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Jake Squared Is Part Rom-Com, Part Apology for Self-Absorption

More enervating than it is ambitious, Jake Squared is partly a romantic comedy and mostly a pseudo-philosophical apology for self-absorption.

Creatively blocked indie-filmmaker Jake Klein (Elias Koteas) examines his failings as a lover by making a film within the film, starring a younger, hornier version of himself (Mike Vogel). While Vogel’s Jake flirts with every woman he meets, Koteas’s Jake directly addresses Jake Squared‘s viewers through a series of fourth wall — demolishing speeches and aphorisms, including pompous quotations from Federico Fellini, DailyOm.com, and Sonny and Cher.

The film’s meta-narrative spins out of control after three more versions of Jake, two played by Koteas, inexplicably appear, and force him to see sides of himself he’d sooner ignore. Writer/director Howard Goldberg is so in love with his narrative’s ensuing disjointedness that he never examines Jake’s most endearingly eccentric observations, like when Jake Prime baits a bikini-clad ditz into admitting she thinks Jews control the world. Even the most introspective scenes, like the one in which Koteas’s Jake Prime talks to an actress playing his mother (Meredith Salenger), try to foster intimacy through unproductively alienating confrontations.

Jake sobs into his mom’s arms, telling her that he wishes he was as happy as she and her husband of 55 years were. Goldberg shows Koteas, a versatile and charming performer, crying in an extreme close-up, then quickly cuts away, dumbly undercutting his performer’s expressive body language. In spite of Goldberg’s abundant chutzpah, Jake Squared isn’t quite 8 1/2 for Rumi-quoting narcissists.

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IN RAINBOWS

NYC Pride, among the world’s biggest LGBT festivals, centers around a march commemorating the Stonewall Riots, but the mood is anything but solemn. There’s a party for everyone in the packed schedule of events, ranging from a family movie night (the Wizard of Oz screens at Hudson River Park) to a 3,000-strong, all-night celebration that transforms the Hammerstein Ballroom into a casino-themed megaclub. The official kick-off rally is on Friday at Pier 26, with performances by Sharon Needles and Betty Who, psyching up revelers for a weekend of clubbing. Guys will be feted by weekly dance party Click Fridays, which welcomes them to the massive BPM Club, and women should stop by Teaze, which is throwing an exclusive girls’ party for the 10th year running. If dancing’s not your thing, check out Uncivil Union at (Le) Poisson Rouge, showcasing a white-hot comedy lineup that brings together W. Kamau Bell, the ladies from Broad City, and others, to benefit several LGBT organizations. Festivities culminate today with the parade from 36th Street and Fifth Avenue to Christopher and Greenwich streets; Orange Is the New Black’s Laverne Cox is among this year’s Grand Marshals. Pride-goers can wind things up afterward with the Dance on the Pier — last year, Cher stopped by. Various times and locations.

Sun., June 29, noon, 2014

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GIRLS HAVE ALL THE FUN

Cher is a superstar of music, television, film, and Twitter. She’s mastered all genres and mediums she’s explored and made herself one of our culture’s most interesting stars. Last year, the 67-year-old legend released her 25th album, Closer to the Truth, which turned out to be her highest-charting solo effort. For her latest post-“farewell” tour, she’s joined by another icon, Cyndi Lauper, for an evening with the singular mission of making sure the audience is having as much fun as they are.

Fri., May 9, 8 p.m., 2014

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Celebrating the Late Karen Black at BAM

With those off-kilter features and that bold, confident carriage, she might have stepped out of Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon: Karen Black was one of the most striking and strange character actresses of the 1970s, though she became relegated to lesser roles—and, sometimes, uncharitable jokes about her failed career—in the years after. But Black at her best was really too idiosyncratic to be a huge star. Instead, the actress, who died in August after a battle with cancer, came to represent the kind of oddball beauty and cubist grace that could find a home in American movies of the ’70s. No one else looked or acted like Karen Black; no one could if they tried.

