NY Mirror

It's Oscar-movie time, when disabilities are trotted out and sugarcoated, so you're not terribly upset as various performers cutely spazz up a storm in order to go for the gold. Coming up, we have Sean Penn as a lovable, mentally retarded Starbucks employee (and no, that's not the only kind they have); Russell Crowe as a paranoid-schizophrenic Nobel Prize winner; Dame Judi Dench as a famous novelist with Alzheimer's; and Jim Carreyas a suspected Commie who'll spend three hours of your life trying to get his memory back. Cheer on their impairments! Admire their brilliance! Wish you could go unconscious!

And be thrilled that they're not (badly) remaking the good old Oscar winners about the mentally challenged—like Charly, whose glamorous costar Claire Bloom just told me at her Academy salute, "There's so little brains around that they probably will remake it. They're remaking everything!" (I didn't remind her that there already was a rotten Broadway musical based on the property.)

Meanwhile, Oscar winner Hilary Swank jump-starts the French Revolution through jewelry in the lush The Affair of the Necklace, and though the reviews have been lousy, at least it's not a disability flick called The Affair of the Neckbrace. The ceaselessly charming Ivana Trumpcohosted the premiere and told me, "I have a special feel for the movie because it was shot in Prague and I'm Czech. In fact, I acted in three movies as a child for the Barandov Studio. But I didn't have the patience to sit in trailers day after day—and you need to have talent!" Still, she must have been a cute little bouncing Czech.

When the epic ended, Ivana cooed, "It was beautiful. I'm not that crazy about a necklace, but I love to dress up!" (By the way, she was wearing a necklace the size of Staten Island, and spies say she banged on the doors of a closed bank to get it out of the vault for this event!) In another corner, Swank gushed to me, "The costumes were beautiful. Milena Canonerois a complete . . . " "Bitch?" I said, smirking, and director Charles Shyer, thinking I was being serious, said, "Well, she's a perfectionist and that can be interpreted as . . . " (I love trapping these people into uncorking truthlets.)

And there was yet more sooth to be said, over drop earrings and prosciutto. At a follow-up dinner at Ecco! hosted by Ivana and writer Richard Turley, zesty pardon queen Denise Richentertained me with tidbits like "The king of Swaziland decreed that if anyone tries to have sex with a girl under 19, they have to sell their cow." ("Who needsa stupid cow anyway?" might be a common response.) More personally, Rich revealed that she recently called the police when she saw a lot of ambiguous-looking white stuff falling outside her window. The woman actually thought terrorist planes were dropping something dangerous, but once the cops finally came over, they determined what the shit really was—pollen! So Bin Ladenis now going after our allergies? That diabolical bastard!

Some respite for itchy sinuses and cranky minds? John Leguizamo's zippy new show—which should be retitled The Pinga Monologues—is like a really good fuck. And at Caroline's, Mario Cantone—the funniest man (andwoman) in the free world—did his own hilarious sex monologue, starting by noticing a table of West Virginians and shrieking, "There are fucking children in the room! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!" Cantone barreled on like a porn star, assaulting the likes of Michael Jackson("a Precious Moments figurine"), September 11 ("It happened just when I was coming out of my depression"), and Anne Heche("That fucking douche bag! She can't take care of her fucking self, and she's having a baby? 'Oh, Anne, what a lovely victimyou have'!")

By the way, Mario recorded the voice of the campy flamingo for the Macy's ninth-floor puppet show about Percy the penguin—not that I paid $2.50, sat with the screaming toddlers, and watched the thing, mind you. (Well, all right, I did; it was over that long weekend, and I thought it could be a sort of Puppetry of the Penguin. Besides, it was a chance to catch more Mario, seeing as they postponed Assassins, in which he was going to play the guy who wanted to hijack a plane and crash it into the White House to kill Nixon. "I know how to pick 'em!" said the comic, vigorously kicking himself.)

That infantilizingly boring weekend also brought me to the new Toys "R" Us in Times Square—four times—where the gigantic indoor Ferris wheel is a wonderful, sick touch that FAO Schwarz will probably need to top with some falling pollen. You have to buy tickets hours in advance, but that gives you time to play with Nutcracker Barbie and think about how, if Times Square plunges economically, the ride will become a gigantic porno wheel!

Speaking of raw penetration, I hear folks have copped some great heed—that's how Heidi Klumpronounced legendary designer Edith Head's last name on the supermodel version of Millionaire—downstairs at Triple XXX, Dean Johnson's and Johnny McGovern's gay Thursday night party at the Hole. Upstairs, I asked the DJ, Lily of the Valley—who memorably played a drag queen in Wonder Boys—about his new Toyota commercial, in which he wildly makes out with a girl in the desert. "I'm versatile!" exclaimed Lily, who could probably even do disabilities.

All-around performer David Ilkuhas dissingabilities; he's highly visible in a commercial for Listerine PocketPaks, but it's not as aromatic as it sounds. As Ilku told me, "I went in with messy hair, thinking I was hip and cool, and of course they flattened it and tried to make me as Middle America as they could. The lights were blinding, and I had to put little pieces of plastic in my mouth over and over again instead of the actual strips, because my tongue would have turned green had I done that. The corners of the plastic pieces poked into my tongue, which made it very uncomfortable . . . " Stop right there, honey. Nothing you say will quell my burning drive to be on national television. I'd even sell my cow!

By the way, I don't know who's poking his tongue into what, but I loved Liz Smith's crafty little item: "Tomand Penélope's last names are, after all, homophones."

Out and about, my sources tell me that Lynne Cheneyrecently hung out with her lesbian daughter at a gay bar in Denver called JR.'s Bar & Grill. At this place, no woman asks "Where's Dick?"

Pee-pees were practically in jars at trannie extraordinaire Amanda Lepore's birthday bash at Spa, which was such a fun, debauched blowout I kept expecting the MC from Cabaret to walk in and start branding us. At the climax, I asked Amanda how old she is and she gave the perfect answer: "Fine. How are you?"

Well, I'm not fine, honey, on hearing that my boyfriend, Jimmy Fallon, is now closerthanthis with actress turned Imitation of Christ diva Tara Subkoff. I'll get the little witch and show her what paranoid schizophrenia is like without the sugarcoating!


musto@villagevoice.com

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