Madonna and Studio 54 Doorman Featured in Upcoming NYC Nightlife Book

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Upcoming book on NYC nightlife -- "Confessions from the Velvet Ropes: The Glamorous, Grueling Life of Thomas Onorato, New York's Top Club Doorman" by Glenn Belverio (St. Martin's Press) -- features story about Madonna and a profile of the original doorman from Studio 54, Marc Benecke.

It was announced this week that Madonna will be recreating hedonistic scenes from the notorious New York nightclub, Studio 54, in a stage set for her upcoming tour.

This is not her first connection to the legendary discothèque. In 1983, Madonna performed at Studio 54 at a party for the Italian fashion house, Fiorucci. Surveying the dancefloor with budding actor David Alan Grier, Ms. Ciccone remarked: “You and me are going to be big stars, baby, and leave these other suckers in the dust.”

This summer, in the midst of Madonna’s tour, St. Martin’s Press will release "Confessions from the Velvet Ropes: The Glamorous, Grueling Life of Thomas Onorato, New York’s Top Club Doorman" by Glenn Belverio. Among the book’s collection of wild and entertaining tales is the story of the night Madonna made a surprise DJ appearance at the exclusive NY hipster club, MisShapes.

“I was a bit uncomfortable referring to Madonna as ‘Madonna’,” says Onorato, the doorman to the red-hot club. “But I found out that night, to my relief, that her friends just refer to her as ‘M’. I was raised Catholic so calling her Madonna just made me feel really guilty in that bad way, like when your mom catches you masturbating.”

"Confessions from the Velvet Ropes" also features an exclusive interview with Studio 54’s original—and elusive—guardian of the velvet ropes, Marc Benecke. In the book, Benecke debunks some of the famous club’s most notorious myths. Did Benecke really deny Cher entrance to the club? Did a man really die when he tried to sneak into the club by sliding down an airshaft? Benecke sets the record straight on these eternal gossip tidbits and more.

“The synergistic spectacle of Madonna and Studio 54 is exactly what the culture needs right now,” says Confessions author, Glenn Belverio. “Many of the kids who go out to clubs today are hungry for details about nightlife’s history—and who better to give them a lesson in nightclubbing than Madonna?”

"Confessions from the Velvet Ropes"—which will be released on July 11th—features other moments from NY’s club and fashion scenes, such as the night Adrien Brody’s birthday party was bombarded with eggs by irate neighbors and the near-riots and threats of violence at a Kimora Lee Simmons’ fashion show.

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Gregg Sullivan

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