It’s time to reconsider Black, and BAMcinématek’s eight-film retrospective, which runs October 18 to 24, is a good place to start. The series includes some of the pictures for which Black was best known, like Dennis Hopper’s 1969 Easy Rider, in which she plays an acid-tripping prostitute, as well as Bob Rafelson’s Five Easy Pieces (1970): Her depiction of Rayette, the waitress girlfriend of oil-rig worker Jack Nicholson, earned her an Academy Award nomination.

Even when Black wasn’t flashy, she was memorable, and arguably, she gave even better performances in less acclaimed movies. In Bill L. Norton’s marvelous Cisco Pike (1972), Black plays the self-possessed hippie girlfriend of Kris Kristofferson’s down-and-out drug-dealing Venice Beach musician; she hits the perfect balance between spaciness and shrewdness, two qualities you almost wouldn’t believe could exist in one character.

But Robert Altman may have known how to use her best. In Nashville, she plays a megastar country singer with shellacked hair and an equally lacquered demeanor. (Black also wrote and performed her own numbers for the movie.) Black’s features could look hard or soft depending on the role or the moment. In Nashville, as Connie White, she tilts heavily toward an angular, almost masculine determination, despite her sultry, country-sexy gowns. Connie doesn’t seduce her audience; she takes charge of them. When she performs at the Grand Ole Opry, she beams down at some eager little boys who have gathered at the front of the stage, bathing them in her klieg-light sex appeal. “What’s your name, honey?” she asks one of them with sugary faux benevolence. It’s as if she’s about to change them into gingerbread boys.

Altman gave Black an even more challenging role in 1982’s Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, his film version of Ed Graczyk’s play. Altman had directed the play on Broadway earlier that year, but it failed miserably. Thankfully, he committed it to film, even though it wilted at the box office, too, and in the years since its release, has been difficult to track down in any format. (BAM will be bringing a restored 35mm print, courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive.)

The material is stiff and stagey. But what Altman’s actresses, Black in particular, do with it is remarkable. Five members of the James Dean fan club—played by Black, Sandy Dennis, Cher, Kathy Bates, and Marta Heflin—reunite at a Texas Woolworth’s 20 years after Dean’s death, each bringing along emotional baggage that apparently has grown heavier with each passing year. Black’s character, the tall, cool, sophisticated Joanne, may carry the most pain of all. She drives into town in a sleek sports car, and stalks into the diner in a look-but-don’t-touch white suit, appraising her old friends before she’ll allow herself to warm up to them.

As it turns out, Joanne used to be Joe, a sweet, fragile kid who hung out with the girls and who was as in love with James Dean as they were (in addition to being in a kind of love with one of them). Altman’s casting of Black is perfect, considering the somewhat androgynous angles of her face. But it’s Joanne’s vulnerability that Black brings to the fore. This is a character who left her small town because she had to; there was no possibility of acceptance there. Now, she’s imperious and aloof, like an Amazon from a tony cigarette ad. But when she confronts her friends and begins reeling out the story of what happened to her before she fully became Joanne, she reveals all the bruises beneath that marble surface, without overplaying a millisecond. Graczyk’s dialogue is overwrought, but Black wills it into submission with the skill of a snake charmer. Like the demoiselles in the painting, she appears to be all hard edges and angles; unlike them, she’s soft where it counts.

Credit: Images courtesy bam.org

Cutline: 1. Burnt Offerings; 2. Five Easy Pieces; 3. The Outfit

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DISCO CHIC

In 1977, the New York Times called Stephen Burrows the “brightest star of American fashion,” and, even today, his clothes are still turning heads (Michelle Obama was spotted in one of his jersey pantsuits). The first African-American designer to achieve international acclaim, Burrows rose to prominence during the groovy days of disco, the focus of the exhibit “Stephen Burrows: When Fashion Danced” at the Museum of the City of New York. Through photos, sketches, and original garments, the show looks back on his innovative cuts and liberal use of bright colors and metallic fabrics that drew a starry clientele (Cher, Liza Minnelli, Diana Ross) who wanted to shine brighter than the mirror ball at Studio 54.

Mondays-Sundays, 10 a.m. Starts: July 2. Continues through July 28, 2013

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Blind Items A-Plenty! Get Out Your Skank Detectors!

