“SO LONG, MARY”
Ladies and gents,
With a nation’s eyes on its capital city, it seemed every American, regardless of party affiliation, spent the week seeking a profile in courage — that lone iconoclast whose voice would ring out above the clatter to speak truth to power. Well, we got it, and what a familiar voice it was! For this was the week that Mr. Fierstein (yes, cookie, that Mr. Fierstein) went to Washington.
As my loyal readers know, I’ve been a fan and friend of Harvey Fierstein since his earliest days (when he was still wearing a brassiere, and before I so desperately needed one), and so I was thrilled to accompany him along his Acela-paced journey through DC.
The reason for the trip? To discuss the evolution of drag at the Atlantic Festival. (The same gathering in which — speaking of gender non-normative behaviors — Lindsey Graham was rightfully booed by rightfully angry spectators.) Well, unlike Graham, Harvey was cheered by the crowd — even when the moderator mistakenly introduced him as non-political super villain Harvey Weinstein!
Backstage, Harvey interacted with Van Jones, Kamala Harris, and a positively giddy George Will (proving that even died-in-the-wool conservatives aren’t immune to the charges of Harvey’s signature growl).
Before all that, we dined in Georgetown at Clyde’s. The burgers were delicious, but the hostess may have wished she’d thought better of seating us in the back room, which must have induced a sense-memory for my famous dining companion. Let’s just say that the dark-paneled, history-steeped environs were hardly prepared for Harvey to recite the backroom sex scene passage from Torch Song!
We visited the Smithsonian, where my dear friend Dwight Blocker Bowers — or as I called him, America’s Preeminent Hoarder — used to preside over the collection of pop culture Americana. He’s no longer there, but the collection he devoted his life to building remains as vibrant as ever. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen the original Kermit the Frog puppet!
A devoted multi-tasker, Harvey made time to swing by the Human Rights Campaign offices and record some PSA’s— essentially a battle cry to get out the vote for the midterms.
Finally, after the shuttle flight back home, Harvey had one more brush with the ruling class when he found himself at the urinal directly next to Joe Lieberman’s at LaGuardia. The Chatty Cathies kept exchanging pleasantries long after they had both zipped up, and the R-rated moment was captured and can currently be viewed on Harvey’s Instagram feed.
Speaking of publicly exposed pricks, I’ve never seen a better visual argument for term limits than the rapidly decomposing /punims/ of the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by what appears to be a flesh-and-bone incarnation of Grandpa Abe Simpson. And before anyone accuses me of ageism: let me just say I know firsthand how the mind slows down when we reach our latter years; it has taken me almost three hours to write this stupid column!
Tidbits from around town…
Overheard Julianne Moore, seated at a hipper-than-thou East Village eatery, musing aloud why everything suddenly has turmeric in it.
Spotted Jessica Fontana, of “Support for this Podcast” fame, shopping around the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, where she was in town to celebrate husband Santino Fontana’s opening night triumph in Tootsie.
Saw stunning screen siren Morena Baccarin having lunch with two suits at the Crosby Street Hotel, where she feasted on … a sliced avocado.
As always, a toast of something sparkling to you and yours!