The Shmooze

"Vogue" Bar Mitzvah Boy Recreates Dance

By Andrea Palatnik

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Remember Shaun Sperling, the 33-year-old lawyer who performed “Vogue” at his bar mitzvah? Sperling became a hit when a video of the event went viral in August. The memorable performance begins when Sperling, still dressed in the slightly oversized gray suit and formal black shoes worn during the synagogue ceremony, enters the Madonna-themed party accompanied by loud hurrahs and takes off his jacket to reveal a white shirt decorated with Madonna’s visage on the back.

Twenty years later, the video — which has had over a million views on YouTube — was recreated as part of a fundraising campaign for an organization that helps homeless LGBT youth in the city. Only this time, the now grown-up bar-mitzvah boy was wearing tight jeans and a tank top underneath his Madonna-decorated white shirt (not the original one) and was accompanied on stage by a couple of sweaty semi-nude go-go boys.

Sperling has been interviewed by Jimmy Kimmel, the Today Show and the Huffington Post, and will be performing on Ellen Degeneres’s talk show later this month.

Speaking to Jimmy Kimmel via Skype about his original performance, staged in 1992, Sperling said that his parents were “on board right away” with the idea of having a Madonna-themed bar mitzvah. “They said: ‘If that’s what you’re really into, go for it,’” recalled Sperling, who said he would rehearse the moves everyday after school with his sister. He also told Kimmel that the presentation was a surprise to guests — who left his party with a souvenir t-shirt that said “I Vogued With Shaun at Shaun’s Bar Mitzvah.”

Sperling said he came out two years after his bar mitzvah, and his parents and closer relatives were shocked with the news, said Sperling — “they really were clueless.”


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