Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Buffem & Rittale Buffet on the Bay

If you've read the recent write-up of Sunday Morning Mimosa in the NY Daily News, then you already know that this hilarious duo of men in zebra print skirts and fuschia pumps are not exactly drag (the etymology of which may be slang for "DRessed As a Girl"), but rather a little more chic (Comedians Hidden In Costume).  Though Travis Barr and Steven Incammicia (the wigged comics) harbor a genuine respect for New York's colorful array of unquestionably gifted female impersonators, Anita M. Buffem and Gina Marie Rittale (their feminine alter egos) resonate much more as a modern day Bosom Buddies or Mrs. Doubtfire than RuPaul.  These two aunts from Astoria have deeply developed personas with detailed back stories (often involving several unseen secondary characters).

The Sunday Morning Mimosa team even occasionally features Gina Marie's daughter, Tina Marie (played by an actual woman, Laura Gilreath), as well as their manager, Vinny (played by Joe Lisi).  Tossing each of these ingredients into the mix, the final product is something much closer to improv musical sketch comedy than cross-dressed cabaret or stand-up.  Scattered throughout the outrageous banter and sketches, Anita and Gina Marie perform fully choreographed renditions of pop hits (Lady GaGa, Britney Spears) as well as classic croonings with ridiculously re-worked lyrics certain to make you guffaw.

Though Sunday Morning Mimosa stars weekly in Astoria at Mix Cafe + Lounge hosting two hilarious shows during Sunday brunch, as well as bingo on Thursday nights (soon to move to Tuesdays), one of the best ways to meet these outlandish ladies of Queens is to tune-in to their podcast on iTunes.

Whether a current fan, or simply curious, you should treat yourself and a group of friends to their upcoming "On the Bay Buffet Spectacular," where they've worked out an entirely new show set in the absolutely breathtaking Lombardi's on the Bay (sister restaurant of renowned Long Island cornerstone, Mamma Lombardi's).  Following just a short train ride into Long Island, $40 gets you admission to the show, along with an Italian buffet.

I recently had the honor of accompanying Sunday Morning Mimosa star, Travis Barr, to sample the menu and check out Anita M. Buffem's celebrity crib.

After convincing him that perhaps a B.L.T. wasn't the most authentic choice at this Long Island Italian establishment, Travis was all smiles as he enjoyed Mamma's Rigatoni with Meatballs and Ricotta.

We shared an absolutely fantastic dish of mushroom caps stuffed with crabmeat and gorgonzola.

I dove into one of their specials: homemade cavatelli in a sundried tomato cream sauce, with scrumptious jumbo lumps of lobster meat.  Out-of-this-world.

After ridiculous portions of delicious pastas, fantastic conversation with the outrageously talented and hysterical Travis Barr (every bit as sweet out of costume as he is hilarious as Anita), we took a detour to the room where Sunday Morning Mimosa will be hosting their Buffet Spectacular... a gorgeous hall simply fit for a queen.

Tickets for SMM's shows tend to sell-out quickly, so be sure to call soon for your reservation.  Having the joy of witnessing these brilliantly talented men both on and off stage, I could not more wholeheartedly recommend an evening filled with great food, side-splitting laughter, and what surely is one of the most breathtaking dining settings in all of New York.

Call (631) 654-8970 to reserve your seat today for Friday, April 30th at 8pm!

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