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Rachel Rosenthal Celebrates her 83rd Birthday with a Bang

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Last weekend Rachel Rosenthal celebrated her birthday with a wild and wacky shindig at Track 16. Dramatic and funny performances paid tribute to the popular artist and teacher, delicious Cake Diva cupcakes were passed by a sexy Marie Antoinette and an eccentric array of guests laughed as they drank little pink bottles of Bitch Bubbly.

The walls were hung with portraits of Rosenthal from the likes of Ed Moses and Robert Rauschenberg. There were also interesting dioramas and collages. The silent auction was a little slow, with $15,000 paintings going for between $500 dollars and $8,000. If only I had 500 dollars!

One of the best performances of the night was by "Ruby", Rachel's "twin sister" who resented all of the attention being paid to Rachel and lamented her own lonely birthday on operatic song. Another performance connected a vibraphone to an overhead projector, so that images on the wall changed in synch with the music.

The birthday cake was an out-of-control and colorful explosion of music, dance and theater. Marie Antoinette handed Rosenthal a long knife, and I stood up to get a picture of her cutting the cake. Instead Rosenthal did a sudden samurai dance with the long knife, coming perilously close. It would be just my luck to have my throat slit by Rachel Rosenthal while the entire audience applauded at the arterial spray, "So cutting edge! Brava!"