Friday night I did something as unlikely as my going to a Jessica Simpson concert. I went to a magic show. That's right, a magic show. I hate magic shows, and magic in general (unless performed by Doug Henning or anyone in a unitard). But this was a very happy and unusual experience. There's a magician called Stephen Cohen who apparently has been performing his show "Chamber Magic: A Demonstration of Modern Conjuring" in a suite in the Waldorf Towers every Friday for seven years. Or nine years.
The scene is about 50 disparate people gathered on fancy chairs in a fancy room watching a man in tails completely mesmerize them with mindreading, ridiculously impossible card hijinx, and some tricks that were passed onto his uncle by Houdini himself. It feels like you're at the after-dinner portion of a dinner party in some grand lady's parlor, which is exactly the vibe he's going for. It is only a little over an hour, 55 bucks a ticket, and better than most off-broadway shows currently in rotation. I loved it. It made me really happy and felt very old school. I don't mean Madonna "Like a Prayer" old school, I mean turn of the century old school.
Speaking of old school Madonna, I flew to LA on Saturday and when I landed and clicked my phone on, it was a-buzzin' with messages conveying early evening buzz from NYC. Saturday evening, you see, marked the end of a Manhattan nightlife era as it was closing night of the famed mega club the Roxy. I moved to the city in 1990, around the time the club became a Saturday night gay-hive. I'd say that I've lived through 50 Saturdays over the years that have been swept up in rumors that "Madonna's performing at the Roxy tonight!!" There were so many Saturdays that this rumor would fly around that it became a big fat joke with Graciela and I. But sometimes that damn rumor came true. I think M showed up and did a couple numbers at the Roxy a total of maybe five times over the years. I never saw it happen. (There were also occasional Cher or J-Lo or Whitney rumors, that wound up being actual truths. But M is the holy grail of RoxyRumor....)
So it was fitting and humorous when I landed in LA on Saturday to a message from my pal Troy saying that he'd heard that Madonna AND Beyonce were going to be there when the curtain came down on the Roxy. I got crazy, in that way I did every time I heard that rumor, thinking that maybe, just maybe, it was true. Hadn't I seen on the cover of the freaking Post on that very day that Madonna was in town, shopping for UES townhouses?? And maybe I should do all I could to get my shit together and get on a plane in the opposite direction and get to the Roxy by 1:30ish to catch whatever was or wasn't going to happen.
I called Graciela, as I always did, to pass the rumor on. Just so she knew too. When I called Troy to discuss the roots of the rumor, he brought me down to earth. "Watch it be just Cashetta or someone like that performing," he clucked. (Cashetta is a random drag queen.) I told Bruce and anybody else I could reach to tell them the big newsrumor and doubledare them to go see for themselves since I couldn't. Bruce is in LA too so he and I were both basically in purgatory.
I woke up Sunday in the weird LA SpringForwardNess to NO messages reporting a Madonna Roxy moment. I looked online. There were all the rumors on various sites detailing that she DEFINITELY was making an appearance. And then that security concerns had made it impossible. And then that she actually had left for London early Saturday morning. I experience the same thing I had many Sunday mornings when I discovered that she didn't show. Relief. I wasn't there, so why should she be. I will miss the Roxy even though I haven't been there in five years. At least. I liked knowing it was there though -- and that Madonna might be there.