By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
There are three people in that nuclear-physics romp Copenhagen, and their acting is so impassioned that you don't start wondering if the 32 audience members seated onstage might get Tony-nominated. But I can't believe nobody went to see Hayley Mills (and three other people) in Noël Coward's Suite in Two Keys. Hayley's aged as beautifully as that other former child star named Haley, the one who sees dead people!
There are live people in The Wild Partywhich is so similar to the last Wild Party that you start to question your sanityand though they include a predatory lesbian, a pedophiliac bi, and two minstrely queens, you have to remember it's a period piece. The show also features "two sets of tits," as choreographer Joey McKneely reminded me at the opening-night partyplus eight sets of balls, all Mandy Patinkin's. I showed my own by asking Vanessa Williams why she dropped out of the Queenie role (played by Toni Collette). She pointed to her swollen tummy, so I said, "Gained weight?" She meant that she's pregnant. I knew that.
At a life-giving wild party at Escuelita, there were hundreds of sets of tits, all sporting price tags. Come showtime, MC Angel Sheridan brought out her African American love interest and explained, "You shouldn't have a white boyfriend before Labor Day." On came the multicolored drag tribute to Tina Turner, which kicked culo, especially since I'd just come from a low-energy (if endearing) Twelfth Avenue dump called the Olympic. There, the awning says it's a restaurant and an "international communication service," which means that on Saturday nights, older men sit at the circular bar and paw at scantily clad Hispanic male dancers. It's very Cats meets Hombre via Stella's, and for an extra touch of crass, a guy walks around trying to raffle off a toy orangutan. That's not quite what the crowd was after.
The monkeyor maybe that Heathrow Airport security guardmust have been the stage manager at the endless (love) taping of VH1 Divas 2000: A Tribute to Diana Ross, which I think just wrapped up five minutes ago. Terrifyingly enough, Miss Ross's mike was feeding back and her prepared thank yous were not on the prompter when she wanted them ("Can I have the words I wrote? They're not there!"). They rectified that and also gave her a new mike, but Diana moaned, "I don't hear the sound well enough. This doesn't please me!" She got another mike, but when the director boomed out instructions, she bristled, "Hey Steve, your voice is really loud." OK, witch, hear this: The original mike was the one you had insisted on bringing! (Well, it is called a diva show.) But, in spite of all this, lady didn't sing the blues. Diana was glorious, her star power ringing out with an amazing clarity even when her sound system didn't.
Also fabulash were Donna Summer and Destiny's Child, but the Supremes who weren't Supremes weren't all that supreme, and Mariah Carey seized the opportunity to get into the diva act too. When the director (loudly) asked her to repeat a speech she'd messed up, Miss Carey amusingly begged to just pick it up from the middle. She won.
Men Strike Backthe male diva show two nights laterran much more smoothly, and I loved the Backstreet Boy who wore the dress, plus Christina Aguilera (who, according to Z100's Elvis Duran, was supposed to be on the female diva show until Mariah threw a fit; Aguilera denies this).
But the women of Mary Harron's American Psychoall victimized by Christian Bale to bad '80s musicaren't striking back at all; they like the film, which is a valiant commentary on consumerism and anti-diva misogyny. What they don't care for is the way it was cut to ensure an R rating. (This doesn't please them!) In a rendezvous at the Essex House, two of the slaughtered lambs told me that, in the ménage scene, the word asshole was absurdly amended to just ass. "Having written that line myself," said the charismatic Guinevere Turner (the film's co-screenwriter, who plays a Sarah Lawrence party girl), "hole really does make the difference." "You wanted to hear hole, didn't you?" the usually very proper Samantha Mathisa drugged-up status seeker in the filmasked me, laughing. Actually, I did hear it because I saw the movie before it was cutand I would have heard it anyway!