By Steve Weinstein
By Devon Maloney
By Tessa Stuart
By Alison Flowers
By Albert Samaha
By Jesse Jarnow
By Eric Tsetsi
By Raillan Brooks
'A Taste of Bunny'Lady Bunny's new show Sunday nights at Fezis a marvel of high fashion and low humor that mixes lip-synching, go-go dancing, and fart jokes into a scat-ridden potpourri of pure entertainment. The utterly tasteless mood is set when credits are held up from behind a curtain: "makeup by Sherwin-Williams, body by Crunch (Nestlé's Crunch), costumes by Stevie Wonder, choreography by Christopher Reeve." As you try to muffle your guffaw, the shameless drag star proceeds to whirl out in a glitzy minidress and two feet of frosted hair and indulge us with jokes so filthily familiar I even recognized one of them from my own column. (That convinced me of how superb the material was.) In this "work in regress," Bunny presents herself as "a world-weary yet adorable orphan girl on steroids," but mainly she's just on, period, trotting out smutty one-liners in between singing a plaintive "Who Will Buy?," doing a dead-on impression of Kate Bush, and reworking pop tunes into raunchily feel-good anthems ("It takes two to make my hole feel tight"). The Bunster even inspiresshe tells a lengthy story about giving head in a potato-chip vanand educates, with helpful hints like "How do you make Martha Stewartscream twice? Fuck her up the ass and then wipe your dick on the curtains!" What a sick, offensive, appalling eveningI can't wait to go again. No, it's not Masterpiece Theatre, but I never felt Masterpiece Theatrehad enough fart jokes anyway.
The rest of the week, I aimed a little higher culturally, pristinely nibbling on a Cornish hen at a private tasting at Eugene's (formerly Esme, and before that Number 24) and sucking down some rarefied form of risotto at the party for the crime caper Where the Money Isat Cipriani (formerly the site of my pasta-gorging spree at a Julia Robertsbash). The movie is a likably quirky character studyat least until it settles for sub-TV-level heist actionand the party was that rare one where all the principals showed up and seemed so agreeable you didn't feel like force-feeding them Mariah Carey's leftover oysters or wiping your privates on their curtains (Paul Ruddcame too, and told me he loves his goldfish).
The cagey Paul Newmangenerally smiles a lot without revealing much, so I instead talked to his costars Dermot Mulroneyand Linda Fiorentino, who revealed that they loved working with Paul Newman. "Even when I came in here," said Mulroney, "I made a beeline right to him. It's like bees to honey!" He raced over to Newman again, honey, as Fiorentino admiringly told me, "Paul kicked my ass at badminton, and he's my father's age!" Did she get all hot and bothered in the equally athletic, sexually fraught scene where she's slow dancing with the old legend? "I didn't, because I knew him so well," Linda said. (That always ruins it for me, too.) "You couldn't get hot and bothered with the schedule we hadwe worked 18-hour days." Linda will next slave away in Till the End of Time, in which she plays Georgia O'Keeffe opposite Ben Kingsley's Alfred Stieglitz. Who'll play the cow skull? "Harvey Weinstein," she laughed. "That'll go in the column!" a publicist shrieked, having a conniption. "Harvey's my paisan," said Fiorentino, unfazed. Mine, toohe's where the money is.
The Keeping the Faith premiere was where the stuffed cabbage was, not to mention a sushi bar, a gospel choir, and Boys Don't Cry's brilliant director, Kimberly Peirce, and associate producer, Bradley Simpson, enjoying serious Oscar afterglow. I confessed to the two hotshots that the sight of them hugging when Hilary Swankwon Best Actress made me a bit nervous that they may have been suddenly bearding for each other. Peirce assured me it was just a spontaneous display of affection and said she'd purposely avoided being photographed with Simpson that whole night so it wouldn't look like a heterosexualized image. "People called my family afterwards," Peirce told me, "and said, 'Who's the guy?' I'm like, 'A big fag! Give me a break!' " No connection here, but as for Best Actor Kevin Spaceyand his perennial date Diane Dryer, Peirce told me, "You see him leaving parties with her and you think, 'Why does he do that?' I'm totally out and nobody cares." Yes, we dowe love it!
Let out of his cage, fabulous wildman John Gallianomade an appearance at Saks Fifth Avenue to promote his fall line, and I clawed my way past the models, buyers, and fashionistas to ask him if he saw the Oscars (though I didn't ask who he hugged during Hilary Swank's win). "I saw some of it. Nicole looked wicked," the designer replied, in a review far more concise than the awards themselves. All right, what's the inspiration for his wicked new collection? "It's inspired by children and forgotten innocence," Galliano said, "based on some very moving pictures by Diane Arbus. Children always put clothes together without any preconceived ideas at all." Funny, so do I.
But let me put on my carefully calculated director's cape and disclose that, as sure as my name is Erin Brockovich, all sorts of pilots are being developed for the fall TV season, and some of them sound more doomed than pilots for Alaska Airlinesthough others will be enchanting, I'm sure. Among the ones I've heard about are Bette, in which the divine Bette Midleris married to an English professor named Roy who's supportive, but doesn't let the little devil get away with anything. (Why is Bette doing TV? I can only guess two reasons: Isn't She Greatand Drowning Monathough I just saw Monaat the $4 theater, and it had way more wonderfully sick humor than the critics gave it credit for; Sherwin-Williams must have done the makeup.)