Wet ’n’ Wild

Missives from the Jet Set

It’s the little things…

(Top Left: David, Hanna, Chris and Lexi Letts bidding on a Transparent walk-on appearance at climACTS! WET; Top Right: Artists from AcroArts at climACTS! WET; Bottom Left: Abe Rybeck, Octavio Campos and Alexandra Billings at climACTS! WET; Bottom Right: Sexy dancers and performers at climACTS! WET)

Royale was transformed into an R-rated bathhouse/burlesque hall for climACTS! WET, the annual fundraiser for The Theater Offensive (and one of the sexiest LGBT parties of the year). Go-go dancers in barely there hot pants gyrated on plinths, squeezing wet sponges over their heads while Jello shots shaped like genitalia were served by scantily clad servers. As one guest put it: “Nice shorts he’s almost wearing.”

The A-gays and their allies were out in full force, among them: Southern gentleman Davant Scarborough, design whiz Stephen Martyak, real estate mack daddy David Goldman, the uber-suave Jacques Abatto, stylish stylist Adam Oliveri, Billy Dee Williams impersonator Arnold Sapenter, Company One co-founder Summer Williams, publishing poobah Jeff Coakley, the devastatingly handsome twosome of Joel Benjamin and Dan Norman, theater impresario Eve Alpern, hot ginge Neill Kovash, sexy cue ball Ernesto Galan, committee member Meg Bruton, the unfailingly upbeat Karl McLaurin, distinguished antiquarian Lance Brisbois, bespectacled hipster Adam Leveille, and several of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, including Lida Christ, who introduced herself to someone, whose response was “Funny—people call me Lida Caine.”

Aside from all the gratuitous eye candy, the entertainment included performance artist Octavio Campos, music by DJ Brent Covington, two impossibly jacked acrobats, who caused more than a few palpitations, and an appearance by gorgeous trans actress/singer Alexandra Billings, who caused more than a few more palpitations.

The live auction, meanwhile, was emceed by corn-fed cutie David Brown, who stripped off his tuxedo to reveal a wetsuit underneath, prompting one guest to say, “I think that’s taking safe sex a little too far.”

Lest it all sound completely louche, the following exchange did take place at the bar: “Where’s your husband?”


All in all, an all-inclusive night, and the award for ultra-P.C. sensitivity went to whoever thought to cover the men’s and ladies’ room doors with hand-written signs that said, “Non-gender-specific restroom.”

Forget Liberté and Egalité. It was a Fraternité Party!

(Top Left: Robert Bagshaw, Bill Emery, Anna Bursaux, David Lancaster and Jeff Merselis at Le Bal du Labyrinthe; Top Right: Luke Aaron, Ty Sinnett and Miguel de Bragança at Le Bal du Labyrinthe; Bottom Left: Gustavo Quiroga and Gina DeWolfe at Le Bal du Labyrinthe; Bottom Middle: Catheline van den Branden at Le Bal du Labyrinthe; Bottom Right: Olivia Ives-Flores, Gina DeWolfe and Dillon Bussat Le Bal du Labyrinthe)

The only thing missing was the Minotaur at the French Cultural Center’s Bal du Labyrinthe, which transformed the three-story Back Bay townhouse into a sexy, mazelike party space with a surprise at every turn and a bar in every corner.

Francophiles, Francophones and a handful of genuine French folk put on playful black-tie attire to dance the night away to Paris DJ Paul Beri and NYC DJ Tchotchke.

Recognizable amid the swirl: the Pepsodent-bright Julia Brasor, smooth operator Gustavo Quiroga, femme fatale Gina DeWolfe, ski buddies Rob Bagshaw and Jeff Merselis, art connoisseur Anna Bursaux, helicopter enthusiast Christian Bailey, child fashion prodigy Luke Aaron, Beacon Hill chatelaine Suzanne Eliastam and painter extraordinaire Jordan Piantedosi, doing the most elaborate tattoos in the most unmentionable of places.

“It’s a vodka emergency!” was actually said without irony, and each room had its own Daedalus-like touches—from a schoolmarmish woman asking ridiculously obscure riddles to projections riffing on Greek myths. Because the French have good make-out music, there’s little doubt that the shadowy library stacks and a broom closet or two were used for a bit of canoodling, and regardless of what language was being spoken, everything sounded utterly charmante.

However, the best proof that it was an epic evening was the late-night arrival of Boston’s finest, who expressed some concern over the floors being able to handle the dancing. In other words, the French know how to party.

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