Let’s throw out the names and take off the gloves for an ambush of blind gossip items that will simultaneously terrorize and delight the masses. The resulting tawdry-palooza will encourage you to guess which used-up old icon did what horrible thing to some worse-off E-lister on the road to redemption and an unemployment check. If you recognize yourself in any of these queries, please see a doctor immediately.

So here goes nothing:

Which comic film star is known to be narcissistic, insecure, needy, and demanding (though what he really should be demanding is a dietitian and a trainer)? Which top designer is a bottom? Ditto which respected TV presence? Which family-values-loving Republican candidate (who lost) could never seem to remember the name of the babysitter he dropped his kids with so he could go on flag-waving missions—for three years in a row?

Which auteur obviously writes what she knows? (Her eyes were rolling like pinballs at a press event, where “coke” was every third word out of her mouth. She really buzzes.) Which reality star was in a jealous rage when a much bigger reality star got all the attention in the same store on Fashion’s Night Out? Which designer who went backstage with a superstar after a Broadway show was so loud and crass that no one could hear what the superstar was saying, which everyone was much more interested in than what the designer was squawking? Which rock wife is prone to dramatic utterances of “Don’t you know who I am?” when department-store workers don’t snap to the attention she’d like? Which other rock wife gets so excited when shopping that she strips down to practically nothing in full view of other customers, in order to try things on more quickly? (The result is a sort of horrified bemusement.)

Which documentarian is following a designer around with a camera, mainly so he can use the footage to force the designer back into rehab? Which plus-size stage actress is a lesbian who’s girlfriends with someone who was in Evita? Which TV hunk supposedly never met a casting director he didn’t lick, er, like? Which indie-style rocker pocketed an additional $15,000 for a tour, supposedly for the extra lighting and musicians he needed, though he ended up grinningly standing there with just a spotlight and no band at all? Which onetime heartthrob has managed to keep his sexuality a well-guarded secret for five decades? Which actress playing a controversial character is apparently not happy having to enact the role of someone she despises? Which acclaimed actress whom everyone’s wondering about is supposedly bumping it with the female producer of one of her big films?

Which kid who’d just been cast in a Broadway show managed to find her way to her future dressing room, which she cagily checked out with a tape measure? Which legend could have directed the proposed revival of Funny Girl, but was told, “Your Fanny Brice will be Sara Ramirez”? Which Broadway star infuriated her director after she begged him to bring in a former co-star as a consultant because he’s the one who basically coached her to glory last time around? (The star and director ended up not speaking to each other, and some feel the result shows.)

Which Oscar winner tried to take her kids backstage to meet the stars of a show they’d just seen, but was completely unrecognized by security, who told her she could just wait by the stage door like everyone else? (She huffed and replied, “Well, it’s just that I’m an actor, too” before actually announcing her name in hopes of gaining quicker entrée. Yes, she went there. Still, no dice.) Which movie star who was recently on Broadway is such a challenging diva that when an assistant of hers quit after 10 days, she got a call from another former assistant saying “Congratulations!”?

Which quirky TV actress privately tells people she thought the direction of Lincoln was terrible? Which designer for a luxury French brand allegedly gets intimate with that married (to a woman) hip-hop star? What pudgy daytime TV star routinely dodges her ex-stylist’s calls since she still owes him thousands of dollars? Which long-running actress that everyone assumes is blissfully married has actually bedded virtually every male co-star in creation, as her hubby simply bites his tongue and chalks it up to research? Which superstar’s other son is looking to sell a memoir? (Free answer: Cher offspring Elijah Blue. Can’t wait.) Which higher-up at a gay media outlet writes under a pseudonym for a certain website that used to attack that outlet so thoroughly it was banned from being viewed?

And now, let’s stop in the vintage gossip shop for some oldies-but-not-moldies: What bizarre icon once called a famous mail-order company to finish his last-minute Christmas shopping, and when the clerk quipped, “We’ll beam those right out,” he complained to a manager and had the clerk beamed right out of there? (I.e., he got the guy fired.) Which then-sitcom star and his Latino boyfriend got coked up and trashed their hotel room, leading to the cancellation of the play the sitcom star was appearing in? (Hint: Decades later, he died, still in the closet.)

