By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Meanwhile, some Broadway observers are sobbing over spilt motor oil. But is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang really the shitty shitty gang bang more than one critic said it is? Well, I think the target audiencethree-year-olds with $101.25will adore it. But to grown-ups of any sophistication, it's dispiriting, dull, and directed with a sledgehammer. The sub-Mary Poppinsscore is chim-chim-cher-rudimentary, a Brazilian samba number is thrown in just to make way for a dance break, and the people planted in the audience to loudly explain the whole show to their kids are an extra-annoying touch. (Oh, wait, that was the audience? Never mind.)
Charles Busch probably could have had a lot more fun with the material, especially since there's a wacky, teddy-bear-clutching baron character who kisses men on the mouth. (By the way, JAN MAXWELL as the baroness rises way above her surroundings with droll MAYA RUDOLPH-as-DONATELLA-type inflections.) The car, though, can't be improved upon. At the matinee last week, it got entrance applause, while all the Tony Award types went unnoticed by the blabby crowd. (No, shockingly enough, you didn't hear murmurs of "Gosh, he was good in Copenhagen. And remember that fella in The Normal Heart?") At least the car finally flies at the end of Act I, and I must say it's the most fantabulistic thing my chu-chi face has ever seen. Otherwise, this Chitty needs a lube job. It's an auto-da-feh.
GYPSIES, TRAMPS, AND SKEEVES
Twenty years ago, right-wingers screamed that gays were bad people and PWAs should be tracked or tattooed, and when the supposed new super-bug erupted this year, I pointed out that gay leaders were jumping on the finger-pointing bandwagon and blaring the very same things! Now that the new strain has turned out to be hypeas New Yorkmagazine reportedI'm hoping those leaders will be vigilant in a less lacerating, sensationalistic, and oppressive way. Or maybe just shut up.
Meanwhile, who's leading the lesbians? Some very shady people, probably. A woman just e-mailed me claiming to be a fan of The L Word and urging me to write about it. "We have golden showers, s/m, dildos, and all kinds of fun things," she enthused. "In fact, the Observer had a small article about the golden-shower incident. We dykes love the show. The women are hot." When I e-mailed the gushy fan back to ask if her use of "we have . . . " was a slip and in fact she works for The L Word,she never responded. Hmm. Put my finger on that dyke.
Now back to my new girlfriend KATIE HOLMES!
Speaking of Ms. better Holmes and her new beau, why is everyone being so relentlessly cynical about their very special love? Is it just because shes a self-professed virgin? And there were rumors about her ex? And publicists usually deny a real celebrity romance and in this case they were frothing to confirm it? And the two of them wont stop posing for photos together? And they seem a little age- and height- discordant? And they both have imminent projects to promote? And because at Penelope Cruzs last premiere, I spotted her and the just-broken-up Katie in a huddle, no doubt planning the girls future? Please! You people have no faith whatsoever. You probably dont even believe that Brad And Angelina just happened to be in Kenya at the same time!
This is a shameless plug for the Voice's 50th annual Obie awards for off- and off-off-Broadway excellence. Jimmy Smits and Stockard Channing are set to cohost the eventMay 16 at Webster Halland the eclectic batch of presenters includes Karen Finley, Holly Hunter, Sarah Jones, Craig Lucas, Rue McClanahan, John C. Reilly, Elaine Stritch, and James Urbaniak. To add even more star oomph, Daphne Rubin-Vega and the cast of Kyle Jarrow's Gorilla Man will perform. It's a private affairI'm not even sure if I'm invited (and someone even played me off-Broadway this year, in Newsical)but the whole thing can be heard on WBAI (99.5 FM)at 8 p.m. Now where's my award for best shameless plugger at an alternative weekly?