By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Downtrodden people of color triumph over adversity in the musical version ofThe Color Purple, about an oppressed woman who turns to ultra-close female relations. No, it's not the ROSIE O'DONNELL story. It's an OPRAH WINFREY productionin fact, O is one of the producers along with Q and even some people with actual names. The show just gave us press folk a sneak peek full of sassing and hallelujah-ing, after which ELISABETH WITHERS, who plays the ever loving Shug, told me the script stays close to the ethos of the novel. (I guess the ribs haven't been removed.) So will we see hot sex between Shug and Celie, maybe on a Posturepedic? "You'll see intimacy," she said. "Beautiful intimacy between friends." We all need more friends like that. At that point, I befriended LACHANZEwho plays Miss Celieand she told me how her story mirrors that in the show. "Celie's a young woman who's survived tragedy," she said. "I have also survived a traumatic experience [sadly, her husband died on 9-11]. And I have come out on the other side feeling pretty good about myself and understanding the value of faith and taking each day as it comes." Forget mattressesthis show is going to be a giant ad for Kleenex.
A comfortable couples comedy that builds to a lovely melancholy, Absurd Person Singular is that rare production brave enough to have not only one intermission, but a pair of them! Most Broadway plays these days are so terrified people will bolt midway that they'll practically strap you to your seat and electrify the exits as they unfurl their lengthy stage torture without pausing for breath.
At Feinstein's at the Regency, legendary CAROL CHANNING doesn't pause at all, and you'd be a moron to want her to. The sublime person singular goes nonstop with her droll stories and saucer-eyed show tunes, even bumping and grinding her tiny waist to "A Little Girl From Little Rock." She's eight times older than DAKOTA FANNING and just as much a dewy child, but without the scary edge. I adore the woman! Now I'm off to the bank.
Elton: Straight to the mulitplex?
Call me crazyor better yet call me madambut has that designer's daughter really snuggled with KID ROCK, STEPHEN DORFF, and practically everyone else PAMELA ANDERSON ever had a thing for? And will MADONNA offend yet another religion with her inevitable Buddha-licious album? And did that guy who claimed a priest's abuse turned him gay really say his life would have been different otherwise and he'd be married and living in Greenwich? (Yeah, now that Connecticut has same-sex civil unions.) And did I honestly just get the year's most shocking press release, saying that ELTON JOHN's production company is shooting a romantic comedy called It's a Boy Girl Thing?
And is CYNDI LAUPER a doll or what? She had a boy-girl-everything lunch at Coda for her forthcoming The Body Acoustic album, where I naturally asked the singer what her favorite Broadway musical is. "The South Pacific," she cutely said, adding, "I always wanted to play Bloody Mary, but I don't think they'd let me." They must be Bali high.
But here's some interesting casting: Spies who've seen Two for the Money swear that MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY's character is humiliated by "a golden shower" performed by two thugs in Central Park. That must have been even more mortifying than Sahara.
Some gossip about my favorite person. I'm going through the change of life, kids, complete with dry vagina and hot flashes. Antidepressants don't seem to be gelling with my old seizure disorder, and I've been carrying on like a displaced goldfish. But the fun will go on, especially if you send over your own words of inspirationor tales of horror, if you prefer.