Wigstock is back, thanks to Neil Patrick Harris & Lady Bunny
Wigstock was a legendary drag festival that began, legend has it, spontaneously in 1984 in Tompkins Square Park in the East Village after a long night out. It became a big deal annual party, eventually moving to a pier on the West Side Highway. But between the Giuliani administration's war on nightlife and two straight years of getting rained out, Wigstock died in 2001, though mini versions of it have happened the last few years. Wigstock is officially back in 2018, however, happening over Labor Day Weekend on Saturday, September 1 at the Pier 17 Rooftop at South Street Seaport. Tickets are on sale. The idea to resurrect it came from Neil Patrick Harris and his husband David Burtka, neither of whom got to attend back in the day, who approached Wigstock co-creator Lady Bunny. From The New York Times:
“It seemed so nasty and exciting and, even kind of horny,” Mr. Harris said.
Why allow it to become another thing mourned on the website Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York?
So he and Mr. Burtka reached out to Lady Bunny, who welcomed the chance to work with a celebrity whose stature will only grow in six-inch pumps. Mr. Harris will also be performing and producing this year’s Wigstock with Lady Bunny.
(Will Mr. Harris wind up in drag? “It wouldn’t surprise me in a big show where we have to fill content,” he said.)
The two brought in other partners, including the Oscar-winning producer Bruce Cohen (“American Beauty,” “Milk”), the production company Matador (“Banksy Does New York”), Gay Men’s Health Crisis and Pride Media, which publishes Out magazine and The Advocate.
The Times reports that the initial performers list includes Alaska, Alex Newell, Amanda Lepore, Barbara Tucker, Basil, Bianca Del Rio, Bob the Drag Queen, Candis Cayne, Charlene Incarnate, Darnelle XV, Desmond Is Amazing, Dina Martina, Dita Von Teese, Heklina, Jackie Beat, Jada Valenciaga, Jinkx Monsoon, Joey Arias, Justin Vivian Bond, Kevin Aviance, Latrice Royale, Lina Bradford, Linda Simpson, Lypsinka, Murray Hill, Peaches Christ, Peppermint, Raven O, Sherry Vine, Taylor Mac, Varla Jean Merman and Willam.
Want to know more about Wigstock? Watch the 1995 documentary, Wigstock: The Movie, below.