NY Mirror

The guest of honor was Broadway grande dame CHERRY JONES, who revealed that when her parents first told her about sex, they said, "If you're gay, that's OK too, but we're not going to tell you about that because we don't know about it." I bet now they do!


LIFE IS JUST A BOWL OF HER

Channeling multitudes: Jimmy James
photo: Jimmy R. Smith
Channeling multitudes: Jimmy James

Cherry with a fringe seems to be the running thread of my entire life, and column, these days. In fact, when I crawled through the wreckage of jukebox musicals and bad Tennessee Williams revivals to go to the Drama Desk Awards, I found that Cherry was having yet another jubilee. But there were other winsome winners too. In the press room, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang's JAN MAXWELL was clutching a publicist and moaning, "My agent's gonna go, 'You remembered the ushers in your speech, but not me!' " In a lighter mood, Maxwell later cracked to cable host STEPHEN HOLT, "I'll do this show for 20 years. I'll be known as Formerly Scrumptious. I'll be doing it with a walker." And she didn't mean LLOYD KLEIN.

Before leaving, I agelessly limped over to that minx with a fiddle HARVEY FIERSTEIN and naturally asked if he'd like to play Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. "Yes!" Harvey exclaimed. "I told EDWARD ALBEE! I said, 'Why don't you use me and Cherry Jones? You can switch the sexes.' He said, 'I already did [with KATHLEEN TURNER and BILL IRWIN].' " I fell apart laughing, but Harvey insisted, "No, he didn't! I was just kidding!"

But we've strayed from the topic of teens in peril. And so, the Musto (a bronzed troll doll) for best gay youth movie goes to GREGG ARAKI's Mysterious Skin, a tender, raunchy, disturbing, and powerful trip to the dark side. Don't let the fisting scare you. And don't book your drag act in Bayonne.



House specials: Chicken and ribs at Smoked
photo: Oscar Perez

LITTER BOX

SSSSMOKIN'

Attention, trend editors: Barbecue restaurants are hotter than a pig's ass in an electric blanket these days. The Chelsea crowd has been coherent and wearing shirts while indulging in death-defying ribs at RUB Barbecue, and over in the East Village, I just ate like a Flintstone at the new meat shrine called Smoked. Does this represent a return to, among other things, mountains of potentially unhealthy food? "Precisely," said a publicist. Oh, good!

Meanwhile, chomp down on these nibbly bits, bitches: My new best friend TATUM O'NEAL says she wants to do—everybody now—a reality show! From her jealous dad to her scary ex to her apartment fire, it would probably make Chasing Farrah look like Dora the Explorer. Similarly, '60s legend LESLEY GORE ("It's My Party") is doing some reality music. Luscious-voiced Lesley called to say she has a new CD, Ever Since, "and it's organic, smoky, intimate, and personal." Sounds like a blind date with a plate of barbecued chicken.

But hold your corn bread: What does Cherry Jones—yeah, her again—think her character means when she says, "I have doubts! I have such doubts!"? "I think she has completely lost faith in God and the Roman Catholic Church," she told me, definitively. But hopefully not in the Tony; Cherry's got it in the gift bag. Now where's that genital cake?


musto@villagevoice.com

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