Saturday, April 30, 2011

Original Cockette Delivers A Cocktail of Glamour & Anarchy



Rumi Missabu is an original member of the defunct Cockettes, the extraordinary San Francisco based theatre troupe, who wowed their internationally famous audiences with their iconoclastic musicals during the early Seventies.

When I first clapped eyes on them at the Palace Theatre where they regularly performed,  I was so flabbergasted I impulsively jumped up onto the stage. As a result, The Cockettes inspired me to write my first book Frantic, a novel about the hedonistic early 70s.

The troupe were so far ahead of their time, they spawned fashion trends for decades to come besides sartorially inspiring Glam Rock stars like David Bowie.

Rumi, who is a prolific star of stage and screen (Elevator Girls In Bondage etc.) has now started his first blog titled A Cocktail of Glamour & Anarchy, which is so delightful and original, it hooked me in immediately.

'I will celebrate artists who have touched or stirred me in some way sometime in my lifetime as well as post my events, appearances and film projects,'  Rumi says.

If the following reads like a Press Release forgive me!

Rumi Missabu is so busy,  it's a miracle he finds time to blog about the icons who inspire him. He recently toured with Fran├žois Chaignaud, the dancing sensation from Paris, a tour which included Rumi hosting a live show off Broadway.

'The tour was a series of firsts and lasts for me. It was the first time I sung with a band in years The first hour with just me and the band followed by nine special guests.'

His sidekick, Agosto Machado of Andy Warhol and Jack Smith fame helped introduce some of them.

'The theater stage was trashed after each bizarre act I had booked, some sight unseen, with catsup, ping pong balls, broken ceramic photo frames,' he reminisces.


Rumi, who is the official archiver of The Cockettes carefully places the historic memorabilia and archives with various institutions including the New York Public Library for the performing Arts at the Lincoln Centre.

On May 19th, he will start rehearsing, working with a cast of ten dancers and character dancers as well as dancers from three companies on two continents with on both USA coasts.

'It's safe to say that October 17th I will host and produce my very mini-ballet at Lincoln Center in NYC as part of a larger event to honor the Cockettes archives/papers available to the public. I'm very excited but just as nervous about it.'

If all that isn't hectic enough, Rumi will be in New York during most of October and will stage the mini-ballet Off Broadway for one night only and will give a talk to the students at Columbia and NYU besides hosting a gallery show in Brooklyn.


Rumi also recently included pieces from the collection to the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art in Colorado, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Arizona and the National Queer Cultural Arts Festival in SF in June. Phew!

'Scrumbly,' (another legendary former Cockette member)' and I just did a piece, a transcribed conversation, for OUT THERE Magazine UK available in July. There's also a lovely photo of me taken by Benjamin Huesby in London in 2007, in the new issue of Arena Homme,' Rumi says.

My head is realing with this original Cockette's busy itinery, but what I shall be crossing the pond for on May 17th is his RUMI PALOOZA party which he will be hosting. The only snag is, I can't compete with him in the wardrobe department - not in a trillion years!

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