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Style guru Jimmy Janowski sizes up the 25th Annual Artie Awards

Meet the Best Dressed

This is my credo, “Never say ‘no’ to any award,” no matter how silly or senseless it may seem. That seems like a no-brainer, sort of like when the waitress asks you “Do you want whipped cream on that pie?” Of course! Somebody wants to give you recognition? Take it! At my day job, the Hyatt Regency Hotel, I once won an award titled “Best Smile / Front of the House”; “Front of the House,” not even the whole hotel! That certificate, (Yes, a certificate; a piece of paper with my name on it, not even a full blown award), sits on my treasure shelf along with my ARTIES and my BEST OF ARTVOICE plaques. (I have several of those from the kind readers of ARTVOICE, who have voted me BEST DRAG PERFORMER two years in a row; much to the chagrin of my arch nemesis CHEVON DAVIS!) What part of “Restraining Order” do you not understand, Chevon?

Which brings me to this year’s crop of awards, the 25th ANNUAL ARTVOICE ARTIE AWARDS for excellence in the Buffalo theater. This year the ceremony was held at 710 Main Street, the former Studio Arena Theatre. What a novel idea to celebrate the best of theater in a celebrated theater! I, myself, am quite familiar with 710 Main, dear readers. After all, it was on that very stage I triumphed in a little show called Sheer Madness. I vividly remember a particularly trying matinee during that show’s historically long run when I mysteriously came down with a nasty case of “food poisoning” and was burning up with a fever of 102 degrees. If it had not been for the quick thinking of my co-star, Miss Jeanne Cairns, who had the foresight to immerse my naked body in a tub of ice, I may have perished, and my understudy, a then unknown Chevon Davis would have gone on in my stead.

Hey, wait a minute!

But I digress. I’m here to talk about fashion. I am often asked, “Jimmy, how can I be on the best-dressed list?” In a word—“payola”—$20 goes a long way for someone whose day job is front desk agent at a hotel.

So without further ado, here is my list of those lovely ladies who graced the red carpet and who may or may not have tipped me!

click on any image to enlarge:

#10Kerrykate Abel kicked off the Silver Anniversary Artie red carpet in an OH-SO appropriate silver sequined cape ensemble.

#9 – No money needed to cross palms in the case of my “DIVA” buddy Bebe Bvulgari encrusted in gold sequins. (I owe her too much already!)

#8 – It’s a long climb to reach The Valley of the Dolls. A perennial on this best dressed list, the enchanting Debbie Pappas wears a vintage silver and black lounging pajama with matching silver gloves. She won the Artie for her role in She Loves Me; all I can say is “I LOVE HER!”

#7 – Recipient of this year’s Katharine Cornell Award, Rebecca Elkin-Young heated things up on this cool evening in a form-fitting, lizard print mini.

#6Annette Christian, outstanding actress in a musical nominee for Gee’s Bend was ravishing in this one-shoulder red chiffon with rhinestone trim.

#5 – Soon to be seen as Queenie in Second Generation’s The Wild Party, Arianne Davidow dazzles in a muted purple chiffon and lace Grecian gown.

#4 – Here’s a surefire way to get on the best-dressed list! Make your dress out of Artvoices! But only Amy Jakiel could make them look this beautiful.

#3Edith Grossman described this caviar bead encrusted grey chiffon as an homage to Marilyn Monroe; I couldn’t agree more!

#2Amelia Scinta of Shakespeare in the Park was scinta–lating—(did you see how I did that, wasn’t that clever?)—in a sea green beaded mermaid dress.

#1The Drowsy Chaperone’s Diane DiBernardo Blenk takes top honors this year in this incredible black and ivory gown with a train that rivaled Maria Von Trapp’s in The Sound of Music!

And there you have it, dear friends; until next year, I’ll see you at the theater!