As part of a fundraiser auction for the Provincetown Film Society, John Waters is donating a dinner party for 10 that he’s hosting at the Provincetown water treatment plant. Collage courtesy of Provincetown Film Society. John Waters photo by Greg Gorman.

For those who missed the chance to win a date with writer and filmmaker John Waters over the last two years, another opportunity is coming up.

After leading a tour of sex haunts in Provincetown in 2021, and cooking up a “Dinner at the Dump” last summer, Waters is back with a “Soiree at the Sewer” in 2023.

That’s the title of a dinner party for 10 that he’s hosting in the Cape Cod beach town where he’s spent every summer since 1964.

The soiree is the latest in a series of unconventional auction items that Waters has donated to raise funds for the Provincetown Film Society, producer of the Provincetown International Film Festival and other activities.

The setting will be Provincetown’s water treatment plant, which is connected to the town’s sewer system. The facility was in the news last summer when its “vacuum system” failed just before Carnival Week and people were told to keep toilet flushes to a minimum until the “sewer emergency” was over.

“Join John Waters for Soiree at the Sewer,” the auction item reads. “No Emergency This Time – Just a Cesspool Celebration…There’s nothing regular about it!”

The online auction went live on Feb. 4 with more than 100 items up for bid, including gifts, experiences and getaways, and it ends at 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 12. All proceeds will benefit the film society.

Ten of the lots in the auction entitle the winning bidder to join Waters at the dinner, which will take place in mid-July. Each lot is for one guest, and people must be 21 or older to bid.

The feast will be prepared by Jake Hetnarski, former chef at the New York restaurant Prune, now creator of the Sweet Somethings Supper Club. Hetnarski also prepared last year’s Dinner at the Dump, described as a “dumpster dive meal” with food from local markets served on “custom damaged plates” from artist John Derian, alongside “dead flower arrangements” from Garden Renovations Nursery of Provincetown.  

On the menu this year, according to the auction listing: “Log-jam Appetizers, Elimination Entrees and Mudslide Desserts.”

The suggested dress code: Clothing in shades of “Mellow Yellow” or “Flush-it-down Brown.”

Bidding for the dinner started at $1,000. If two or more people want to go together, they’ll each have to be the top bidder for a seat. The soiree’s exact date will be determined once the winning bidders are identified.

Started in 1999, the Provincetown Film Society is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to showcasing new achievements in independent film and honoring the work of emerging as well as acclaimed directors, producers and actors. Known for its strong support of LGBTQ filmmakers and their work, it has three primary activities: producing the annual film festival (June 14 to 19 this year); running a year-round theater operation, the Water’s Edge Cinema; and overseeing the Gabrielle A. Hanna Provincetown Film Institute for film and media artist residencies and conferences.

Other auction items include: two nights in a medieval Italian monastery; an apartment for a week in the Italian village of Umbertide; a three-night stay in Quebec; a photo safari to South Africa; a birdwatching tour for two at Race Point on Cape Cod; vacation rentals in Provincetown and New York City; a pickleball clinic for four; a custom voice mail message by actress Kathleen Turner; and souvenirs, dinners and gift certificates to various Provincetown shops, restaurants and services.

Another John Waters book signing at Atomic Books

Fans of John Waters wait in line for a book signing at Atomic Books last year for Waters’ first novel, “Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance.” Photo by Ed Gunts.

Another sort of date with Waters comes up in May.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux has set May 2 as the publication date for the paperback version of Waters’ 2022 novel, “Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance,” and that will trigger a four-city book tour for the author, with stops in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Baltimore.

Waters’ Baltimore appearance will be on Friday, May 12, at Atomic Books, 3620 Falls Road in Hampden, where he’ll greet fans and sign books starting at 7 p.m. If past signings are any indication, the line to meet Waters will likely start forming long before that.

“Liarmouth,” Waters’ first novel, is a story about a woman who steals suitcases at the airport.

Last fall, Waters confirmed that Village Roadshow Pictures has optioned the book and that he’ll write and direct the film. If it moves ahead, it will be his first feature since “A Dirty Shame” in 2004.

Waters told an audience at Baltimore Soundstage last week that he just started writing the film adaptation and that’s it’s too early to say who will be in the cast or when it will be filmed or released.

A poster for the 2023 Ocean City Film Festival. Image courtesy of Artwork designed by Ian Postley

Coming to Ocean City

Waters continues to book dates for spoken-word shows that he performs around the country, including appearances in New York City (City Winery, Feb. 19); Buffalo (Asbury Hall, Feb. 16); and Atlanta (Variety Playhouse, Feb. 8). He’ll perform a Valentine’s Day-themed show, “A Date with John Waters – End of the World,” at Baltimore Soundstage, 124 Market Place, on February 14 (Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.)

On March 4 at 8 p.m., he’ll be at the Ocean Downs Casino, 10218 Racetrack Road in Berlin, Maryland. Waters is appearing while the Seventh Annual Ocean City Film Festival is underway, March 2 to 5; the ticket price for his show includes $10 “free play” at the casino.)

Waters also was just announced as a participant in the Rancho Mirage Writers Festival in 2024.

Cameo appearance in ‘Boomslang 3: Your Future’

For those who can’t wait for “Liarmouth” the movie, Waters makes a cameo appearance in a short film called “Boomslang 3: Your Future.”  He plays Franck Boomslang, the father of a serial killer named Erik Boomslang, in the nearly 10-minute film, part of a series. Waters filmed his role on a cell phone from his living room in Baltimore.

“Portrait of John Waters” (2022) by Catherine Opie. Image courtesy of Catherine Opie.

Here’s the entire film, which has been screened at film festivals in Los Angeles, London, New York and Tokyo:

Promoting the Baltimore Museum of Art on CBS

In late January, Waters was interviewed at the Baltimore Museum of Art for a segment that will run on the CBS News Sunday Morning program with Jane Pauley.

The interview is pegged to the museum’s exhibit of some of the art that Waters, a trustee, is donating when he dies, entitled “Coming Attractions: The John Waters Collection.” The segment is expected to run sometime in February or March. The exhibit will be up until April 16.

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Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.

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