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Almost as obscurely, I went to a staged concert of Silk Stockings—God, my range is amazing—the vodka-tinged musical version of Ninotchka, presented by Lost Musicals, which certainly finds 'em. Stockings is an American work about Russians in Paris, but this time it was presented with a twist of limey; before the show, IAN MARSHALL FISHER came out and grinningly said, "Yes, I'm one of those British directors here to help you with your material." To help himself, he then brought out George S. Kaufman's daughter Anne and asked her what one of her dad's collaborators contributed to the script. "I would say any of the lines that don't work," she laughed.

Tim Burton: Death becomes him.
photo: Warner Bros.
Tim Burton: Death becomes him.


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I suddenly can't think of a segue that would work, so let's just randomly move on to Hung: A Meditation on the Measure of Black Men in America, SCOTT POULSON-BRYANT's upcoming book about the intelligentsia's favorite perennial topic—black dick. (Shut up, bitch.) Poulson-Bryant—a co-founder of Vibe and senior editor of America—has been pondering this fertile subject since he wrote a piece in college called "The Big Phallacy." Years later, at a party, a white guy was telling him that he's noticed in football locker rooms what giant equipment blacks have, after which he proceeded to pull out his own lusty lamppost. (Why can't I get invited to parties like those instead of the same old "pass-along hors d'oeuvres will be served" crap?) "It was pretty big," the author told me, laughing, last week. "I thought, 'If this young white guy is thinking about these things, other people might be thinking about them too.'" (Well, no one wants to propose to a stick.)

Poulson-Bryant says his title references both the big-schlong thing "and the fact that the stereotype led to black men being hanged. Between slavery and Jim Crow, the black beast became a sexual scapegoat." Hung even delves into Hollywood's version of the stereotypes, but Poulson-Bryant was amazed to find that the 1975 plantation potboiler Mandingo, while admittedly trashy, is not necessarily as vile about racial issues as people think. Well, y'all should check out the female version, Mandinga—a practically softcore dub job that is even filthier and more outrageous. Not that I've seen it. Or care. Or think Hung should have been called Willy Wankers and the Chocolate Factory.

Homo on the range: Ledger, Gyllenhaal
photo: Focus Features
Litter Box
Lavender blue, Diller Diller

The New York magazine profile of ANDERSON COOPER hinted around at some sexuality stuff (Cooper again skirted the issue), but offered some weird bits of evidence in the process. "He lives what looks to some to be a gay social life," author JONATHAN VAN METER wrote about Cooper. "He's often seen at parties with BARRY DILLER." Excuse me? Barry's straight, remember? He's married to DIANE VON FURSTENBERG! How in hell did he become a signifier for a gay social life?

Moving on, the openly gay Bareback Mountain, I mean Brokeback Mountain, is apparently heading right toward the homo hall of fame. One spy who saw the flick tells me, " JAKE GYLLENHAAL gets it up the ass and loves it!" (PS: When the movie strikes box office and Oscar gold, I bet OLIVER STONE frantically puts the humping right back in Alexander.)

A commentator top—er, top commentator—MICHELANGELO SIGNORILE was told by Harvey Fierstein that someone stole Harvey's copy of Signorile's new essay compilation book Hard Hitting from his Fiddler on the Roof dressing room. If it was ROSIE O'DONNELL, she's in for a hell of a read!

Meanwhile, over in straightsville, spies say BILL CLINTON was hangin' in Beijing with rich publisher LOUISE McBAIN. China fun indeed?


KRISTIN CHENOWETH's website reveals that the Tony winning actor/singer was asked to withdraw from a November Women of Faith concert in Oklahoma City due—as her site puts it—"to her publicized and heartfelt beliefs that God is accepting of all people on earth." Last week, Out.com reported that apparently Kristin's gays-are-OK remarks—made, among other places, in an Out magazine interview with me—were what put the women's knickers in a twist. Well, funny, the Women of Faith's own website comfortingly says, "We're here to encourage women, not to condemn anyone . . . You can check your mask at the door. You're welcome just as you are." (Hypocrisy in faith? Shocking!) It also interestingly states, "At a Women of Faith conference you'll have the chance to connect with other women—even if you go there alone!" I think Kristin is lucky she's not going there at all.


Were you beside yourself when the telecast started with a rousing number by EARTH, WIND, AND FIRE? Didn't you love it when HUGH JACKMAN thanked his wife JOHN PALMERO—I mean DEBORRA-LEE FURNESS? Do you find it fascinating that BLYTHE DANNER is now bigger than her daughter again? Do you wonder what else may be missing down in S. EPATHA MERKERSON's cleavage? Should they maybe start shooting Lost down there? (And how cute is she, anyway?) How could the "Emmy Idol" competition have left out the themes from Maude, Golden Girls, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show? How fun was FELICITY HUFFMAN ad-libbing "Clunk!" after TERI HATCHER's failed joke? Do you think that made Hatcher even more thrilled when Huffman beat her for the award? Shouldn't the tribute to the great news anchors have acknowledged that millions have defected to cable channels and even the fake news? Couldn't the show have been 90 minutes shorter? But didn't I watch the whole friggin' thing anyway?


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