By Steve Weinstein
By Devon Maloney
By Tessa Stuart
By Alison Flowers
By Albert Samaha
By Jesse Jarnow
By Eric Tsetsi
By Raillan Brooks
"The rhythms of the character were so Eve Arden and Roz Russell," Halston told me last week, "and our director, Walter Bobbie, felt we needed another woman anyway. The estate said, 'Yeah, go for it.' " Fortunately, they're aware of Halston's period flair and her aversion to paraphrasing, techniques she partly learned working with " '30s expert gender-bending illusionist" Charles Busch (who went on to work with '80s gender-bending etc. Boy George).
Her co-stars? "They're riots," she said, not paraphrasing. "Alec and I have that Long Island thing, which means you're kind of a thug. And Anne Heche is a lovely porcelain doll who happens to be a mighty actor." Any more ecstasy and speaking in tongues going on there? "No!" Halston exclaimed. "Apparently Celestia is underground. We're all meeting only Anne Heche and we're loving her!"
Ever since playing two roles in Gypsylast year, Halston's also been a convert to the shrine of moppet master Bernadette Peters. "I never quite understood her goddess status," she admitted, "but now I kneel and bow and scrape before her." The good feelingsand Tiffany earrings Peters gave Halston when she left the showhelp make up for the fact that Halston's still seeing a chiropractor because of the "Ferris wheel on my head" and three huge batteries she wore (to hilarious effect) in the electrifying ecdysiast role.
Freed of the wheel, Halston is ready to learn more interactional performing skills, which Bobbie is encouraging. "I haven't looked at an actor onstage in 15 years, so why should I start now?" she deadpanned, though she's liking the change. And in playing Oliver-turned-Ida, she's certainly stretching gender-wise too. "I always knew I was sort of a gay man," Halston admitted. "Well, now I'm a straight man!" Heckshe's the first ex-gay that I've ever applauded.
As for the rest of them, excuse me, people, but you don't know what love is.
Web Exclusive: By now, we know David Gest's MOzero in on a faded superstar besotted with booze and scandal, drill them back into shape so they can scare up some money and glory, and thenwhen they stop producingrun screaming, claiming he was hit by flying pieces of Halston furniture. Well, his next target may be all lined up, and it's his most fabulous and tempestuous one yetDiana Ross. I hear Extra will report that David and Diana are currently "romancing" in hopes of a comeback for both of them. Honey, ain't no superstar high enough. (P.S. Diana's rep denies that she's dating Gest.)