By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Two slags dominate The Beauty Queen of Leenane, which, it turns out, is a creakily written feckin' mishmosh that, if it starred Brett Butler and Roseanne, would be a half-hour long and brightened by Rejuvex commercials. Sitcomy doings with a urine pan lead to potboiler revelations ("It's true--I was in a home!"), and the big drama when I saw it was that, as the characters railed on about what a shit JFK was to his women, we all realized that Lee Radziwill was in the audience.
Some riveting points of the week: The sickest Web site around is doodie.com (don't ask, just go there). The most bittersweet irony is that, after all that closet-busting, Ellen DeGeneres's next gig--a guest spot on Mad About You--has her playing second fiddle to Helen Hunt! The best gossip is that Leonardo DiCaprio actually got that shiner at Shine when a fight ensued after someone called him "Boat Boy." And the fiercest club night was Fraggle Rock, where the incredibly charismatic Thea, backed by fellow Lunachicks, plus members of BETTY and Luscious Jackson, performed a tribute to Blondie that was so on-target, Deborah Harry later told them, "I might have to take you on the road with me."
Oh, and my most interesting call came from singer Daniel Cartier, countering my insinuations that he's only broached the love that dares not speak its name in the gay press. (Turns out he didn't dis me last time; the message I'd left him was at an old number.) Said Cartier, "If it came across that way, I apologize. But to be honest, there wasn't that much straight press done on me. And I don't have any problem with the fact that I'm gay. It's no secret. I've dated half New York!" He's even gone to those tufted areas. As for a Time Out New York incident--the mag wanted to put Cartier in the gay section, but he insisted on the music section, so they just didn't do him--Cartier said, "There's nothing insulting about being gay, it's just that first and foremost, I'm a musician. I want my music to be for everybody. I felt it was dismissive of the music editor." That editor, Gail O'Hara, told me in response, "It's true, we didn't want to cover Cartier in the music section--because we hate him." Now, kids!
Finally, Edith Head--we love her--still gave good costume at a benefit/"retrospectacular" at the Cipriani Hotel, where everyone had their Heads on straight. The gala event was highlighted by a long, immensely detailed show replete with film clips, production numbers, movie star testimonials, and an Internet auction of Janet Leigh's novel and the dog bowl from As Good as It Gets. Don't get me started on that dog's sexuality issues.