Which actor, best known for a big ’80s sitcom, used to hire a dominatrix to lock him up for the weekend and routinely tinkle on him? Which other former sitcom star—a gal with a wacky, freewheeling sense of spirituality—used to breastfeed her pet possum while she got her hair colored, also making sure to have a wet nurse around to do the job when she was busy with something more important? Why was I born?

Read more Michael Musto at La Dolce Musto

musto@villagevoice.com

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Madonna Has an Identity Crisis on MDNA

The new album by Madonna, MDNA (Interscope), is in large part a tribute to her contributions to the pop world’s gene pool. It opens with her reciting the Act of Contrition, like she did over squalling guitars on Like a Prayer; she flirtatiously sings “you can be my lucky star,” a callback to her early ’80s hit, on “Gimme All Your Luvin'”; “I’m a Sinner” is a brassier, stompier rework of “Beautiful Stranger,” her floaty, gorgeous contribution to the Austin Powers soundtrack. There’s the requisite Catholic imagery and even an unfortunate foray into rap, just like there was on American Life. This self-tribute is so awkwardly put together, though, that it comes off like a celebrity shouting to someone who doesn’t recognize her, “Do you know who I am?”

MDNA spends about an hour trying to answer that question, but Madonna’s headfirst plunge into the stormy, synthy dance music filling stadiums and festivals is at times so brutal to listen to, it seems like she’s posing that question to herself. It’s an odd tack for someone who has made a career out of turning her name into a synonym for controversy and great pop songs, and it’s enough to make one wonder if the fragmented Internet age has freaked her out in a fundamental way, making her feel like she has to reclaim her throne as the most prominent female pop star of the MTV era.

Even more curious about the identity crisis all over MDNA is the way that Madonna doesn’t even really sound like Madonna for much of it. She has never been a vocal stylist, but her voice at its most powerful provided a rallying cry for ladies, girls, and women around the world to seize the day. Here she’s almost a nonpresence; she sings in a reedy voice for most of it, only exploring her lower register when she feels like she absolutely has to. The end result? The listener knows that MDNA is a Madonna album not because her voice sounds recognizable, but because of the Hall of Fame sonic branding.

Madonna has made a career out of springboarding from current trends and tumbling into a pile of pop gold, so her move toward EDM with this album shouldn’t be too surprising. What is mildly shocking about it, though, is how hamfisted MDNA sounds at times. There are audible clashes between various pieces of the mix that just sound bad; Madonna’s rapping on “I Don’t Give A,” for example, sounds like a Saturday Night Live parody of a Madonna rap song until Nicki Minaj comes in. Minaj lays down a couple of rhymes that are by no means the best in her vast catalog, but her sudden presence shows that the music isn’t the song’s biggest weakness. “Superstar” is a plainspoken love song with an instantly memorable melody, but something about its production brings to mind the Education Connection commercials with the rapping waitress, or perhaps a commercial for a new line of tampons. And then there’s “Gang Bang,” the five-and-a-half-minute slow-burn revenge fantasia that borrows liberally from Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang Bang” (take that, Lana Del Rey!) and manages to incorporate both a wobbling dubstep drop and Madonna yelling “Drive, bitch!” in a way that brings to mind her work in Shanghai Surprise and Swept Away. (That particular homage is probably unintentional.) While the open-road guitars that get julienned into the mix sound great, the whole package is unfortunate and overlong.

The album’s back end contains a couple of ballads—”Masterpiece,” which sounds tailor-made for Lite-FM playlists from 15 years ago, is followed by “Falling Free,” which has an odd beauty about it that would probably be more striking if the strings weren’t so precisely placed. (Curiously, two of the best tracks are relegated to deluxe-version add-ons—the M.I.A.-assisted “B-Day Song,” which fuses a bouncy post-punk bassline and single-entendres with a line borrowed from Sonny and Cher and is probably as close to sounding like the Slits as Madonna is going to get, and “Beautiful Killer,” a simple yet shimmering track with “Papa Don’t Preach” strings. There’s also an LMFAO remix of “Luvin’,” for those people who thought the halftime show needed more RedFoo and SkyBlu.)

