Joe Rigotti, 43
Fifth Ave between 52nd and 53rd Sts
Mon Feb 8 2010
Photograph: Lizz Kuehl
Where do you live? In a bad place.
Newark? No, Kentucky.
Oh. Wow. Yeah. I live in Covington, which is "the southern side of Cincinnati," as they like to call it. There's a bridge that connects it to the big city.
What do you do? I'm an event designer-producer.
I'd expect no less from someone dressed so festively. Yeah! It's a great job. People give me their money and I throw a party, bar mitzvah or wedding.
Bet you have a soft touch with the bridezillas. I do, I do. You know how a beautician or bartender is part therapist? I sometimes get that way with my clients.
How did you end up doing what you do? Well, I came to Cincinnati to go to the College-Conservatory of Music at UC as a musical-theater performer—
I should have guessed. Yeah, and it was a natural progression to produce events that have a very theatrical nature.
So your parties are your musical theater. Exactly. I love all musical theater.
All? All. Who doesn't love big singing-and-dancing numbers and tap dancing and sequined costumes?
I can come up with a few people. Shame on them! [Laughs] I know, most of my friends don't. I can't drag people to shows with me.But I love it.
And they let you get away with being this fabulous in Kentucky. Amen! I don't give them the opportunity to let me get away with it; I just do it.
More from Joe
"Hair is fantastic. Who doesn't love some naked people? They should get naked more often—it would bring more people to the theater. [Laughs]"
"I'm in love with the style of Tom Ford. Like, if I could be him, I would be him. I have great Roberto Cavalli things and Dolce & Gabbana.... But you can't just wear a look book. There's no style there."
"I have two kinds of personas: I love eclectic, colorful, unusual things, and I love really classic, tailored things. It depends on how I wake up in the morning. I also love me a good bargain. I've been to some beautiful fund-raisers where I've worn a Gucci jacket and some Wal-Mart pants. I mean, honestly. It's all about how you put it together."