By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
More kooky casting news: Sylvia Milesis guesting on Sex and the City, Roberta Wallachwill turn Italian for The Sopranos, and Laura Braniganperformed at the Homocorps gay rock night at CBGB. Why? "Because I slept with her agent," promoter Dean Johnsontold me at the Betty Page Realness contest next door. I so admire people who keep it in the species.
Rosie O'Donnelldid great keeping it in the gender on Prime Time Live, exceptyou knew there'd be an exceptshe demonized the "gay activists" who prodded her out (you know, me); said she hopes her kids will be straight because the world's homophobic, but then admitted she's never been the brunt of any anti-gay bias; kept emphasizing how unimportant her gayness is; and claimed that her Tom Cruiseshtick wasn't meant sexually, but pretty much confirmed that it wasby adding, "He makes my palms sweat. He makes my heart beat." But who cares? She was articulate and out and has even become, yep, a gay activist.
Kids of all genders loved the Ice Agepremiere bash, which came replete with frozen foods and a DJ playing "Ice Ice Baby." John Leguizamo, who does the voice of the sloth, told me his lisp was different from the one he used as Toulouse-Lautrec in Moulin Rouge. "That was a dental, this one's a lateral," he thaid, thimply. Standing laterally, I asked Ice Age's co-director, Chris Wedge, if some of the movie's creaturesno, there's no goatmight be gay, specifically the foofy rhinoceroses. "They appreciate a good late-harvest salad," he conceded. A very sick protest is under way.
But before we picket Alicia Keys too, let's take off our head-wraps and do some serious examining. An Atlanta club source tells me that Keys didn't go into her after-party there because, as a frontman allegedly divulged, there were too many gay people "and she doesn't want to be associated with that image." Keys responds that she's against any bigotry and she didn't leave her car only for security reasons. Thank Godotherwise her career would start "fallin'," prompting a rapid move to Kansas.
Extra Item: Here's more about Liza Minnelli and David Gest's wedding at Marble Collegiate Church, as glamorously seen from across the street. The A-list (the bridal party and other superstars) were ushered in through the side entrance, while the B-list (forgotten movie and TV stars) went in the main way, so you know where I was positioned. In this prime spot, I was mostly bombarded with the sight of people you didn't know were still alive (My Little Margie's Gale Storm, Mildred Pierce's Ann Blythbasically all the same folks who were at Mama's weddings). Little Mickey Rooney showed up around the same time as diminutive Paul Williams, so we got to see for all time that Rooney's way shorter. Sixties legend Petula Clark got no applause of recognition from the crowd, while David Hasselhoff was greeted with a rousing ovation. And Dominick Dunne turned up, cementing one's suspicion that this was a crime scene. I kept scrutizing the arrivals from the (David) Gest list to see if he's indeed a friend of Dorothy, but whatever the case, there were tons of gays running aroundand this on Fifth Avenue, the same day as the St. Patrick's Day Parade! That redeemed the whole mummified circus, which one sardonic onlooker compared to the card party in Sunset Boulevard, though he stayed for hours. Not meI left when Joan Collins arrived with her young beau and said she hopes Liza and David will be as happy as they are.
Furthermore: As she reminded us on Wednesday night's Larry King Live, Liza is an old-school pro who always gives the impression that everything's completely peachy while not offering any concrete information about anything. To lovable Liza, wedding no-shows like her half-sister Lorna Luft and singer Whitney Houston are simply close friends who were understandably busy. And Liza was all goo-goo-eyed about the wedding itself, expressing amazement that it seemed to spontaneously bloom into a gigantic expression of joy (though it was planned as a star-laden spectacle and flogged to death for months). Asked if the affair was too hyped, Liza looked dumbfounded and said, "For who?" Cutest of all, she said it was sort of an offering to New York in the wake of 9-11 and the after-party on Wall Street was hubby David Gest's nice gesture to a hard-hit area!
Larry alternated between gushing over how happy Liza looked and going in for the kill with questions about whether she's just repeating Mamma's bad patterns (which Liza just evaded, naturally). Finally, Gest came outI mean emergedand told a mean story about how he met Liza when he thought she was overweight and off-key, and he had to audition her to be on that Michael Jackson freakshow tribute he produced! Asked about the gay rumors, Gest simply said that he and Liza have their own world and "I know who I am and she knows who she is." But does she know who he is?
Another extra item: Rosie O'Donnell has made waves fighting for gay adoption with her recent coming-out brouhaha. But here comes a setback: Rosie provided the narration for one of this year's Oscar-nominated Documentary Short SubjectsLianne Klapper McNally's Artists and Orphans: A True Drama. It's about a theater group that travels to the Republic of Georgia and tries to help the country's orphaned and abandoned children. Alas, Klapper, star Sharon Gans, and all the other artists reportedly belong to the Fourth Way School, which self-described cult expert Rick Ross recently told MSNBC.com's Jeannette Walls is deeply racist and homophobic; it "has excluded black members and will accept gays only if they are interested in changing their sexual preference." I spoke to a former member of the school, who backed up these claims. As of press time, Klapper hadn't returned a request for comment and Gans couldn't be reached.