CAMPING Out in Kansas City - January

Well, this month my column title is right on. This old girl feels so popular, I might have to run for public office. I’m not sure if the invites were because of my effervescent personality or because I write this gossip column ( it’s the former, of course!) At any rate, keep those invites coming. I love a good party and the ones I enjoyed this past month were fabulous!

It was not all partying, however. The month started off with the events surrounding World AIDS Day on December 1st. I managed to run by the freshly remodeled Phillips Hotel to catch the reception honoring the day and ran into some old friends from Good Samaritan Project, including Jimmy W., the current Director. That same weekend the Heartland Men’s Chorus launched its 21st season with an exceptional Christmas offering, “Everything’s Coming up Christmas.” Every year I swear these talented boys have outdone themselves, and every year they do it again! From the vocal talents of Kansas Citian Nancy Nail singing the opening number, “We Need A Little Christmas,” to the raucous closing segment titled “Favorite Son” with Our Favorite Elves, the audience was thoroughly entertained. I know I left the theater with a renewed spirit that carried me through the entire holiday.

Just a quick comment on the Theater League offering of “Legends” which I attended at the Lyric Theater on December 9th. Joan Collins and Linda Evans looked positively radiant as aging actresses down on their luck trying to make a comeback. It does make me realize that I am certainly not getting any younger when I realized that these two ladies used to entertaining me performing in Dynasty on TV in the 70s! They certainly were fag icons then, and “Legends” showed that they can still maintain the right amount of bitchiness to retain their titles.
After checking my waist line in the mirror, ironing and starching everything in sight, nipping and tucking and weighing in, I was ready for the first holiday gathering at my home of good friend Tom (Dorothy, to the uninitiated) on the evening of December 9th. This was a small and intimate gathering, but the appetizers she offered would have fed an army. And, of course, I had to sample every damn one of them! The next day was filled with two wonderful parties, one in the fashionable Northland, at Stewart and Brian’s and then on to Mike & Dick’s traditional party in the Loose Park area. By the time I had finished up the weekend, it was time to hit the gym to shuffle off the excess pounds in preparation for the next round of festivities.

The next weekend found me scurrying between parties hosted by Doug and Roger and Larry and Lewis both in the Northland. After visiting these beautiful homes so tastefully decorated for Christmas, I was ready to go home and burn my own house down!

I missed the opportunity to sit on the lap of Santa, Bob M., at Missie B’s this year, and believe me, with all the eating I’ve been doing, Bob, you should be grateful. I did, however, have the opportunity on December 19th to witness a wonderful part of the holiday spirit, Santa giving out gifts at the Southwest Blvd. Clinic for children affected by AIDS. I was totally blown away by the generosity of Missie B’s patrons who adopted a child for the Angel Tree Celebration. John Koop, aka Flo, acted as Santa’s helper, and guided about 110 children into Santa’s lap. I was a little concerned that Santa might not hold up so well. This year. He’s has been taking in far fewer calories and so he’s lost that protective layer.

Be sure to let Mike B, Jan A, and the entire staff at Missie B’s know what a terrific job they did in not only collecting, wrapping, and distributing the presents for the Angel Tree, but sacrificing their time off to staff the party and clean up afterwards. While still on the subject of Missie B’s, Elton John was sighted there recently (see picture) at the bar with my good friend Rick F. Talk about two strange bedfellows! Seriously, this visitor from Oklahoma is a dead ringer for the Elton man himself.
Before I continue my tale of buffet binging, I want to briefly mention the recent offering of the Unicorn Theater, “The Great American Trailer Park Musical,” which I managed to squeeze into my holiday comings and goings. This production provided 90 minutes of nonstop laughter. Cathy Barnett played the part of Betty and the entire ensemble transported the audience to a Texas trailer park replete with all the drama that we drama queens thrive on. That 90 minutes flew by so fast, I didn’t even realize there was no intermission until the lights went on and my bladder reminded me that I’m not 20 years old anymore. My sincere wish is that Unicorn can bring this gem back again soon. It was thoroughly entertaining and a sold-out success.

Well, the approach of New Year’s Eve brought more parties, so it was time to go to my “fat closet” and begin starching and ironing again. First up was an intimate gathering at my good friend Bill W. who cohosted with his Uncle Mike. We not only had the pleasure of Bill playing the piano, he was joined by the talented Marilyn W., fresh from a gig at Bar Natasha’s. Then it was on to Chris and Steve’s wonderful midtown mansion for more food, drink, and merriment (or do I mean “mary men”)? Freshly imported from the Pittsburg, Kansas area were two delicious boys representing Father Time and Baby New Year. They certainly added a lot to the New Year’s atmosphere. My night was completed at my favorite watering hole, Missie B’s, with a champagne toast at midnight with my friend, Glenn D, visiting from Winnipeg, Canada.

It would not be a New Year without the wonderful New Year’s Day party thrown by Mike and Bob at their beautiful Valentine area home. Their house was still decorated with the nine or so Christmas trees they hand-trim every year. I think they told me that the main tree in their living room has over 1,000 ornaments on it. I have no idea how long it takes to put up and decorate all those trees, but I don’t think they could have pulled it off if Bob were not retired.

The New Year’s festivities ended on a bit of a downer, watching the KC Chiefs in the payoff game against the Indianapolis Colts at Out A Bounds Sports Bar. The score was sad. I want to take this opportunity to thank our waiter, Gary, who not only brought us our food and drink with perfect timing but is also one of the most gorgeous hunks I’ve ever laid eyes on. Out A Bounds was packed with screaming queens and swearing lesbians and Gary seemed to get through the crowd as if he were the only one there. Cookie, you have a winner there, don’t let him go. Of course, I did miss the perfect bloody marys made by George, my other favorite bartender, who apparently had a day off. Good for him—they don’t happen very often!
First up during the entire month of January will be the performance at the Jewish Community Center of the two-part play “Angels in America.”. Both part I, “Millenium Approaches,” and part II, “Peristroika,” will be performed several times through out the month, so there should be plenty of time to catch both. The theater is a new venture for the Jewish Community Center. It is certainly starting off with a controversial play and we wish them great success.

On Saturday February 10th, One of the leading LGBT political organizations, PROMO, is putting on its 5th annual “Words of Love” Valentine-themed brunch and spoken word event. Call the local office for more information:816-931-2300. The day before, February 9th, the Blazing Saddle Bar in Des Moines, Iowa, will be presenting leather hunks for all to see for the Mr. Iowa Leather Contest, titled “Filthy Leather Love.” This is the bar where, as some of my more avid readers may recall, the Lock Down Party is held through out the year.. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the next Lock Down on January 13th because I will be in Las Vegas taking in some sights of a different sort. Blazing Saddle is our sister bar to the North; if you enjoy Missie B’s here in KC, I know you’ll enjoy the Blazing Saddle, and you will be a new face in town! Who could ask for more than that!.

Let me end my column by again wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. And please look for Camp coming out every other week starting on Friday February 2nd.

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