Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Cyndi Lauper Highlights Imperial Court Gala

Kings, queens and other New York royalty donned their crowns, tiaras and other royal attire at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square on March 31 for the 21st annual Night of a Thousand Gowns.

Reigning New York Empress Gefil Tefish paid homage to the extravagant French queen Marie Antoinette with one of the several gowns she wore throughout the hours-long gala. She, alongside Emperor Fantasia, crowed Craig Hollywood and B as the city’s next monarchs during an elaborate coronation ceremony attended by Panzi, Robin Kradles, Coco LaChine, Billie Ann Miller, Tony Monteleone, other royalty and their loyal subjects.

Emperor Hollywood praised his predecessors’ reign during a post-coronation interview.

"There are large shoes we are filling from Gefil and Fantasia," he said. "They raised a lot of money. We will try to keep up their schedule and involve the entire community, as best we can, in the pageantry of the Imperial Court of New York [ICNY]."

The ICNY, part of the larger International Court, remains one of New York’s premier gay philanthropic organizations. It has raised more than $1 million for dozens of organizations across the Tri-State area since it’s founding at the height of the AIDS crisis during the mid 1980s.

This year’s gala doubled as a fundraiser for PFLAG New York City. Cyndi Lauper, who is featured in the organization’s ’Stay Close’ campaign with her lesbian sister Elen, attended the gala alongside Broadway star Charles Busch, Darlene Love, DJ Lady Bunny, former porn star Will Clark and others.

The Queens-born diva indulged the assembled monarchs with a rendition of ’True Colors.’ She even invited them to attend her upcoming summer tour. "Bring your crowns," Lauper quipped.

New York City Councilmember Eric Gioia [D-Sunnyside, Queens] honored the ICNY with an official proclamation from the Council. He quickly apologized to the formerly reigning monarchs for not honoring the gala’s strict black tie [or gown] dress code. But Empress Tefish quickly forgave Gioia for his fashion faux pas.

"You’re good-looking enough," she joked.

PFLAG New York City President Phyllis Steinberg donned a white boa and she, along with PFLAG Executive Director Drew Tagliabue, faired much better. Tagliabue, whose father is former National Football League [NFL] Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, added the coronation rivaled any Broadway show in the adjacent Theatre District.

"It came across as one of the most fun, most genuine type of dinners that we had ever been to," he said. "You’re hard pressed to get a show like that in New York City."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the glowing review! We invite all who may be interested in royalty, cross dressing, fundraising for worthy gay causes, etc., to join The Imperial Court of New York. Our membership meetings are held the first Wednesday of every month at the LGBT Center in Manhattan at 8 p.m.

Join us for next year's Night of a Thousand Gowns on March 29. Details will be posted at www.icny.org.

Yours in Service,
Empress XIX Robin Kradles
The Fifth Avenue Jewel Empress of Sincerity, Service and Style