Nightlife » Special Events

Dreams Unwind at 22nd Night of a Thousand Stevies

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Saturday May 19, 2012

Nearly 1,200 Stevie Nicks fans gathered at the High Line Ballroom on May 11 for the 22nd Annual Night of a Thousand Stevies, the yearly tribute to the lady of leather and lace. This year's theme was "Dreams Unwind," featuring lots of lace, dream catchers, and creatures of the night.

"'Dreams Unwind' was one of my favorite editions of Night of 1,000 Stevies ever," said legendary NOTS host and Jackie Factory denizen Chi Chi Valenti. "We continue to look for ways to reinvent The Night for ourselves and our crowd, and the performers rise beautifully to the challenge every year. I also particularly enjoyed the whole Vampire/Gothic slant this year as that's a culture I've been involved with since we owned MOTHER in the 1990s."

This year's event garnered the largest number of submissions for consideration in NOTS history, and was forced to "turn away some rising stars just for lack of room on the bill."

Among those who made the cut was Charlene Coran, who battled some pre-show jitters to perform an Act 2 rendition of Nick's famous anthem, "Stand Back."

Repeat performer Lady Zombie and her escort Ali Fangsmith, who thrilled with his cat-green contact lenses and realistic vampire fangs, performed the lesser-known hit, "Beauty and the Beast."

And, in one of the best performances of the evening, Cathy Cervenka and the Ho-Hos started out clad in white tuxedos for Stevie Nicks', "I Can't Wait," then stripped down to hot-pink bodysuits for a mash-up with the Nu Shooz hit, "I Can't Wait." The crowd went wild for their stunning, acrobatic ending.

Stevie Nicks Still Casts a Spell...

Other highlights included performer Amber Martin, who sang "Gypsy," bringing the Dazzle Dancers onstage with her band, to liven the mood. La Konga Russe made a good showing, playing with the harpist Mia Theodoratus to open Act 3. Later, NOTS legend Billy Oh donned a blue, floor-length cape to croon out, "Bombay Sapphire" from the album "Trouble in Shangri-La."

"A few of my personal favorite numbers were Chad Schiro’s opening ballet to ’Dreams,’ Amber Martin’s cathartic ’Gypsy,’ Rachel Klein’s big dance number to ’Moonlight: A Vampire’s Dream,’ and the inventiveness of En Subtitles in their NOTS debut," said Valenti. "But there were so many other great moments, it’s hard to single out just a few."

Decked out in white drum major hats, The Crystal Ark (Gavin Russom and Viva Ruiz) closed Act 2 with an elaborate performance of the Fleetwood Mac hit, "Tusk."

Machine Dazzle took to the stage to entertain the masses with his huge, metallic headpiece and extensive body paint, and by the beginning of Act 3, most of the crowd was also emblazoned, and ready to enjoy the final act of NOTS.

Longtime NOTS attendee, drag queen Divine Grace, was decked out in a low-cut black cocktail dress and rhinestone necklace to perform "In Your Dreams."

Poison Eve arrived on stage in a giant, anatomically correct heart costume to sing, "Stop Dragging My Heart Around." Eve ditched the paper cutout to reveal her red dress with caped wings and spun around stage while Darlinda Just Darlinda accompanied her, dressed as guitarist Tom Petty. Then, Eve reached into Darlinda’s shirt and ripped out a replica of a human heart, strung with entrails, and literally dragged it around the stage. It was a bit of gory literalism that the crowd ate up - figuratively, that is.

Stand Back...There’s Still More.

Closing out the show was En Subtitles, with a spot-on reenactment of the Nicks’ video, "Talk to Me." The group stood within a large replica of a TV set, acting out a commercial for the Stevie Psychic Friends Network. They stepped out of the TV and pantomimed playing saxophones across the stage.

Repeat customers were also spotted in the crowd, among them Lisbon Buckingham and Fluffy Nicks, two burly, bearded men in white ruffles. At last year’s event, the pair imbued their coarse beards with golden glitter paint.

And one of the highlights of the evening, as is the case every year, was the annual tossing of the tambourines. Longtime NOTS worker Hattie Hathaway helped toss out a large crate of tambourines emblazoned with "Dreams Unwind" in cursive, to an appreciative crowd.

At the end of the evening, all of the participants and costumed guests crowded the stage for the Annual Battle of the Stevies -- more of a free-form dance fest than an actual battle.

If you missed this year’s Night of a Thousand Stevies, don’t despair. Said Valenti, "We’ll be putting up video clips to our Jackie Factory YouTube channel over the next few days, so come and see for yourself! "

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Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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