Ryan Duncan’s monthly Pink Sock party at the Wonderland Ballroom had already seen its share of over-the-top antics by the time that last Wednesday came along. A mock stripper wedding, smeared Denty Moore stew on the dance floor, Japanese game shows, chocolate-covered frat boys, and a church choir have been just some of the vehicles that he has employed to entertain the crowds at his underground gay party the third Wednesday of every month. Yet, the party pushed past itself once more with a Tron (3-D) inspired event titled WORK (9-5).
Duncan and his fans celebrated the 65th birthday of country legend Dolly Parton by mashing her music up with remixes of Daft Punk and RuPaul. With the lights cut off, the packed upstairs room of Wonderland glowed under the deep hue of hundreds of blue-and-white glow sticks suspended from the ceiling, while a double-than-lifesize portrait of Parton herself was displayed with glowing “laser tits” as Duncan described her best-known assets, which pulsed with pale-blue light.
“It’s just a little bitty pissant country place, nothing much to see…just lots of good will, and maybe one small thrill, but there ain’t nothing dirty going on.”
– Dolly Parton (“Little Bitty Pissant Country Place” – Best Little Whorehouse in Texas)
BYT’s Bradley and Andrew Bucket joined Duncan in the DJ booth to remix country classics, electronica, and diva numbers into a grid of good times. The highlight of the night came as performance artist Jason Barnes undressed a silver-clad robot to its tanned and muscular undercarriage while performing Dee D. Jackson’s 1978 song “Automatic Lover,” then merging it into Prince and the Revolution’s “Computer Blue.”
Later that night, a bearded Dolly Parton impersonator led the crowd in a raucus rendition of “9 to 5” followed by spontaneous and dead-on runway walk-offs between gangs of gay men and straight women to RuPaul’s “Supermodel (Of The World).” Even when Wonderland’s sound briefly broke down, the audience kept the music going by singing Dolly Parton’s classic “I Will Always Love You,” until the speakers soon began once again pumping Tron inspired dance hits.
Even without her, it was, perhaps, the best birthday party that Dolly Parton has ever had.