"Red - I feel my soul on fire!
Black - my world if she's not there!
Red - the colour of desire!
Black - the colour of despair!"
- Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg and Howard Kretzmer from Les Miserables
Can you say Red Velvet? Can you say it again? Now repeat.
RED is the color of choice at this month's late-night Sapphic establishments.
On Sunday nights (Monday mornings?) there are plenty of Red brocade chairs and Red crushed velvet couches to sit on under the incandescent Red glow at Club Cassanova hosted at Cake. The exceedingly smoky two-level East Village hangout is filled to the brim with the locals of varying persuasions. A DJ spins a slightly '80s techno-funk mix while absolutely no one dances in the small space in front of the tiny stage. But it gets more cramped by the minute as people squish in in anticipation of the drag kings. This much-hyped night features the most handsome and talented Mo B. Dick, and "his" friends Labio, Uncle Louie, Len E. Dykstra, Roderick and the most stultifying of them all, Evil Caveboy. Tunes from "Rocky Horror Picture Show" set the mood for Mo and friends in this high school amateur show type environment. Friends wielding camcorders and cameras with phallic telephoto capabilities jockey for the best view while the kings, in beards and costumes, mingle before the show. I hope you had your afternoon nap: the show doesn't even start until 1:30am, and by then everything is Red -- as in bloodshot eyes!
On Monday night take a chance on a charming little hideaway in the West Village, Bar D'o, which is suffused in the warm glow of Red candles surrounding low black couches and tables. The DJ is camped out at the front end of the bar and spins a jazz-r&b-house mix that'll charm more than your ears. The crowd is a young, sophisticated-but-relaxed group of well-kept attractive women. And they're here to do more than just make eyes at each other across the room... Plus there's the midnight go-go dancer in a black leather bikini (until, of course, she takes it off) grasping two blazing torches! She gyrates around and romances her flames to the slow funk groove of the music and the purring and clapping of the radiating patrons. Red -- as in fire!
It's back! The wait since late summer, and the five minute one behind Red velvet ropes for the Clit Club at the newly refurbished Mother are well-worth it. The entrance and exit is back to its original position in the front of the club on 14th Street. That means you immediately walk into the pulsing red lights and pulsing flushed women dancing in front of the stage. Lucky you if the stage is already adorned by a leather fetish dancer. The layout is basically the same: the top floor hosts the stage and dancing in the Front Room and the quieter bar and mingling in the adjoining Ante-Room; downstairs there's an even quieter dark room with video monitor and couches, coat check, bathrooms and hallways.
The newly-designed Front Room sports a bar topped with carved gargoyles, dried branches hanging from the ceiling, female comic book art pinned to the walls and enough strobe lighting to kill an epileptic. The music is techno, the women are sweating.
Candy kisses sit on the eye-level ledge in the gold-painted Ante-Room, which is graced by a tiny mirror-topped bar at the far end, a wide-checkered floor, walls covered in faux Grecian reliefs of naked women and a ceiling painted as a sky full of armed cupids. Women, cheeks aglow from dancing, recover in upholstered Victorian chairs.
Downstairs women drape themselves over the black vinyl couches in front of the video monitor which will be showing selections from MIX '96 the 10th Annual Gay and Lesbian Experimental Film/Video Festival through November. Red... as in pumping blood...
Where To Get Red Hot:
99 Avenue B (6th/7th)
29 Bedford St
432 W 14th St (Washington)
$5 before midnight, $7 after