Much online hay has been made about the “feud” between Madonna and Lady Gaga, with Madonna partisans saying that the shape-shifting pop star owes her entire career to the Material Girl’s trailblazing ways and Gaga fans replying with a variation on “LOL OLD.” (Kids.) But MDNA avoids the goth-metal drag of Born This Way and, as a result, sounds more like a response to Rihanna’s recent wildfire success on the charts; the Barbadian singer’s recent blend of her studio-tricked voice and super-obvious borrowed dance-music tropes has fit right into the four-on-the-floor mix dominating pop radio for the past 24 months. The most obvious homage to Rihanna’s success comes on “I’m Addicted,” a club banger that finds Madonna chanting “MDMA” as synths swirl around her—similar to the way Ri chanted the titular acronym on “S&M,” her 2011 single that was either about bedroom bondage or oppression by the media, depending on what piece of press fluff you were reading.

Up until that point, though, “I’m Addicted” is probably the best song on the album, with Madonna’s voice processed to next week and a thumping beat that will probably sound great at 3 a.m. early Monday. It’s the sort of song that Madonna has always done best—it doesn’t merely pay homage to cultural trends, but instead models them in her own image. But Madonna spends much of the rest of MDNA looking back, both at her career and at the musicians creeping into her rearview mirror’s view, and the end result is disconcerting enough to make one ask, simply, “Who’s that girl?”

mjohnston@villagevoice.com

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NYE Guide: Dance

WEBSTER HALL

This is the place I wanted to go to last year, but, alas, the gods conspired against me, and I ended up helping my drunk best friend and trying to hail a cab somewhere on Stanton. What’s the lesson? Buy your ticket now, and stay put. Don’t go outside for a cigarette, and ignore anyone who wants to go to Brooklyn between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., or you’ll be celebrating 2012’s arrival in the back of a crosstown bus. The professionals who run this 126-year-old nightclub know exactly what you need, and they’ve got all of your bases covered. Still the biggest and most elaborate of parties, Webster Hall’s New Year’s Eve Ball is epic in every sense of the word. And the best part is that everyone’s invited. Their legendary midnight 100,000-balloon drop is something everyone should experience at least once. At midnight, you get to watch the action at Times Square on their high-def video wall while fire dancers, aerial acts, and assorted freaks cruise its four massive floors. If you can’t make it to the main event, $40 gets you a ticket to Nero’s after-hours performance. General admission is $99. For a six-hour open bar, tickets are just $150.

125 East 11th Street, 212-353-1600, websterhall.com

SANTOS PARTY HOUSE

The greatest thing about this down-and-dirty Chinatown nightlife spot is the people you meet when you’re there. You never know who you’ll run into or what you’ll see inside its black walls. Santos stays true to the essentials of a New York City dance club. Your sound system must be loud and top-of-the-line, your talent must be freshly brilliant, and the only ones who are turned away at the door are assholes looking for trouble. Last year’s reOPENed party was a killer, so you better believe they’ve got something great planned. Eighty-five bucks gets you six hours of premium open bar from 9 p.m. onward, but if you need to sit down, you can buy reserved seating with bottle service for $145.

96 Lafayette Street, 212-584-5492, santospartyhouse.com

PACHA

I don’t care who you are or where you come from, when you look down at the crowds packed together at Pacha, bathed in a frenzy of flashing lights from the mezzanine, you feel like a gangster who has just conquered New York City on his own terms. The most amazing thing about this club is what passes for normal. Gucci, shower dancers, and celebrities are not only common but also required. Since opening its doors to New York City six years ago, Pacha has been doing it bigger and glitzier than anyone else. Every week, DJs at the top of their game flock to Hell’s Kitchen in droves. This New Year’s Eve, Laidback Luke comes correct with Super You&Me. Seventy-five bucks gets you in the door, but you should probably just buy the four-hour VIP open-bar ticket for $110, which includes chocolate cherries, hors d’ oeuvres, and a champagne toast when the ball drops.

