By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
Sharon Stoneis a genius at cashing in on communal fears (like the fear that she'll make another movie). The moxie-laden one even recently managed to get publicity out of the Columbine incident by sending out a press release headed "Sharon Stone relinquishes her firearms to the Los Angeles police department." (Rosie O'Donnell probably helped her bring them there.) Announced saucy Stone in the statement, "One of the greatest things my father taught me was respect for my country and gratitude for the rights that we as Americans hold dear." And how to trot out a press advisory in the wake of a mass tragedy. The good news is that the world is definitely a safer place now. Sharon's hubby can breathe more easily, plus potential intruders will still stay away, since Sharon retains the scariest weapon of all the ability to bore people to death with viewings of Diabolique, Gloria, and any number of fruity flicks.
Here's a more compelling all-points bulletin: The lethal-tongued Margaret Cho is coming to Westbeth with a one-woman show, which will effectively shoot down my lifelong ambition to star in a sitcom (called I'm the Yutz). Marvy Margaret's stage romp, I'm the One That I Want, will mine her experiences as the star of All-American Girl, the big-break series that turned out to be what she alternately calls Saved by the Gong and "my journey to hell and back." Margaret will reveal that the disillusionment caused by the stinky program led her on a drug, alcohol, and low-self-esteem binge though now, of course, she's all cleaned up and says that's great "because I go to sleep instead of passing out, and when I work out, the sweat doesn't burn my eyes." That's Cho business.
My other favorite comic these days is the sobering Jackie Hoffman, a rubber-faced cross between Carol Burnett and Judy Kaye who just killed 'em at Eighty-Eight's (the Village cabaret that's slated to close, despite freakouts from the two-drink- minimum- worshipping regulars). Hoffman does the voice of Dilbert's mom on TV, played a squirrel at Lincoln Center, and starred in a recent stage spoof of Imitation of Life, but cabaret seems as much her true métier as press releases are Sharon Stone's. She promises 55 minutes of hate and delivers hilariously, with equal parts self-deprecation, venom, and urban Jewish angst. After an announcer says, "Kindly refrain from making fun of Jackie's ass," Hoffman emerges that ass! and tells us a list of things she'll never be caught saying to another person ("Do you need someone to go to the hospital with you?"). She lashes out at Hollywood, agents, and tired cabaret material (her medley of worn-out Liza, Barbra, and Michelle Lee songs makes you cringe with recognition). She points to empty chairs and says, "Where the fuck are these people?" She sings about how she'd all too willingly give blow jobs to get her own sitcom. And best of all, she makes wicked fun of the wannabe gypsies belting out Sondheim tunes at the piano bar downstairs.
Hoffman herself has a surprisingly crisp soprano, which she applies to a few zingy numbers like a "vegetable medley" and a song about how vodka makes her feel odd-ka but I'd rather hear her just raucously rant in that acid, assy way of hers. She's so special that I hope she never gets her own sitcom she's funny enough without the drugs and alcohol.
The same winsome night, I ate vegetable medleys with Liz Renay, the bosomy gun-moll-turned John Waters star who's bracing for her third or fourth career now that Todd Oldham's directing a movie based on her memoir, My Face for the World to See. At our Marylou's dinner hosted by Brandywine, Liz's face was on view for the girls to see. The seven-times-married great great grandma came off kookily effusive and in love with life, giggling as she told me she's dating a 54-year-old, "and I feel like I'm robbing the cradle!" Too bad the even younger Oldham doesn't want to meet Liz, according to an Oldham chat she read on the Internet. "He's probably afraid I might give him some input he doesn't want and I probably would," she said, cracking up.
Well, I wanted her input, so who, I wondered, does Liz want to play herself? Britney Spears? "Kim Basinger or Sharon Stone," she said, "though they might be too old, since most of the book happens in my twenties." (Besides, Sharon would never see fit to play a gun moll.) Whoever lands the role, it'll be a challenge for an actress of any age to capture Liz's chutzpah. As she exulted to me, "people in wheelchairs and walkers don't make good escorts for me. I move too fast!"
The walker crowd lined up in droves but quickly for the B Bar party celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Mudd Club's founding, and some of these fabulous fossils even wore their new wavey outfits from '79 (which are now called "vintage," of course). It was shocking to see who looked haggard who used to look sprightly and even creepier who looked sprightly who used to look haggard. As that inebriating old music was spun by a Mudd DJ and slides of Tina L'Hotsky and Teri Toye flashed by, we all reminisced about those days of grunge posturing, pretending we'd merely heard about them. The club's legendary owner, Steve Mass who looked sprightly was set to jump out of a coffin at midnight, but, not the reunion type, I wheeled home to watch The Golden Girls reruns instead.