April 25, 2008

In the mid-1990s, a New York City nightclub owner Don Hill decided to hold a weekly “gay night.” He hired a party planner who vowed to create an event that included everything he liked and nothing he didn’t, and they called the result SqueezeBox! (yes, the exclamation point is part of the name).

The Friday night SqueezeBox! parties offered uncensored, uninhibited entertainment and attracted a regular audience of drag queens, rock & rollers and celebrities. After several years, the parties had run their course.

The last SqueezeBox! event, a gala farewell party, was held on May 18, 2001, and filmmakers almost immediately began working on a documentary. Last night, the movie that was seven years in the making was shown as part of the Tribeca Film Festival.

Some of the SqueezeBox! regulars showed up in full party regalia and, for a few moments, the lobby and street outside the theater were transformed into the site of an impromptu drag performance, fashion show and family reunion.

The filmmakers onstage

Screening attendees

Attendee in the lobby

Jayne Country at the screening

In front of a Tribeca Film Festival banner

Jim Wallerstein and Bebe Buell

On the street in front of the theater

Film attendee in the street

Tribeca Film Festival: SqueezeBox!
Don Hill’s SqueezeBox Party
MySpace: SqueezeBox The Movie
MySpace: Squeeze Box

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