NY Mirror

There's even a new play on Broadway—the Hollywood-phobic Stones in His Pockets—which has two frisky actors, 15 characters, and one audience member saying, "It's not boring."

But the most not-boring show of all—aside from the spectacle of music-industry insiders telling me that Jeff Timmons from 98° has gotten secretly married—was Aretha Franklin's VH1 Divas Live tribute, where the queen of soul moomba-ed her ass off for hours as it was emphatically kissed by friends and Nielsen families. Last time around, Aretha stormed out of rehearsal because the air-conditioning was on, so this time we sweated like pigs, only catching a breeze whenever the songstress sashayed her capacious gowns across the stage. There was also a gust of unintended laughter when Pamela Anderson, her gigantic orbs practically spilling out of her dress, revealed that she used to sing "(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman" into her hairbrush. But forget the presenters. (When I think Aretha Franklin, I think Kelly Ripa, don't you?) The music soared, with Jill Scott stealing the show on that very "Natural Woman" and Aretha rocking on opera, jazz, and K-Tel classics, only petering out with a guest-star-studded "Freeway of Love" that wouldn't quit (though she was restrained compared to Diana Ross, whose diva tribute, I think, is still going on from last year).

Alas, Aretha neglected to thank Jill Scott in her acknowledgments at the end, and when I mentioned this to a VH1 big shot at the Chambers Hotel after-party, he seemed about to give me the backstory until another big shot hushed him up. "It was just a Chad Lowe moment," I was promptly assured.

H’s pouring men: serving tattoos and martinis at xl
photo: Brian Finke
H’s pouring men: serving tattoos and martinis at xl

A Taylor Dayne moment happened when that singer turned up at the bash and told me she doesn't play the title role in Aida—"I'm the white princess." Oh, speaking of Lady Di, her biographer (and Monica's), Andrew Morton, is working on an unauthorized book about Madonna, who has called him a worm and forbidden friends from talking to him. But I met with the bloke, and he didn't seem out for blood at all. Damn! And now, does anyone perchance know how to get a cum rag out of your lips?

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