By Amber Roniger
I’m gonna speak in my library voice now, cause you know how we whisper when we’re talking about serious issues. I pose this imperative question to you: who’s the sexiest vampire in the land, the grand dame of bloodsuckers? Not merely Max Schreck in “Nosferatu” sexy (that’s a no-brainer), beyond Gary Oldman in “Dracula” sexy (a fiercely un-dead hottie). No, I’m talking LESTAT sexy. Hands down, bar none, the sexiest Prada wearing, 1,000-year-old underworld prince there ever was.
Join me this Monday, April 17th to watch Lestat flit his fiending flesh around the Broadway stage for Elton John’s AIDS foundation’s special Preview Benefit Event at the Broadway premier of LESTAT (www.ejaf.org). Pierce the wilds of Anne Rice’s galactic mind, tune your kazoo to Sir Elton’s sanguine tunes, and gape at Hugh Panaro (the leap from a phantom to a morphing bat is not so huge, me thinks), all the while supporting a wonderful foundation and the most important of causes.
Ever since EJAF’s inception in 1992, Sir E. has facilitated $60 million in contributions toward services all over the globe: funding for educational prevention programs, the elimination of prejudice and discrimination, and making services available for people’s most basic needs who are infected (or are at risk), both at home and in the developing world. This is an excellent way to make up for that salami you scarfed down during lent (guilt will get you everywhere).
I feel the need get personal for a moment (as I always do). Please don’t think me too terribly nosey, but anyone who claims they’ve never known someone with HIV is living in la-la. If you reside on this planet, and hey, there’s no real guarantee that you do (especially you resident aliens, isn’t this an oxymoron?), then you know or have known people with the disease. I remember standing with Michael, holding his trembling hands, when he found out he was infected. When his best friend, Luis, died, even though he always bragged about not taking his cocktail, it seemed a terrible shock. In that moment, it was almost as if Luis had never existed. But he did exist and we can never, ever forget. So what did we do? We cried, we got drunk, we laughed in tribute to his wacky essence, and then that was that.
But now, I think it’s not enough to just cry, or to pay tribute. It’s time to contribute. It’s a dangerous pitfall that we all too easily into fall into, to dry our tears and simply go on.
So in honor of Michael and Luis, and the millions of others here there and everywhere, there is something to be done while having fun. Contributing to this worthy cause is both sexy and necessary.
By attending the LESTAT Benefit Event you can cocktail at 6pm; sip your slurpie and schmooze a smidge with other giving souls. Then settle in for the 8pm curtain time and be amongst the first to witness the stellar Lestat on the broad way, in the blood fest. If you purchase two or more Patron tickets, you also get a great swag bag, and who doesn’t dig on the fab swag?
Don’t miss this golden opportunity to be an altruistic vampire voyeur!
If you can’t make the show cause you’re too overhung from sucking rum-soaked Easter eggs, there are other ways to contribute. You can attend ELTON’S CLOSET, a public sale of clothing and accessories from the personal wardrobes of Monsieur John and David Furnish (I’m sure there’ll be plenty of tiaras and tantrums flying outta that closet!). It’s all happening on the Concourse Level of Rockefeller Center (between 49th and 50th Streets) through April 15th, from 8am-7pm.
Be sure to check the website regularly for the release of Sir E’s “Starbucks Christmas CD.” Or flex your diva muscles by clicking through the MAC icon and purchasing their Viva Glam lipstick (100% of proceeds for the MAC AIDS Fund.)
Join Elton John and care, contribute and continue to move the globe onward and upward toward the common goal of creating an educated, ignorance-free world, devoid of stigma, devoid of shame, and most importantly, devoid of HIV/AIDS.
BIER MEANS BEER IN DEUTSCH
By Amber Roniger
All you savvy beer guzzling Euro travelers know full well that in Europe you can get a sehr gut bier on tap at any old pub for the price of a watery Budweiser here in the States. Even the house beers across the pond are heady-frothy-delicious. On the (finely calibrated) international beer scale, America rates as the skinny little runt who gets beaten up every lunchtime by the playground bully; we just don’t cut the senf. It’s similar to the $5 bottle of French wine you can grab in the grocery that sells for $25 here. Euros sure know how to glug in style.
Enter Loreley Restaurant and Biergarten on the Lower East Side, modeled after the Brauhaus in Cologne. This Easter Sunday, while the kiddies are stalking wild Cadbury bunnies in the park, grab your favorite stein and hop on over to Loreley for their hearty brunch buffet from 1-5pm (I’d definitely recommend reserving a spot for that, mein liebling).
Loreley is named after the mighty slate rock Lorelei in the Rhine Valley, rising Kraken-like from its waters. As the legend goes (’cause you know there’s always some legend), the reefs and rapids made it extremely dangerous for ships to pass the slate and apparently a siren called “Lorelei” bewitched the hearts of the sailors. When they looked up to the rock, their boats crashed and sank. Perhaps the sailors were more susceptible to ‘bewitching rocks’ in the days of yore than they are now; it’s hard to say. But I do remember some years back when Dennis Rodman’s changing afro color was the rubbernecking nightmare in Chicago (well after the demise of the days of yore), so there’s no accounting for the potency of a spectacle.
I’m sure there’s some inherent analogy between the bewitching siren and the bewitching biers and luscious food stuffs served at Loreley. I offer a small lesson in German-Hooked-On-Phonics by presenting a tiny sampling of their bubbly bier selection (repeat with me): Gaffel Kolsch (all you German bier-o-philes know that anything with an umlaut automatically means: sö gööd), Warsteiner, Erdinger Dark, and Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen (don’t be sore, I was testing your stick-to-it-ness with that one).
And I find the food words even more endearing: Halver Hahn, translation: aged Gouda on German rye (oh savory!), Bratwurst mit Brot, one bratwurst (yes dear, only one), with bread & mustard, Pommes Rot Weiss (rotting pomegranates?), French fries with ketchup & mayo (a.k.a. Russian dressing), and of course my favorite, Heringsstip nach Hausfrauen Art auf Vollkorn Brot, which is herring in cream sauce with onions and apples served on multigrain rye bread. If the menu wasn’t gratefully translated, and to continue my disturbing butchery of the German language, my guess would be: artistic hairy strippers, performing for housewives in the Volkswagen out back (my Austrian grandfather is rolling in his grave). But needless to say, Loreley serves some down home, traditional German yummies that would keep the von Trapps caroling all the way down the mountainside.
Indeed, what could be easier than singing the praises of German bier? I know not, and in fact, there is an age old song (once again, from the times of yore) that sings the praises of the Lorelei siren. I’ll serve you up just a spate:I do not know what haunts me,
What saddened my mind all day;
An age-old tale confounds me,
A spell I cannot allay.
The air is cool and in twilight
The Rhine’s dark waters flow;
The peak of the mountain in highlight
Reflects the evening glow.
There sits a lovely maiden
Above so wondrous fair,
With shining jewels laden,
She combs her golden hair
It falls through her comb in a shower,
And over the valley rings
A song of mysterious power
That lovely maiden sings.
Hmmmm, an ode to a rock (and not even a googly-eyed Pet Rock at that), who would’a thunk it? Anyhoo… as Heidi Klum so drolly drawls, auf wiedersehen and glecklichen ostersonntag ihnen!!!
Loreley Restaurant & Biergarten
7 Rivington Street
(btw Bowery & Chrystie Streets)