Sunday, March 02, 2008

Lustre, A Mid-Winter Trans-Fest

photo: Adrian Buckmaster

Justin Bond's show at PS 122, on the occasion of his Ethyl Eichelberger Award, is a queer-cool cabaret-style evening in which he generously shares the lounge-lit stage with several other gender-bent performers. The show is instantly downtown hip but it's pleasurably unpretentious and laid-back: no one is trying to one-up anyone else and a palpable sense of fabulous but humble community makes itself felt. (So much so that it almost seems redundant when Bond's banter becomes briefly political.) Accompanied by a small combo led by downtown star Our Lady J at the piano, Bond goes through almost as many costume changes as he does songs: respectively, my favorites were the mesh gown and the cover of Traffic's "Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys". His guests provided more variety than I expected: in their appearance and movement, a group called The Pixie Harlots paraded a distinctive blend of masculine aggression and feminine flourish, Nathan Carrera played acoustic guitar in a glitter loincloth, Glenn Marla performed a memorably vulnerable monologue on gender body issues. Is it too much to hope for, that this kind of transgender variety show could be an annual event?

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