When the Cockettes premiered their act in New York in 1971, the San Francisco–based drag troupe’s blend of camp, glitter, and body hair did not impress their well-heeled audience—which included Angela Lansbury, Gore Vidal, and John Lennon—who probably turned out because of the advance praise from the likes of Truman Capote, Rex Reed, and Diana Vreeland. Practically booed out of town, the Cockettes produced even more shocking and ravishing work in San Fran, never to return to the city that scorned them—until now. In conjunction with the acquisition of their papers at the New York Public Library (yes, they’re that important), the shimmering, bearded androgynes are taking back the Big Apple. Tonight’s The Cockettes Are Coming! is an extravaganza reuniting generations of downtown artists and including historic film footage and performances by the Cockettes’ decadent descendants (who today actually have a home in New York theater), like the glitter-skinned Pixie Harlots and Taylor Mac. At Wednesday’s Cocktail of Glamour & Anarchy, original Cockettes and friends will present their independent works, while on Thursday, A Cockette Symposium looks at all the twisted beauty from an academic perspective. Monday benefit: 6:30, Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue, 212-254-1109,, $30; Wednesday salon: 8 & 10:30, Monkeytown, 58 North 3rd Street, Williamsburg, 718-384-1369, free; Thursday symposium: 7:30, LGBT Center, 208 West 13th Street, 212-620-7310, free

Mon., June 2, 2008