BEST CHANNELING OF JACKIE GLEASON

Buster Poindexter at the Jackie Gleason Theater

If you're going to channel the big man, and in his old headquarters no less, be sure to go all the way. Which is just what David Johansen did, sifting through his many onstage guises -- from the folk of his current outfit the Harry Smiths to the glam punk of his fabled early-Seventies New York Dolls -- to resurrect Buster Poindexter, a loving sendup of the Rat Pack crooners that resulted in his fluke 1987 hit "Hot Hot Hot." So, tossing his scarf jauntily over his shoulder, and with a highball raised, ol' Buster led his eminently swinging twelve-piece band through a spirited set. There were brilliantly corny monologues and a downright touching lament for the now-vanished seediness of South Beach: "They don't smoke/They don't drink/They turned this town into a mall and I don't know what to think!" The crowning moment: a conga line that circled the Jackie Gleason, capping a night that would've made the Honeymooner proud.

 
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