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NEW YORK Studio 54 continued its tradition of mixing people from various worlds--think Martha Graham and Calvin Klein--at the Fashion Rocks Broadway event, which mixed the worlds of fashion and theater. Featuring performances by a group of young Broadway divas wearing clothes by up-and-coming fashion designers, the event raised more than $150,000 for nonprofit Fashion Cares New York (forgive them if the name sounds like something Absolutely Fabulous' Edina Monsoon might have come up with).
The fashion industry group will in turn provide grants for two New York breast examination centers that give exams to women who otherwise can't afford to have them, as well as a grant to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The event was put together by singer Spring Gross, one of the founders of Fashion Cares and the first performer of the evening.
The event began with a so-called “V.I.P. reception” in Studio 54's upstairs lounge. (There may have been actual V.I.P.s there, but it was just too dark for us to tell.) After drinks there, guests walked down to the main theater space (where Cabaret plays most nights) to watch the show.
Drag queen Hedda Lettuce served as the event's host, appearing in numerous outlandish outfits. Her first ensemble--which she compared to an erotic Minnie Mouse costume--included a large cone bra that helped with a visual gag. She took a shot glass out of one side of the bra, and then filled it with liquid spouting from the other side. Her jokes were similarly off-color, and her running comments between the performances kept the crowd laughing and the show moving.
The performances themselves were all solid--these are some of Broadway's most successful young women--and each performer sang only three songs, which kept the evening from running too long. To blend the fashion and Broadway themes, each of the performers--Gross, Aida's Julie Danao, The Full Monty's Annie Golden and The Rocky Horror Picture Show's Daphne Rubin-Vega and Alice Ripley--wore an outfit from one of the featured designers, Diane Von Furstenberg, Shoshanna Lonstein, Alice Roi, Cynthia Steffe and Rebecca Taylor.And following each performance, a group of Broadway dancers performed a dance number wearing outfits from the same designer. (DJ Susan Morabito played a fun, energetic mix of music for the performances and before and after the show.)