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Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Sunday, 11 October 2009, 11 pm until,
M2, 540 West 28th Street, New York City

As the song from Chicago has it, “The name on everybody’s lips is…Ana Paula.” Ever since her North American debut a year ago, the Brazilian bombshell has been rocketing through the nightlife galaxy, igniting dance floors from Montreal to Miami, New York and Toronto—and her M2 debut in Manhattan was no exception.

On an autumn holiday weekend when the boyz were scattered everywhere, marching in D.C. for the Equality March, and in Philly for Blue Ball, and in New York for Hustlaball, as well as Trippin’ on the Moon, and in Lauderdale for Alegria, and in Montreal for Black and Blue, you might have imagined that finding a nexus of terpsichorean heat would be near impossible—and yet as nightlife heir presumptive King Ralphy put it, “WORK is my favorite party—so I always rest up the night before—to WORK it out.”

You gotta love gay youth. They get on buses early Sunday morning and march on Washington—250,000 strong—and then race back into town to play all night long. Holiday weekend! No school on Monday! Or as Ana Paula put it, “I Believe (That Loves Sets You Free).” Freedom was the sub-text of the weekend: the freedom to be who you are and march for your rights—and Paula’s set perfectly captured that visionary spirit. With her all-encompassing embrace of house music and its multifarious variants, Paula created a big room, Brazilian galloping sound with tracks such as “Get Your Hands Up,” “Sunsation,” “I Let You In (On a Secret),” that climaxed repeatedly—and definitively with her remix of songstress Maya’s latest, “Hook Up,” which sent the boyz into delirious abandon.

Boyz scampered and frolicked around the club like Disney animals on the forest floor in Bambi. Frisky funny bunny boyz, they were all over fun tracks such as “Let Me See Your Underwear” with its insistent lyric “I wanna see what’s under there.” Seen having fun with their bums bared and arms in the air were the likes of Chris and Eddie and Jojo, and sweeter-than-he-has-a-right-to-be Jason Preston with King Ralphy, and Joe Carolina, and Vito Fun, and South Beach SCORE owner and dreamboat Luis Morera, and Franco Aviance, and Pat, and South Beach superstud Michael, and Charles Ignacio, and the unfailingly polite Nima, and Michael Circuit Dancer 2.0, and no less than a dozen of New York’s hottest go-go boyz, courtesy of Herr Rauhofer, who took over the tables to “It’s Ovah,” before working in Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi,” which certainly has to the anthem of the age, given youth’s penchant for ongoing and never-ending visual exposure—in its myriad forms.

Thereafter, it was all about “Set Me Free”—Peter’s way. This was a man who knew exactly “What You Need, What You Want”—and sent it out to a floor packed with celebutantes, rentboyz, activists, and a boodle of heart-stopping South American beauties. This was Rauhofer unstoppable, layering down grooves that kept his go-go gods grinding and grinning to “I Give You My Body”—and wonderfully evocative of a memorably addictive set that Rauhofer played in Montreal at Main Event a few years ago at Black and Blue.

With M2 UltraLounge looking better than ever, thanks to cascades of curtains and fabric scrims, and new speakers, and a new ancillary mezzanine like the prow of a ship, the club proved the perfect setting for this latest incarnation of WORK.

Everyone loves WORK when it’s this much fun.
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