By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
But first more parties. There was a Champagne Fantasy and Masquerade Ball to launch Visionaire's Fantasy issue, and people actually dressed (as opposed to undressed) for the theme, though it turned out that a few folks whose wonderful masks I gushed over weren't wearing any. Sandra Bernhard was there sporting the mask of a calm, nice lady: her Broadway success seems to have taken the "Damn It" out of her"I'm Still Here." The location something called the New York Service Center had its own little guise revealed when we all remembered that the place used to be Covenant House, where Father Ritter wreaked havoc on all that vulnerable chicken. It should be a KFC by now.
Rather than visit one of those George Michael-type service centers, I left my toys in the dungeon and went for some class, catching This Joint Is Jumpin' at the Supper Club and not once going to the loo, even to pee. Joint is a lively swing revue with Broadway babies Vivian Reed and Kevin Ramsey singing and dancing their tochises off to big-band tunes. The short, sweet diversion makes your big, juicy steak go down so easily that you don't even have to fakea heart attack to get some attention.
And the joint was jumpin' when HBO screened Winchell at the Museum of Television & Radio, the main attacks being on the celebrity culture Walter Winchell is now credited for having begat. In fact, every gossip columnist in the world showed up to bemoan the fact that there are too many gossips in the world! Among the highlights of the panel discussion held after the screening were Liz Smith sighing, "There are no more great stars"; Mike Wallace dissing the Times's gossip column, "Public Lives," as "the dullest" to audience member Abe Rosenthal, who didn't argue; and Winchell's ghostwriter improbably saying his boss was convinced that the famed Watergate Deep Throat was J. Edgar Hoover. A drag queen deep throat? I thought they were only on the highway. You know, outside.
Oh, while we're there, the police and fire vehicles were lined up outside the opening of Regine's new club, Rage gee, thanks, Giuliani but the frosty look Regine gave me on being introduced to me for the 800th time eliminated any chance of fire.