Sunday, May 23, 2010

Got Milk?

Jean says: Due to a wrinkle in the space-time continuum, Valerie was unable to accompany me last Tuesday evening to Art for SPC, a cocktail party and silent auction to benefit Stephen Petronio Dance Company held at Milk Gallery at 450 West 15th Street in the heart of the meatpacking district.

She is, shall we say, on a short sabbatical, leaving me behind the wheel to navigate the highway of life alone. Stand back! The inmates have taken over the asylum. While the cat's away, the mice will play. While Valerie may want to deal with and examine issues, I confess I prefer the fluff. What can I say? I'm shallow. I am the People magazine to her Atlantic Weekly. Some girls just wanna have fun. (Image of reckless abandon from The fabulous Cars.)

Where, you may ask, was my partner in crime? Not so fast. You'll have to work to find out. Here is the first clue to this mystery, a skylight somewhere in Manhattan. Humor me, dear readers, and play along with my demented version of Where's Waldo? featuring Where's Valerie?

Here's your second clue - a framed photograph of Victor Borge. Figured it out yet? Ha! Didn't think this would be easy, did you? Stay tuned, sweeties...

Needless to say, without Valerie I was flying solo. I needed what those insipid beer commercials would call a "wing man"! Who was up to such a daunting task? Enter my mystery guest, a former performance artist who had accompanied me to past Petronio Company performances and who is extremely tolerant of my fashion A-D-D.

Who was this woman of mystery and was she up to the task? You be the judge.

It is none other than the Dumpling Diva herself, Marja Samson, who came to my emotional rescue! Donning her thigh-high black boots, she ventured out into the stormy night and braved the elements to stand at my side -- and schmooze (unlike three of my fair weather friends who stood me up and who will remain nameless ... but YOU know who you are).

Craig Hensala orchestrated the concept of the event and was responsible for the amazing art on the walls. The donated art by leading artists celebrates Stephen Petronio's commitment to multi-disciplinary collaboration and proceeds from the event will benefit future endeavors of the company. Craig and choreographer Stephen Petronio are standing in front of my favorite piece -- a Cindy Sherman photograph with a disembodied, bandaged, demonic head floating above its doll-like body, complete with articulated joints. Cindy Sherman, honorary chair of the event, was gorgeous and absolutely charming in person.

The artwork was by a wide ranging group of artists and photographers such as Yoko Ono, Patti Smithe, Richard Melee, Annie Liebowitz, Andy Warhol, Sarah Hardesty and Stephen Petronio. Once I got the lay of the land, I made the acquaintace of two wonderfully entertaining gents, Patrick Askin, an actor ( and Alex Gena, a photographer ( They were hilariously funny and provided me with a mother ship for the evening. As I orbited the gallery space, I would periodically touch base with them and compare notes.

I don't know who this fair damsel is, but she was wearing killer shoes. (I admit it, I'm shallow.)

June Poster (center) is Managing Director of SPC.

Here's a friend of dancer Emily Stone with actor Richard Askin and dancers Natalie Mackessy, Joshua Tuason, Barrington Hinds and Emily Stone. Emily mentioned plans to return to Boulder, CO during the company's summer break.

Here's Marja and two of my peeps, Joel T. and Julie A. soaking up the atmosphere before placing their bids. It really was a treat to see such an amazing assemblage of artwork all in one place at one time. To be in the same room with some of the artists was icing on the cake.

Dancer Julian De Leon and I share a laugh.

Marja hangs out with two hunks. (Now, I ask you, dear readers - would Valerie ever write a line like that?)

Stephen and one of his guests who braved the elements to attend. (Note the umbrella)

Photographer Sarah Silver and her boyfriend who is a chef.

Dancers Natalie Mackessy and Barrington Hinds pose with Sarah Silver's gorgeous (and gorgeously tall) assistant.

When worlds collide -- Talking Head meets Dumpling Diva. David Byrne and Marja, old acquaintances, take minute to catch up. (Note the umbrella. Another orphan of the storm took shelter in the brighty lit gallery!)

Dancer & Assistant to the Artistic Director, Gino Grenek will accompany Stephen to Wales for 6 weeks to choreograph a piece for a Welsh dance company.

Craig pauses for a moment with Stephen and Jean-Marc Flack.

As I was walking across 15th St. approaching Milk Gallery with Joel and Julie, I couldn't help but notice a very striking young woman. Later that evening, we got to connect. Her name is Angel (of course) and she is a clothing designer (of course). She's pictured with her friend Matthew Waldman, founder and chief design officer of Nooka (, and Richard Askin.

Clair, Julian and Fred indulge my request for a photo.

Craig Hensala and a guest share a moment..

Choreographer and SPC board member Liz Gerring with Richard Move and Craig.

Claire Flack and her parents, Ronald and Daniele, are all patrons of SPC's Producers' Circle.

Where's Waldo?Where's Valerie? Clue #3: Yes, it was elective and no, it was not a butt lift. Yes, she's OK and no, it was not a boob job.

At 8 PM, Stephen welcomed his guests and gave special thanks to Craig and to Karen and Mandie Erickson and Showroom Seven International as well as to the countless volunteers, friends and patrons whose support helped make the evening possible.

As if the artwork and cocktails were not enough, Amdada Wells gave a solo performance of an excerpt from "Ghostown" which premiered at the Joyce Theater in April.

Back in her "civvies," Amanda and her husband (2nd from right) and their friends sweetly posed for the camera.

Ariel Lembeck, Administrative Associate, works wonders behind the scenes.

Richard Move is a Martha Graham imitator. Here he is voguing in front of the Warhol polaroid of his Muse. He confided that after one of his performances at the Warhol Museum, he was given a tour of the archives and actually got to see the polaroid and the silk screen which were on display at Milk Gallery (

Here's Richard in front of the Warhol silk screen.

What I'm wearing
I'm wearing a crew neck black and white striped tee shirt (Ralph Lauren) paired with a black and white striped knit jacket (Zara) held with a black and white felt fish skeleton pin (Rosebud on Thompson St. in Soho), long black draped skirt (Ronan Chen @ Rosebud), black and white skeleton birds and red heart metal necklace (Enz on 2nd Ave. in the East Village), black patent change purse with red winged heart (Classic Hardway from Tokyo Boy, from Enz), vintage '40s black felt hat (Bellini Originals), clogs (Dansko), glasses (Moss Lipow), Angela Caputti black resin cuffs, vintage black bakelite dice earrings, a collection of gold and of black bakelite rings and Ice Pirates watch (Canal Street).

Where's Waldo?Where's Valerie? Here is the 4th and final clue. Yes, it was outpatient. No, it's not a nose job. Yes, she's OK and no, it wasn't liposuction. More to come when Valerie is ready to spill the beans.

1 comment:

  1. Hallux Valgus surgery maybe… or a neuroma? Do I win a prize?? In any case, Valerie's a champ for getting her feet repaired… it's something I've been contemplating for years and been too afraid to deal with. Valerie, you're my hero.