By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
Also, put Ricky Martin in a wheelchair as the nasal but cute (but, again, doomed) lounge singer Tony; Catherine Keener in a wig as the all-knowing Miriam; and Ben Stiller in a suit as the two-timing bore Lyon, and you've got a complete gonzo smash filled with "booze and dope." Just don't let any of the actors patronize the material, Betty; make sure they play it straight, with brio, like they did in the first version, which works on every levelmusical, fashion show, horror flickand it'll be big-haired Grand Guignol heaven. But Julia Roberts?
An even raunchier classicDebbie Does Dallasgets reworked, with smirks, in a stage musical that the more lubed and licentious among us have received with open legs. Yes, the thin show (a/k/a Triple D) throws in too many verbal quote marks and mediocre songs, but for the most part it's zippy, dippy fun and a real clit-ique of American values. Besides, it drips with same-sex innuendo, which must bug the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders to no end; they're the ones, Kate Hudson told me, who wouldn't let her wear their costume for a movie because she was playing a lesbian! (And yes, I'm aware Debbie is nominally about "the Texas Cowgirls," OK?)
At the show's opening-night party in the basement of an Italian restaurant, I asked musical-theater fave Sherie Rene Scott (from I Eat Her, I mean Aida) if she had to be coerced to play Debbie, the Chekhovian cheerleader who longs to 'ho herself to Dallas. "I try not to do anything I have to be coerced to do," she said, "unless it's in the privacy of my home. Then I can be coerced." Me toothough naturally my home comes equipped with a live studio audience. "I thought the girl orgy scene would be hard," great Scott added, "but I didn't have a problem with it. With these girls, you wouldn't either," she assured, probably referring to the fact that they wield bananas and large candles.
As the party peaked with the arrival of Brooke Shields and five new trays of mozzarella sticks, Scott concluded that "pornography is very sad. The girls in those movies are working really hard acting and trying to be taken seriously. No one's telling them that no one values that in porn. Believe me, I understand what it's like to be valued for superficial reasons." God, if only we all did. People only love me for my talent! "But I'm evolving to appreciate being valued for my tits and ass," said Scott, laughing.
In other educational-theater news, Hollywood Arms teaches you that a guy sticks his "Roger" into a girl's "Suzy," and though that'll get you to Dallas, it shouldn't have gotten this heartfelt dudan unwieldy memory playto Broadway, where Arms' chance at legs was amputated by most of the critics.
A few blocks away, a Flower Drum Song character is bitched out for only welcoming white guys into her Hollywood limbs. Well, whether it's white or Wong, the show's star, Lea Salonga, told Newsday that she'd only marry someone absolutely Asian. She won't wed outside her race! Thankfully, Lea's found someone to fit her prerequisite, and they're legally conjoining next year. (A hundred million miracles!)
Meanwhile, you've heard that Carol Channing Broadway's answer to Madeleine Albrightjust remembered her father was black. Well, in her memoir, Carol adds that, according to Mom, Dad made sure to indulge in extra-good hygiene because "all Negroes smell." Mercifully, Carol takes time to dispel the stereotype. . . . In more toe-tapping genealogy dish, rumor has it that Hairspray's Matthew Morrison is John Wayne's grandson, though he's never actually said so, pilgrim. (A publicist didn't call back for comment.)
And though she's definitely Elvis's daughter, Lisa Marie Presley's blue suede shoes can't always be swayed. To wit, my spies at a Virginia Film Festival party say the DJ started playing old Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson records and the crowd went wild, but student organizers silenced that faster than "ABC." Why? Because Lisa Marie was there with her new hubby, Nicolas Cage, and the party throwers didn't want them to "Beat It."