SAL PIRO: CHANGING OF THE GUARD AT
THE ICE PALACE
long time Entertainment Director of THE ICE PALACE, has been promoted by the
new ownership at the Grove Hotel/Ice Palace to the new General Manager,
replacing his long time friend Isaac Vaughn.
I first noticed Sal Piro hosting his interview show, at the foot of the Palace ramp at the Invasion, as
his alter ego “Dame Edith”, a persona he inhabited emceeing all the Palace
shows and the annual Miss Fire Island Contest. His enthusiasm is infectious,
his humor deprecatingly clever, yet basically so good natured he never offends
even when you know he is making fun of you.
Sal is not your usual glam, bewigged,
corseted and elaborately gowned drag queen. His ample frame swathed in a
shapeless muu muu,
“comfortable” shoes, ridiculous glasses and “casually” applied make-up, he is
more like your embarrassingly dressed but huggable
Yet when it comes to his many shows,
with a keen eye for irony, he has the finger on the pulse of what makes one
laugh, his community inside jokes even accessible to visitors.
Though extremely hard working and often
over worked I have never seen him lose his temper though I am sure he does get
angry. Far from effusive, a smile from Sal can feel like a benediction.
Whenever I review his shows I always stay for the best part, the cast after
party, when he generously gives each member a special award with some well
chosen comments. These are the best moments and the family atmosphere is
palpable… too bad he is giving up shows for the moment in light of his new
responsibilities. Far from saintly, Sal has his mischievous/lascivious private
side but I dare not go there. I am confident he will be great in his new job
and look forward to his inimitable touch on the forthcoming Palace proceedings.
Lieberman, editor and admirer
In his own words:
“I came to the Grove as a renter in
I got involved in the shows in 1987 when I got the role of the emcee of the
original GOLDEN GIRLS show and repeated that role in subsequent
productions in '89, '91 and '93
In '89 (because of GOLDEN GIRLS ) Bella asked me to be in one of her
shows..by the next year I
was helping her write and I directed her next 3-4
season finale shows at Ice Palace.
In ‘90..I entered Miss Fire Island as a lark (doing a campy version of VOGUE
as Mad Donna) ...and won the judges award
In '91, because of my work with Bella and the Miss Fire Island contest I was
hired as the
Entertainment Director of THE ICE PALACE. I continued to work there for next 17
years as entertainment director and expanding my duties as money manager,
payroll and billing.
While working at the Ice Palace I continued to be involved with The Arts
Project of Cherry Grove and wrote and directed 10 shows from '93-'06
(WHO KILLED ROSE LEVINE, PROM QUEENS GOT A GUN, PROS AND CONS, QUEEN FOR A DAY,
YOU GO GIRL, THE LAST DRAG SHOW, SOME LIKE IT HOLY, CLASS/REUNION, WAY OVERBOARD,
PANZI AND PHILOMENA MEET FRANKENSTEIN)
I also served 2 years as President of The Arts Project and 4 years as its
For the last 10 years I inherited the reigns of running the Annual
Volleyball game versus the cops (thanks to pioneers Amelia and Paul)
This year we have new ownership at the Grove Hotel/Ice Palace and I was
promoted by the owner as the new General Manager.
I am in the midst of planning a diverse and full season attempting to bring
back the Ice Palace as a premier party place. With the continued star power
of Bella and Ariel and the addition of Porsche three years ago..we have
established ourself as the primary place of
entertainment and now we would
like the Ice Palace to return as the premier place for dancing, theme
parties and big events.”
Sal & Isaac at In Town Party
– the Passing of the Guard
from his friends:
"We LOVE him!!!!! And wish him all
the best!!" Joyce Yeager
yes u can say that i love him dearly and im am grateful for his love and support and.."Don’t get me started, DON’T even get me started.."...Ariel
I am very happy for Sal. I have known
him for many years and all I can say is he is extremely talented and a hard worker. He
has worked for the Palace for a long time and is very deserving of this new
position. It is long overdue.
Good luck Sal.
All mature men...enter the portals of
"The Ice Palace" w/ caution!
Sal Piro brings something magical to the Ice Palace. Community minded, a spirit of
camaraderie among its people, he tries to keep peace among everybody. He took a
back seat for many years, now he’s in the driver’s seat. I feel some nice
changes coming: lots of promotions, DJ’s, parties.
Let the sparkle and magic begin
Matt Rosenblum "Portraits by Gimmi Hoffa".
Don't ya just luv "huh" (her).