The Closet leads the pack on gay parties
Wed, Oct 28, 2009 (4:31 p.m.)
Photo: Erik Kabik/Retna/www.erikkabikphoto.com
Monday, October 26, 12:45 a.m.
"Damn, damn, damn.” Habit delivers me to the wrong casino. Eduardo Cordova’s the Closet Sundays only just made the move in September from CatHouse to Revolution, but as I’m turning into the Luxor parking structure, I’m smacking my forehead. I don’t relish the idea of surfing the Strip traffic flow north to the Mirage, but for Cordova … anything.
Just 15 minutes later, I’m pressed tight within the throng forming outside Revolution’s velvet-rope corral. Fashionable, attractive, poised and diverse, with every creed, color and sexual orientation represented—seriously, it’s like a casting call for Rent.
Inside, a new faux-wall, constructed of pipe and drape and a dramatic hanging mirror, creates the illusion of a little entrance hallway where once there was none. “It’s great,” laughs one promoter, “until a drunk tries to lean on it and just falls through.” I set my phone’s alarm for this comedic eventuality.
Would you like a drink? No, thanks, I have a hangover—the Plymouth Gin kind, not the sweet love kind, I answer. (In retrospect, it was actually the flu.)
Watch a Swedish pop star perform? Agnes comes on later! Nah; thanks, though.
Meet and/or gawk at a Kardashian? Pass; no, wait—it depends on which one. Khloe? Yeah, I’ll pass.
I’m not in the market for booze, live music or minor-celebrity worship; I’m just here to pay my respects to the one gay party to survive a full year outside its natural habitat, the gay nightclub. The gay party is a somewhat delicate organism, requiring a steady diet of fresh young things, innovative marketing, hot fashion, hot messes and liberal cattiness. One of my favorite cocktails!
The event positions itself as the party “For boys who like boys, and their girlfriends.” A colleague of the swinger persuasion inquired whether there might not be something there for him and his wife ... perhaps some hot, young, single, straight or bi-curious ladies accompanying their gay buddies and looking for a good time themselves? But this party is decidedly gay, with a ratio of about 75/25 male-to-female, and the same for gay-to-straight, both pretty good ratios for gay events. Go for the fun, I told him, not the leftovers.
The crowd is heavily composed of Strip performers who dance with wild abandon anywhere they can find space. Little circles form around the break-dancers, who have always appreciated Revolution’s smooth concrete floors. DJ Jason Lema throws in ample gay anthems to keep the night on target: “You’re free to do what you want to do/You’ve got to live your life/Do what you want to do.” But Queer as Folk has nothing on this party; there are no protests, no discrimination, just pretty partiers booked at every VIP table and a density of crowd not often seen at Revolution since before Light Group took the club under its marketing wing. But Light Group isn’t the only mainstream entity embracing the gay-party vote.
This summer produced a whole crop of gay parties in historically mainstream clubs and lounges. Elevated Tuesdays, which launched in August at the Foundation Room, take advantage of the club’s newfound openness (to the public) with a weekly gay night presented by QVegas Magazine. Of course, that openness only goes so far. Foundation Room doesn’t call it a gay or LGBT night, preferring to label it an “Alternative Night.”
Meanwhile, at Rhumbar, the just weeks-old Captiv8 (“Cocktails – Fashion – Culture”; Captiv8LV.com) fashion-focused Wednesday brings this desirable audience together with specialty cocktails and reps from Louis Vuitton, Prada and the like for chances to win gift cards.
And what would a gay party be without a little drama? This summer saw plenty of that between former colleagues Cordova and Mervat Berry, who literally took it to court in a dispute over their two gay pool parties, Splash and Sunkissed. (The case is still pending.) Vegas can definitely expect a second season of gay pool parties as well as gay-pool-party drama. Reality show, anyone?
My fever finally overtakes me, a major no-no in large crowds. And I don’t subscribe to the widely held belief that “Alcohol kills germs!” I hate to leave without seeing Cordova, but he’s attached to Khloe’s side, a photographer is attached to him, and gossip-rag stringers are attached to all three. Guess I’ll never get to see Khloe’s new hand-tattoo up close. Damn, damn, damn.