On Monday Chiara broke the news that Derek and Daniel Koch were bringing their raucous, Euro-friendly Day & Night brunches to the once-staid Oak Room at the Plaza. Last night, Lady Gaga dropped by the iconic restaurant and bar for a surprise performance. Forgive me, really, but is the Oak Room the new 1Oak?
Yup, that creature pictured left is Gaga. Just doing her thing, dressed as some supremely unsettling Amanda Lepore-Chewbacca hybrid, revisiting her modest cabaret roots. But in the Oak Room! Those musty walls haven't seen this kind of action since Al Pacino dropped some memorable "pearls' on Chris O'Donnell in Scent of a Woman.
Gaga's is the latest, and biggest, instance of a pop superstar "dropping in" on unsuspecting crowds at New York's posher watering holes. There was Kanye West mounting the bar at Boom Boom Room during Fashion Week. And, though it was less spontaneous (or more honest about being completely planned), Courtney Love straddling a mic stand and God knows what else at Don Hill's, also during Fashion Week. (Love happened to cover Gaga, driving scores of babydoll dress-wearing Hole aficionados to stomp their Doc Martens in anger.)
Are these all manufactured spectacles featuring commercial, arguably over the hill musicians? Probably. But as kooky as Gaga wants you to believe she is, you can't expect her to pull off G.G. Allin-style antics. At this point, any reincorporation of culture, however diluted, into Manhattan nightlife is welcome. Even if Gaga's 100 spectators last night were treated to a measly three songs.