618 West 46th Street, 212-209-7500, pachanyc.com

S.O.B.’s

This place never fails to deliver when it comes to South-American flavor. S.O.B.’s is one of a handful of old-school dinner-and-a-show dancing spots left in the city, and they pull out all of the stops come December 31. The night kicks off with live sounds from Bossanova Funky and DJ Spike T.I. Later, celebrate the coming of 2012 as you spin your date around the floor to the new salsa dura sounds of La Excelencia. The $150-per-person platinum package includes your own table where you and yours can enjoy a five-course dinner menu, a champagne toast at midnight, and, if you’re still dancing by dawn, breakfast. If you just love to dance, go for the general admission, which will run you $30 after midnight.

204 Varick Street, 212-243-4940, sobs.com

SPLASH BAR

You might want to get shit-faced with your recently hitched brothers and sisters this year because no one knows how to stay out all night longer and harder than a gay New Yorker fresh from victory. Still a solid gay club destination, Splash Bar in the heart of the Flatiron is about as big and unapologetically gay as it gets. It’s places like this that kept Jerry Falwell up all night sweating in his Jesus Christ–checkered onesie pajamas. This New Year’s Eve, DJ Max Rodriguez rings in a bright, shiny tomorrow. Rent boys will dance, and strong drinks will be poured. Pre-sale tickets are $30 apiece to gain access to this 10,000-square-foot den of hedonism.

50 West 17th Street, 212-691-0073, splashbar.com

CANAL ROOM

Cyndi Lauper made quirky chicks a party must, Madonna single-handedly lifted the gay scene off Cher’s poor, tired shoulders, and Nikki Sixx died a couple of times just to teach us the importance of placing limits on our lives. These people should be thrown parades for their great achievements. So the least we can do is celebrate their art. This New Year’s Eve, the Canal Room is throwing its quintessential “Back to the Eighties” bash featuring the almighty cover band Rubix Kube and a collection of over-the-top costumes and performances that warm the heart as you drunkenly belt “Take on Me” from the bar. Advanced tickets are $99, which includes a five-hour top-shelf open bar.

285 West Broadway, 212-941-8100, canalroom.com

THE ZEPHYR

There’s nothing worse than getting stuck in New York City traffic on New Year’s Eve, as you sit there hopelessly watching the meter run while everyone around you is having a blast. But there’s a way around that this year. The magnificent Zephyr will be setting sail from Pier 16 and rounding the horn of Manhattan. The three-hour party cruise promises climate-controlled comfort as you pass by Gotham’s glittering skyline. Fireworks, champagne, and dancing are all included in the $175 ticket price. (If you’re looking for something a little less fancy, the New York Water Taxi offers a slightly cheaper option at $120 per person.)

Piers 16 and 17, South Street Seaport, 212-809-0808, nywatertaxi.com

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Kathy Griffin On Paula Abdul, Michele Bachmann, and Anderson Cooper!

The caustically hilarious Kathy Griffin is playing Carnegie Hall on November 12 as part of the New York Comedy Festival—a career turn that surely merited a high-culture ring on the ding.

Here’s how our enjoyably trashy little symphony of a chat recital went:

Hey, Kathy. You’re going to Carnegie Hall! One blowjob at a time. Is that the saying, or did I get it wrong? I fucking love Carnegie Hall because the acoustics are amazing.

You’ll sing? Yeah, I’ll do operatic arias in between dick jokes. [laughs] Anyway, this is a treat for me. I almost never get to see other comedians.

What if they’re stealing your material? I’ll cut them.

Do you steal? I don’t think anyone else can have the story of confronting Michele Bachmann on an escalator and asking whether she was born a bigot or grew into it. Her response was that she was going to think about it. She thought it was a good question!

At least she didn’t start screaming. At a White House Correspondents’ Dinner, that would so not look good.

Do you ever feel bad about stuff you’ve said? I don’t. All the time. I can’t stop myself. Unfortunately, I have self-diagnosed Tourette syndrome.

Are you self-medicated as well? No, but that’s a good idea. I should walk into CVS and say, “I have self-diagnosed Tourette’s.”

