6 degrees of torture

News Hits made a rare but fashionable appearance (a corset and pink polyester were involved) at the annual Fash Bash fund-raiser for the Detroit Institute of Arts, and all we have to say is: a) Where was the fashion among the attendees? and b) What the heck was up with the music? We expected to be wowed by Detroit-area fashionistas, but instead the crowd of several hundred had the ambience of trust-fund suburbanites out for dinner and a ballroom dance. Put on for 33 years by Founders Junior Council, this year’s gala was dubbed “Rock the Runway” and was produced by Karin Bacon Events. From what we can tell, Karin, sister of actor/musician Kevin Bacon, apparently puts on events so that Kev and brother Michael can get a gig. Otherwise, they’d be limited to charity shows at prisons and small-town churches. The need for Karin’s nepotistic assistance was obvious as soon as the Bacon boys took the stage. After enduring a 15-piece cover band (with a screeching horn player), we were downright horrified in our Fox Theatre seats as the ubiquitous actor and his brother tortured traditional country music. Kevin has, unfortunately, lost his Footloose style and instead danced like a chicken with white man’s overbite while singing corny renditions of Nashville tunes. The sad part is that we’ll never again be able to watch the Kevster onscreen without flashbacks of his performance piercing our brain. It gave us Tremors. Aside from Bacon’s Revenge, at least half the 90-minute show saw a group of dancers that may have been Birmingham High cheerleaders (our apologies in advance to the real BHS cheerleaders, who undoubtedly are proficient, and the Fash Bash troupe, who obviously were the victims of bad choreography). At one point the all-white dancing group, dressed in virginal white garb, twirled red and blue ribbons as “Born in the U.S.A.” blasted to a video montage of patriotic images. Flags were involved. Vodka tonics were needed to revive senses from the Twilight Zone experience. To break the entertainment insanity, Detroit techno star Derrick May was afforded a short moment of stage time — the Bacons must not like competition. Luckily, with patience, the musicians moved off stage and all was well again in the world. The models — who gracefully pulled off runway struts to Bruce Springsteen for a short moment — were spectacular. Some even smiled. It was Paris juxtaposed with rural Louisiana in the heart of Motown. The exquisite DIA deserves all the support the public can muster (museum director Graham Beal reminded the audience the museum boasts one of the finest collections in America, a fact little known in Michigan, and relies on fundraisers like the F.B.). If we’d had to pay for our tickets (an angelic biker delivered ours), we’d be pretty pissed.

Lisa M. Collins is a Metro Times staff writer. E-mail [email protected]
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