By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
KIDDIE KIDDIE SHEBANG BANG
At the aptly named club Show, One Night Only! Broadway's Brightest Stars! had the kind of exclamation-laden title I love, so there I was, in full-throttle show-queen mode, Fosse hands outstretched!!! (You didn't know I'd get that superficial.) It turned out to be a benefit for Only Make Believe, an organization that brings so much theater to hospital-bound kids, I'm tempted to put on a big diaper and wheel into the nearest pediatric ward clapping and screaming. (Wanna join me, Kerry girls?)
The benefit alone had me wetting my Depends. Among the highlights: ALIX KOREY's performance of a lusty ditty called "Lesbian Love Story" had ROSIE O'DONNELL and her girlfriend convulsing with laughter; EUAN MORTON crooned a Carpenters tune with silky assurance, despite having just been robbed of his Armani suit backstage ("Whoever took it, thank you for not taking my hair gel," he whimpered); and the comedy trio HAPPY HOUR did a raucous striptease routine that had ex-child-star HAYLEY MILLS deadpanning, "Walt Disney would have enjoyed that, I'm quite sure."
Best of all, ex-American Idol powerhouse JENNIFER HUDSON stole the show, if not the Armani, with her richly felt, rafter-shaking rendition of "Easy to Be Hard" (a song BOB DOLE should probably use in his next batch of Viagra commercials).
"I'm trying to make my move on Broadway," Hudson told me in the street afterward. "I wantto do Dreamgirls." "But you're too skinny for Effie! You gotta play Deena!" I shrieked, as people started staring. "No other role but Effie!" she insisted, channeling that character's determination. Well, FRENCHIE DAVIS has played Effie, so I guess it can become the official deposed American Idol contestant role for the new millennium.
At the after-party, The Producers' BRAD OSCAR and I agreed that the real show we're dying to see is the beefcake revue that played at Show the night before: Mantasia. (I'm a homo!) Disney would no doubt have liked that one too, especially since he created Fantasiaand I don't mean FANTASIA BARRINO. God, my life has so many interrelating textures.
SUSANNE TAKES YOU DOWN
Crawling with a fantasia of lower Broadway types in full zhoosh mode, SUSANNE BARTSCH's Halloween bash at the Copacabana had a tropical theme that became more literal than expected since the weather had weirdly soared to summery levels. That made the half naked MICHAEL ALIGs, angels, and wood nymphs look perfectly sensible, and the multi-layered lady dressed like a giant voodoo radishyou heard melook braver than ever. In the Democrat-or-die madness, a sequiny cha-cha queen came running up to me with a manic analysis of the '70s gas shortage and Vietnam crisis versus today's wartime situation and how they both led to feverish escapism. She was as brilliant as her legs were hairy. I love New York!
Dressed for the Mantasia road company, I cha-cha'd to TIMOTHY GREENFIELD-SANDERS's porn-star-portrait opening at MARY BOONE's gallery, which brought out the subjects themselves (HEATHER HUNTER, MICHAEL LUCAS), along with some serious aesthetes, a few gay sexual pioneers (CALVIN KLEIN, JOHN WATERS), and a couple of pervy-looking old men. (Walt Disney's ghost was busy over at Mantasia.) The portraits were huge and well hungin fact, I've never seen such big vaginas in my life. And thanks to the respectful treatment of porn in projects like this, the skank factor surrounding adult stars is now approaching zero. That makes sense since most of them are even more glam and talk-show-ready than "real" movie stars. So let's give these gonadal gods and goddesses a big hand, wherever they want it! And let's thank PARIS HILTON, who helped adult films go mainstream when she started dressing like a porn starand even more so when she became one.
Speaking of bare beaver, furrier DENNIS BASSO had a shmancy fashion lunch at Mix in New York, where models sporting fur coats sauntered around the room as the labeled-lady-laden crowd nibbled their ALAIN DUCASSE shellfish and filled out absentee ballots. Wearing a stolen Armani, I asked restaurateur JEFFREY CHODOROW how he makes sure his staffers don't steal from him at Mix and all his other places. "They probably do steal," he said, "but not enough that you'd notice. Usually it would be at the bar, but we have procedures to take care of that." (Hopefully, one of those procedures does not involve caning anyone who doles out free sodas to moi.)