Maybe that’s what Paula Abdul does. At the Emmys, she ran from me on the red carpet! I was happy to see her upright. I tried to talk to her and said, “I’m more excited about your show The X Factor than you are.” She looked like she had no idea what I was talking about! But I get excited about seeing legends. I saw Edie Falco and said, “Are you going to the parties?” She said, “I’m going to bed.” You’re freaking Nurse Jackie and Carmela Soprano!

Yeah, but she lost. Speaking of bedroom action, are you good at it? I’m awesome. I fucking love it.

Are you a porn star? I’m not a porn star. I don’t have crazy skills or do wild shit. I’m a simple dirty girl who loves a good steak, a good fuck, and to make people laugh.

In that order? Number one is to make people laugh. Then a good steak, then a good fuck. Interview any famous conductor at Carnegie Hall, and they’d say the same thing. They’d like a good pointer or some good sheet music and a good fuck.

And a steak with a wedge of iceberg and creamed spinach. That’s a classic meal.If you’re getting executed on death row.

Speaking of which, were you really in the 1991 horror classic The Unborn?Yes. That was Lisa Kudrow’s old nose, hair, and boobs, and my old face. That was two faces ago.

Can you look at it? Not with any dignity, no.

It says on Wikipedia that that was your first. I mean your first film, not face.Might as well throw in the “first face”!

Do you ever miss being an actress rather than doing stand-up as yourself? Michael, how can you say that to me when I was on a super special Law & Order: SVU—or as my mother calls it, SUV.

I know. You played a lesbian activist. That’s also on Wikipedia. I don’t watch much TV. You don’t watch Logo’s A-List?

That’s not for gays. Michele Bachmann probably watches it. You must watch Drop Dead Diva.

Nope. You’re not even gay! You’re just gay to get more assignments! I’ll talk to the council. Did you ever win a GLAAD award?

No way. That’s bullshit!

But I think you have to apply and pay a $35 fee. Fuck that. You can go out and splurge with that.

Will you win an Emmy for Glee? No, because it was a small part.

But Ellen Burstyn won for saying two words. In that case, yes. I went to the Emmys with Kristin Chenoweth, and she lost for Glee, and I lost. The bitter pill was that Gwyneth Paltrow won, and she wasn’t even there, and we had to witness an assistant boxing up her Emmy and carrying it out, half-assed. I wanted to rip her fucking hair out. Do you follow me on Twitter? I tweeted about how I went to Cher’s, and we watched Dancing with the Stars and my Pants Off special in bed.

I am so jealous. Is she happy she has a straight son? Cher’s been rolling along with the cart—she’s rolled with straight daughter, gay daughter, transgender. I said, “I want to get a pizza,” and she said: “I don’t know how to order a pizza. I’m Cher!” If you could have seen the two of us, it was so fucking Lucy and Ethel. A pizza man in Malibu got a call from my assistant—”We need one large pizza with pepperoni, and it’s for Cher and Kathy Griffin.” We had to pull it out of the box and put it on the table. We’re too famous for that!

Gwynnie probably had to do that with her Emmy. Anyway, what will Anderson Cooper reveal in November? There are rumors. [sternly] I don’t know, Michael. Why don’t you call him?

And with that, I politely hung up and went about my next Verizon adventure. See you, Kathy! Let’s go out for steak.

musto@villagevoice.com

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GOING TO THE CHAPEL

Four years ago, Mrs.V and Cherelynore first laid eyes on each other at the faux-queen party debut Victoria at the Stonewall, and—yadda, yadda, yadda—they’re legally getting married tonight! Our very own Sharyn Jackson, co-creator of the Victoria and “We Love the Golden Girls” party, has become a wedding planner for tonight’s celebratory nuptials that include a runway contest and a style station where guests are invited to become their very best faux-queen. (Think Dolly Parton, Cher, Madonna, or, as the flyer explains, women with “gay men trapped in their vaginas.”) Amber Martin will act as DJ and host. Murray Hill will officiate the ceremony. Who else did you expect?

Sat., Sept. 24, 2011