By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
At the opening-night party at Tavern on the Green, Lonny Pricewho cowrote, directed, and stars as Klebantold me that his doing all that at once "was helland hardest on the cast. I felt bad for them." (I didn't; they were all eating free food and being photographed at the moment.) In between flashes, fierce new cast member Sara Ramirez admitted they changed her character Felicia's last name in the transition to Broadway. "It was Lipshitz," she said. "That wasn't an issue with me. But then they said, 'Make up your own last name,' so I named her De La Luz Flores for my grandmother." Felicia Lipshitz De La Luz Flores? It screams out for a Mellencamp.
The newest name to play Seussical's Cat in the Hat, Cathy Rigby, was at the Class Act bash, exclaiming, "I've got hat hair all the time!" (By the way, how'd you like to be in that show? The second they find some Nick at Nite type to fill your surrealistic shoes and raise the box office a notch, you're out the door with some hush money.)
As the party wound down, the theater obsessives took to dishing the new Follies revival, which early word on the street says lacks period flair, cohesion, and strong enough vocals in a couple of lead roles. (A rumor has Hal Prince being courted to fix things up.) Insiders counter that the production is actually infused with a bold concept that intentionally deglams, demystifies, and deconstructs the characters, a process Sondheim has been totally behind. Well, however it plays out, I'm still here and still dying to see, if not direct, this thing!
The revival of Design for Livingwhich various characters in the play describe as being about "three-headed spiritual Ping-Pong" and/or "three-sided erotic hodgepodge"is filled with white staircases and lines like "You've certainly emancipated yourself into a grand complacence." In this soigné exercise, the two guys fighting over the gal have always seemed to actually want each other, so maybe it's apt that this production explores that possibility with bellsand purple robes and underwearon (though hinting rather than tonguing might have had more charge). In any case, I love how all the gender play has aroused discussion to the point where the Post critic said Jennifer Ehle's performance is extremely "womanlyno bisexual, her." As if any gal who likes gals has to have a handlebar mustache and a muscle T!
Pretty in pink, I checked out some downtown gender play with a quick stop at HomoCorps, Dean Johnson's smash gay rock monthly at CBGB, where a diverse crowd is entertained by drag queens (like Yolanda & the Plastic Family), female drag queens, drag kings, and some plain old gays. It's a very neo-punky, ambient, Rufus Wainwright-worshiping mood, and sometimes the crowd even faces the stage and pays attention to the music!
The next afternoon, feeling homo to the core, I happened to be eating brunch at the Village Cottage when Calvin Klein walked in, ordered a nosh at the counter, and kept looking out the window and at his watch, seemingly waiting for a date (Linda Wachner? A Stella's dancer?). Eventually, he left"I guess he was stood up," boomed an observerand though in his anxiety he didn't even touch his egg sandwich or cluster of grapes (I inspected them), at least he left a lovely tip.
As for A Crass Act, a/k/a Eminem, a reader feels that a good slogan for the raucous rapper might be "Comes in your mouth, not in your hand." PleaseI didn't say it or even think it!
But what I did say last week about a Nancy Seltzer publicist pulling Aussie hunk Hugh Jackman away from me at a dinner was startlingly off base. Jackman, who was at a Miramax table when I approached him for an interview, was indeed dragged away by a handler, but it wasn't Nancy (his personal flack) or her peoplethey weren't there! The dizzying presence of nearby Julia Roberts must have blurred everyone's critical faculties for the night.
You still can't drag me away from Beigethe sprawling, indoor/outdoor Tuesday night gay bash at B Bar. The place makes HomoCorps look like a Von Trapp family reunion. It swarms with fashion boys, cruise queens, velvet mafiosi, and fag hags all blathering away to the beat, and though I always assumed they were dishing designers and sex, I was wrongthey only talk about sex. Last week, I strapped a condom onto my ear and eavesdropped on all the three-sided erotic hodgepodge and can now report this 100 percent accurate batch of overheard glib gab. (Bear in mindjust listening can turn you gay.)