“You never want to piss off a drag queen!” said director Steve Saporito at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of his movie, Squeezebox! on Friday night.
The after-party for the film was a joyous excuse for drag queens and 90’s-club-scene nostalgistas to gather at the Blender Theatre and relive the nights of Don Hill’s drag-rock that became known as Squeezebox!
Looking demure in a beard and blazer, Mr. Saporito, who co-directed the drag-cumentary with Zach Shaffer, seemed relieved. “That was the biggest worry, premiering in New York,” he said, “that all the people that this movie was about were going to be sitting there in the front row. And most of them are drag queens.” But they loved it!
Debbie Harry performed, as did John Cameron Mitchell, who got much of the inspiration for Hedwig and the Angry Inch from the performers and the behind-the-scenes clique at Squeezebox! and was perhaps the worst-kept secret of the evening. (“Act surprised when he comes on!” Saporito told The Observer.)
On stage, skinny tattooed boys swayed their hips in their undies. JoJo Americo of electro-disco band, The Ones, reminisced about what Squeezebox! meant to him: “Totally being retarded and getting dressed up in whatever and running around half-naked. You know, fun stuff like that. Spitting blood. Some good old defecating. Something good.”
There was none of that gross-out stuff for Michael T, the nightlife staple and producer of the Motherfucker party, who was wearing an impeccable white three-picee suit. “You forget how great things were when it’s past. Or when it’s happening!” he said. “I think [Squeezebox!] is going to be an instant New York institution in terms of, this was a piece of New York history at the tail end of the millennium.”
Hold that thought. Mistress Formika wearing a tube dress that became increasingly see-through as the night wore on, put it more succinctly: “Let’s party, bitches!”