By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
Also Love-less at the same bash were four dudes dressed as Kiss, one of whom was alleged to be Leonardo DiCaprio, so everyone was nice to him in case he really was. The fact that the guy posed for photographers made one wonder about his stellar identity, but when he said stuff like "Serve me a drink, wench" to a publicist, it tipped the scales the other way. Yep, it was Leo.
The drinks leaned toward soda pop at the "grand reopening" of Limelight an HX magazine party that was a mild Sunday-night exercise in recreational restraint. Talk about your sobering experiences. The music was medium-loud, the crowd medium-large, the drag queens medium-lively, and the lights bright enough to see that there wasn't anyone up to no good. Clearly, this is a place where you can't do drugs you have to swallow them all before you get there. Not that everyone was following the Letitia Baldridge guidebook, mind you. In the lounge area, a chained slave was sucking on the digits of his master he was obviously not a size queen but after about an hour of that, management stopped them, looking almost as reluctant as those talk-show bouncers. How embarrassing not for the slave, but for all of us who'd been gathered around, watching.
The club's updated layout is sort of like Jocelyne Wildenstein's new face not better or worse, just different. All the rooms weren't available, but what I saw was less churchy and more arty, and though it seemed a little minimal and blah-ish, it's not fair to judge yet, as the place is still reaching for a new identity so much so that they've been using Tunnel drink tickets! For soda pop!
Fairly bursting with Coke, I went home and stole a peek at a tape of Scandalous Me, the Jacqueline Susann story due on the USA Network in December, which I knew would provide just the juice I'd been missing. The biopic is way too coded with the lesbian stuff, but it's bouncily entertaining anyway, with Michele Lee giving a performance she's obviously rehearsed since she bought the rights 100 years ago. Among the gossip highlights, there's Ethel Merman yelling at Irving Mansfield, "Get your crazy dyke wife offa me!"; Barbara Parkins as a book agent running around the Valley of the Dolls set saying, "Where is Barbara Parkins?"; and Jackie yelling at God, "You owe me, you son of a bitch!"
God still owed us when Deepak Chopra had a record-release party for his all-star spiritual romp A Gift of Love (inspired by the love poems of Rumi, of course) at Zona, that Soho boutique filled with rich people getting a New Age bona. The place was crammed with media folks waiting in vain for the promised celebs, who turned out to be as elusive as Vishnu. As consolation, there were buffet tables of walnuts and hummus, with pitas instead of utensils. And for inspiration, there was a tapestry on the wall saying, "When we are flat on our backs, the only way to look is up." I looked up, but there were no utensils or celebs there either.
I asked Deepak if the stars on the record Madonna, Demi Moore, and everyone else from Goldie Hawn to Rosa Parks are his disciples. "I don't believe in that concept," he said. "They're all my friends." Well, my friend, will your record sell more than Garth Brooks's? I asked, adorably. "Maybe," he said, grinning. "It's in the field of infinite possibilities." Is it in that same very large field that Deepak really just helped troubled programming execs over at NBC, as reports had it? "Yes, I gave a talk to them," he admitted. "That's all I'll say." Even if his lecture consisted only of "Cancel Encore! Encore! now!," it was ecologically sound.
Just then, a wacky publicist yelled at me, "Don't be vicious!" and Deepak who's clearly not as omniscient as he thinks said, "Oh, he's fine." But suddenly the guy had to run off to make a call, and I found it endearing that he not only didn't have a cell phone, but he couldn't reach someone merely by vibes. He was probably calling CBS. While the rest of us kept waiting for those celebs, I nabbed some more hummus and a pretty good item: Next year, the fabulous Raquel Welch will marry the noticeably younger Richie Palmer, an ex-boyfriend of Cathy Moriarty, with whom Raquel will be partners in an eatery called Richie's Neighborhood Pizza. I guess it's time the tomato turned over some sauce.
In the be-careful-what-you-wish-for department insert a sample of some old Diana Ross song here Sean "Puffy" Combs's birthday party last week promised lots of celebrities, but about as much spiritual nirvana as that lugubrious piece of torture, Meet Joe Black. In fact, it was the most hideously disorganized event in the field of infinite possibilities, though the experience had started promisingly enough when I received a video invite, instead of the usual banal fax, the week before. Alas, the video turned out to feature dozens of nuisances (Pauly Shore), beholden stars (Mariah Carey reclining in a sultry pose to show us once again how very sexy she is), and indeterminate models and Scores dancer types bending over backwards to puff Puffy in unfunny ways that made one happy to be marginal enough not to have been included.
Naturally, I wanted to go anyway, but the video didn't say where the party was probably the lower rings of hell only who to call. I rang them on a phone, not by vibes and they eventually called back to ask where to send my tickets. "The same place you sent the [stupid] video!" I replied. I never got the tickets. I called again. They didn't call back. I called the auxiliary publicist. They didn't call back. My mind started sampling Sex Pistols tunes. I had to go to The Waterboy party instead! How sad for mankind that I never got to wish Puffy a happy fucking birthday any more than I was able to celebrate his restaurant opening last year. (At that overcrowded mess, press were welcomed back to the sidewalk). Now that he's a year older, I hope the misbegotten doofus don't be vicious starts to look, well, puffy. Sample this!