By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Now that our gay eyes have relaxed back into their sockets, I sense a lot of beaming faces out there, but not necessarily for the right reasons. To wit, I bet the KERRY girls are delighted thatunlike the BUSH daughtersthey can hit whatever open bars they want for the next four years; MARY CHENEY must also be ecstatic that she can finally crawl out of the basement, since the embarrassment she causes her dad apparently no longer matters now that it can't affect his career chances; MICHAEL MOORE must be thrilled that he still has a gigantic focus for his rage (face it, without a hateful target, the guy virtually ceases to exist); and OSAMA BIN LADEN has got to be jumping up and down, knowing he'll be just fine for some time. I hear even SADDAM might be OKif they get MARCIA "I-couldn't-nail-O.J." CLARK to prosecute him. So it's a happy ending for allexcept for us sensible folk who are ready to commit suicide by prancing naked through any red state while screaming, "Guess what, creeps? I'm a homo!" I'll surely do so, but first . . . back to my superficial life:
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.)
But let's close on a joyous note: The night of the election, everyone I knew was exulting, "Yay! We got rid of that horrible despot!" You know, SHERRY LANSING.
Reckless's ROSIE PEREZ is telling interviewers she'd love to play cuchi-cuchi queen Carmen Miranda. Insiders say it might happen . . . Meanwhile, I hear BOY GEORGE got a call sussing out his interest in playing the child catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Apparently, they've also met with MEAT LOAF. But best of all would be another '80s pop star, MICHAEL JACKSON.
As for more imminent acting triumphs, the Oscar race is launching into full swing, with 100 biopics, two quadriplegics, several pedophiles, and AL PACINO bellowing, "Hoo-ha, forsooth!" And DON CHEADLE. Last week, they special-screened Hotel Rwanda, a searing drama that's like an African Schindler's List, with Cheadle as a real-life hotel manager who saved over 1,000 refugees' lives. At Osteria del Circo afterward, writer-director TERRY GEORGE admitted, "It's weird having a dinner for a Rwanda genocide movie, but this is the way it's done." (And hey, I've never turned away free food.) George also told me that the studios wanted DENZEL WASHINGTON or WILL SMITH in the lead role, but he raised enough dough to stick with Cheadle, who'll no longer be best known as Rooster in Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead.
Breaking up all the holocaust talk, the Daily News' JOANNA MOLLOY told me about the Vanity Fairspread on Page Six editors past and present, including herself. In the photo, she said, "I look like the ghost of Page Six past! But RICHARD JOHNSON's like fresh mint. They didn't even put any blush on him." As for CLAUDIA COHEN, she had her own hair and makeup people there, but that's not what bugs Molloy. "It's amazing she still goes to work on the REGIS show," she said. "If I got $80 million from RON PERELMAN, I'd be lying on a beach in Bali reading GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ."
Spies sayspoiler aheadthat Oliver Stone's ALEXANDER is quite up front about the title character's love of men. He becomes ultra-attached to Hephaestion (JARED LETO) and gets kissed by a shirtless male dancerto name two très gay scenarios in the plot. But then he meets a fiery sheepherder's daughter (ROSARIO DAWSON) with a heaving bosom, they have wild sex, and he suddenly digs broads. Update: Jared Leto feels his character and Alexander are just friends!