floor nightclub that houses a towering, 20-plus-foot ceiling. Everyone’s going to love the view from the suspended catwalk up there.

“I’m opening with two partners–architect and builder Bob Fluet of Boxers NYC and promoter Alan Picus–and the three of us will bring you a well-rounded program, considering our different and unique experiences in NYC nightlife. There’s also a board of like-minded celebrity investors from Broadway, TV, film, and the fashion industry with some very big names that I will reveal soon.”

Wow! This sounds fun enough to get HK guys to actually look away from their cell phones for a moment. And they will even get their cardio done as they zoom up and down the steps in search of the best possible thrill.

The Q is already my favorite thing about 2021, and it’s not even open yet.

MEANWHILE, ON THE (LUCILLE) BALL SCENE

While we’re cracking out the happy hour booze again, let’s raise a glass of Schnapps to the indomitable Nicole Kidman, though I must say I was disappointed with her scaled-down Zazz number as Angie Dickinson, the longtime showgirl, in the Netflix version of The Prom.

Onstage, Broadway pro-Angie Schworer dazzled in the number, but in the movie, they relied on distracting tricks like having the lead lesbian stand in front of Nicole as they descended a stairway, both doing jazz hands. And now, there’s another role Nicole might be questionable casting for: Zany, red-headed sitcom legend Lucille Ball in Amazon’s upcoming Being The Ricardos (with Javier Bardem as hubby Desi Arnaz).

I’m still reeling from the tweet put out by Stephanie J. Block, the Tony winner of The Cher Show, who must have been channeling Cher’s frankness when she wrote it: “Lucille Ball was all about comedic, almost elastic facial expressions. And while Nicole Kidman is multi-talented and beautiful, she…well…can’t move her face.”

Yikes!

On reading that, my face certainly moved–in fact, my jaw dropped to the ground. And I was so appalled I read it 30 more times.

CAREERING FROM CAREER TO CAREER

On a lighter—but definitely not tighter—note: Stephen Tashjian, the artist also known as drag performer Tabboo!, has not only sold works to MoMA, but now comes the mother lode—he’s sold a painting to the Whitney Museum of American Art! This sets a whole new high watermark for drag achievement, queens. Make some art!…. Or “Make some boys!” as they say in the Pines.

Observing that scene for several years, Alex Geana has done well with his sumptuous book Fire Island: Photographs, capturing male forms in all their extravagance. And now, Geana has sold a 40 x 60 print from the book’s photos to a monied collector in L.A.

“As we find our new normal,” Geana told me, “collectors who purchase fine art not only allow the artist to thrive but allow work to be shared, preserved, and displayed in a meaningful way.”….Also dedicated to enshrining art, nightlife mover and shaker Jennifer Goode is doing an oral history of Jean-Michel Basquiat for Simon & Schuster, inspired by the old oral history book about Warhol star Edie Sedgwick.

Meanwhile, performer/writer/raconteur Justin Sayre is planning a compilation book of essays about the mother of us all, Judy Garland….As for me, I’m currently planning on reading a book. Wish me luck!

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