By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Le Divorce is le movie with Kate Hudson (who's thankfully dropped le giggles and gotten more contemplative) and le red Hermès handbag and le Eiffel Tower, which co-star Matthew Modine was going to tell me about at the premiere party (which had le petit food, by the way) when le Marcia Gay Harden came breathlessly running over. "Matthew!" she enthused. "People magazine just asked me who's the sexiest person here and I pointed to you!" Marcia's hubby beamed a little uncomfortably and so did Matthew's wife, but I assure you there won't be two le divorces in the works; this was all deeply professional fun. When I got sexy Matthew's attention back, he said he liked working for James Ivory because "young filmmakers are like, 'Fuck it, I've got to make my fucking film.' They focus on all the wrong things. Mature directors don't feel that pressure."
Neither does co-star Bebe Neuwirth, who cheerily came over and said, "I have string bean in my teeth. . . . Wasn't it nice of them to put earrings on the table?" They were actually chocolate Eiffel Towers, which prompted Harden to loom back toward the table and pant, "Can I take one?" "Sure," I said, flashing le inside of my bag to reveal that the biggest one was already spoken for. (Show me a chocolate skyline and I turn into a gay Godzilla.) Will Bebe be playing Vera in the upcoming Mame revival, as has been buzzed about? "No, I respectfully declined," she admitted. Why? Long pause. "I guess I wanted to do something else," she said, laughing.
Just then I was introduced to Lisa Masters, who's respectfully agreed to act in the currently filming remake of The Stepford Wives. "I'm sorry I didn't see your movie tonight," Masters oozed. I explained that I'm a hack writer, not a hotsy totsy movie star. "Oh, let me tell you about The Stepford Wives," she said, turning into the kind of robotic gossip machine that can sit next to me anytime. "Nicole Kidman slipped and fell today when we were filming the supermarket scene. They've added a gay couple to update the movie. Roger Bart plays a gay man in the supermarket scene. Faith Hill has a role, and she's really nice. In the morning, she hugs you hello. Her hubby, Tim McGraw, came to the set today and everyone stared. Christopher Walken is in it too, and he said, 'You haven't seen Gigli, have you?' He's so embarrassed! We didn't even know he was in it!"
Well, I did, thank youand that provides the perfect chance for me to unleash some more uproariously humorous observations about that hideous ex-gay epic (even if it's rigligone by now): Dubya can stop looking for any weapon of mass destruction. Gigli is it. . . . The dumbest thing about the flick is the way the studio redid the part where Ben Affleck got killed, opting instead for a "happy ending." Ben's character dying was a happy ending. . . . The best thing is that a minimally more appetizing twist on the same plot devicethe straight woman going lesbo in Kissing Jessica Steincame first. . . . Still, "Bennifer" may survive Gigli and might even bond more tightly; after all, Madonna and Guy Ritchie are closer than ever after Swept Away. (But don't count on it. As I said months agono wedding!)
Not close at all these days, Liza Minnelli and David Gestperhaps prove that our prez is right, and gay marriage doesn't work after all, ha ha (though Dubya's claim that marriage should be a sacred institution for only heteros was just marred by the Teen Choice Awards honoree who's one teen's choice for rape charges). Joan Rivers just told me re the Minnelli breakup, "When your maid of honor can't find her shoes, you know you're in trouble." And there were other problems; Liza-and-David always seemed more a case of manager/client or sponsor/assignee than hubby/wife and reportedly ran into bumps when wifey couldn't deliver anymore as a windup Trilby. Way back in January I told you, "What star who's flaunted that weird hubby is supposedly trying to find a way out of the unholy alliance?" (Who did you think I meantthe Schwarzeneggers?)
More recently, for them to have canceled a Larry Kingappearancetheir favorite joint activitythings had to have been really untenable. At that time, David was removing his stuff from their domicile in a poetic parallel to last year's incident when he reportedly had Liza's '70s furniture tossed into the street without telling her. Still, thanks to their scary, temporarily sobering union, at least there was that eye-poppingly freaky wedding portraitLiza, David, Liz, and Jacko, all done up like QVC dollsthat quickly became the Mount Rushmore for the new millennium.
While we're on slightly offbeat playthings, Scott Elliotone of the producers of the hit puppet musical Avenue Qtold me they didn't feel they had to ask kitschy wannabe politico Gary Coleman's permission to use him as a character. Elliot's right. Though the part's played with a teensy sense of ridicule, it's basically quite endearing, and at least they didn't make Gary a puppet; he's played by a real-life woman!
So are Matt and Benin the P.S.122 play of that title, which proves that, whatever the gender, those two have way more chemistry than Jenand Ben. They're presented in the play as a competitive, sneaky, but well-matched duo right out of Beckett via Access Hollywood. (Affleck would probably be mad, but he's too busy trying to shut down GossipList.com.) "Next up," said Charles Busch on opening night, "Lypsinka and I should do Chloë Sevigny and Natasha Lyonne!"
While we're waiting, producers Larry Dvoskin and Jeff Margolis are planning a TV reality show about the search for the first out gay country star. (Lordy knows there are enough in ones.) "I bet some straight guys will try to sneak into the auditions," Dvoskin had told me at the Le Divorce bash, so I went, hoping to find Faith Hill's husband and hug him real hard. Instead, the shameless PR stunt brought out talented gays pioneering the last frontier, including the Dixie Chicks With Dicks, a tucked trio consisting of drag stars Hedda Lettuce, Yolanda, and Porsche. Were the producers looking for a drag act? "We don't care!" said Lettuce. "Half these men are wearing more makeup than we are. And what would country music be without drag queens? Dolly, Loretta . . . " At this point, Yolanda piped up that they definitely want drag queens like her at an upcoming music fest called "Bearapalooza," and though she's not technically a bear, "I've got a hairy back."
But yesterday's cross-dressers are the real hotties these daysthey shavedas life turns into a big room-with-a-déjà-vu meant only for '80s nostalgia. In the coming months alone, Party Monster, about club kidder Michael Alig, hits screens; then the Boy George musical, Taboowith George as sublimely weird creation Leigh Bowery (who influenced Alig)comes to Broadway; and Patrick McMullan releases a So '80s photo book featuring all the above. What's more, VH1 is planning another of those I Love the '80s series! Hopefully we'll also have a return to all that money and glitz falling out of the sky, with enough crack to anesthetize us against capitalism's evil edge.
By the way, Alig has once again changed his official, on-the-record story about Daniel Auster's involvement. Le oy!