By Albert Samaha
By Steve Weinstein
By Devon Maloney
By Tessa Stuart
By Alison Flowers
By Albert Samaha
By Jesse Jarnow
By Eric Tsetsi
When you get an e-mail saying, "BIG JOHN invites you to the opening of HQ gentlemen's club," you go, even though it's over by the river and you're not necessarily a giant fan of vaginal entertainment (though naturally you fully support those who are). Honey, if someone named Big John beckons you to anything, you go, so there I was, oohing and aahing over the plush red banquettes and not letting on that I had no idea Effen was a vodka brand. (I thought the Effen screwdrivers on the drink menu were a polite way of saying fucking screwdrivers. Turns out effen means smooth in Dutch, blah blah blah.)
Various female employees were assigned to tour me around the place, and since I'm impervious to those kinds of curves, their challenge was to win me over with charm rather than pelvic thrusts or leg contortions. And so I was glamorously guided through all the dark booths within hazily lit private rooms where all the choreographed lovin' goes on. "Do you smell that?" one babe said at one point, unnerved. "The candle wax?" I offered. "No, I smell something different," she said, scrunching her nose with recognition and horror. Whatever effen fluid it may have been, I found the joint delightful, especially since Big John turned out to be a giant cuddly bear and no one shoved an actual vagina in my face.
They only shoved air in my puss at the JAMIE FOXX record-release party at PM Lounge, where I sat on a banquette surrounded by the Oscar winner and his bevy of female workers and hangers-on. When I became claustrophobic, one of the gals handed me a battery-operated fan with a Foxx logo on it, explaining, "This is our official fan for when things get too hot on movie sets." But when Jamie wants a fan, they probably hand him one of his bevy of female workers and hangers-on, rimshot, drumroll, kidding, hello.
Speaking of Mr. Foxx, though Rent and The Producers might be driving nails into the movie musical at the box officedo you smell that?Dreamgirls, with its roster of gigantic stars like him, just might reopen the coffin. DreamWorks and Paramount are so on top of things they already released a trailer weeks ago, even though they hadn't shot a frame yet. (Remember to bring your fan to the set now that they arefilming.) The teaser mainly consists of close-ups of posing body parts and whooshing sparkles as you hear JENNIFER HOLLIDAY's really old version of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." And I am telling you I'm still going to see Dreamgirls despite this way premature bit of highfalutin vagueness.
More immediately, while the Golden Globe awards (coming up on the 16th) used to be savaged by the media for being utterly mercenary and corruptremember when NEIL DIAMOND was nominated for The Jazz Singer?now there are incensed articles written saying, "They snubbed the blockbusters! What an outrage! They didn't nominate King Kong and Memoirs of a Geisha for Best Picture!" In other words, they shockingly went for more subtly calibrated stuff like The Constant Gardener and A History of Violence rather than grease the wheels of big-budget, overblown epics. Shameful, isn't it?
SWING, YOU SINNERS
My spokes were lubed at the Saint at Large event at Pachathe best party of the year up to that point and not just because it was on January 1. It was just so gay, from the talent coordinator in the dressing room sizing up a drag go-go dancer and saying, "Why don't we do jewels on your nipples?" to the four lamé-hot-pants-clad guys weaving across the dancefloor in a giant serpent costume. (The club was done in an underwater theme, as if JULIE TAYMOR had ingested crack and directed The Little Mermaid.) On top of that, one level was drenched in truckloads of white particles, and you didn't know whether to shovel it, snort it, or reach for the Head & Shoulders. Looming out of the white stuff, the JONNY MCGOVERNprocured go-go gods on boxes were extra enchanting, especially the one who looked like KEVIN FEDERLINE with good skin and a job. And though it's great that vocals are officially backthe dancefloor was packed with homos gamely getting used to thatit's somewhat less exciting that fan twirling is tooas in paper fans, not Jamie Foxx ones (though most of the practitioners of this lost art are so advanced in years that they have to work their magic while sitting down). Later in the night, the bottom level became home to Snaxx, a party for furry guys, where scissors and pluckers are considered the Antichrist. I ripped the jewels off my nipples, glued on some more hair, and prepared to be extremely popular.
There's no body hair at Distortion Disko on Thursdays at Duvet; it's a giddy party starring the world's largest prancing procession of young gay twinks right out of an all-male version of Whoville. These guy-ettes are precious and cute and dimpled and spike-haired and elf-eared and worship MADONNA and wear their collars up, and I'm by far the butchest one there. Hello?
Dripping with even more unlikely machismo, I judged the M.E.A.N.Y. Fest finals at CBGB, sucking in the Thai buffet before taking in the seven competing bands over four loud hours. I effen stuck it out even as one of the musicians tried to bribe me with drinks, a judge kept moaning that one of the bands was "too old," and a lead singer told the crowd, "Thanks for packing this place from wall to wall. Bring on the fire hazard. We'll all die and burn up together!" The winners were the ones who'd dressed like the Beatles, getting major points just for having heard of them.
In news related to a real communal disaster, a reader from New Orleans assures me that all is not lost down there, especially if you're partial to hunks with capable tools. In fact, as he wrote me, "Some enterprising porno producer should come down and do an epic starring the virile young roofers who are all over town these days. You scan the skies and see nothing but bare-chested, bicep-rippling studs and studlets tearing off tar paper and tiles, wearing as little as possible." Honey, I'll be right down to help!
Go tell it on the mountain
But first help me appreciate something: Is anyone else loving the irony of the fact that while KATIE HOLMES's ambition might be showing, it's her Dawson's Creek co-star MICHELLE WILLIAMSwho, through your basic work ethic, landed in and got raves for the year's best-reviewed smash, the closet-gay romance Brokeback Mountain?
I'll exit with a marital near-miss about Broadway legend ELAINE STRITCH. A source swore to me that Stritch recently brought a bunch of her old bras to a shop to be fixed (no, I have no idea) and in the process blurted the news that she has remarried. She even sent out crates of English muffinssupposedly baked by her new manas a whole-grain holiday gift. Well, I asked around and learned there's no new man at allthe woman always sends out muffins, made by her late husband's family. I'd have asked Stritchie herself for the whole story, but like CHITA RIVERA, I'm scared a huh!
I recently spotted adorable MINNIE DRIVER shopping in the basement of Kmart. Can you believe it? That I shop at Kmart? . . . The not so adorable PETER BRAUNSTEIN must be played by ROBERT DOWNEY JR. if he must be played at all . . . And while we're playing, the unspeakably cute drag queen names I printed a few weeks ago prompted all kinds of people to write in with their own saucy suggestions: Taylor Law, Celine Solution, Farrah Moansand for a drag king, Dick Cutoff.
Whatever you call me, I am going to be a correspondent on ROCCO DISPIRITO's show on WOR! Yayanother weekly opportunity to be wildly expressive and have fun, fun, fun! Oh, wait, he just walked because they wanted him to stick to the food talk rather than do a freewheeling show laden with gossip and entertainment? OK, I am not going to be a correspondent on Rocco DiSpirito's show! . . . Some might get appetized looking at the Ice Age 2: The Meltdown poster for the JOHN LEGUIZAMO character, Sid the sloth. It inadvertently (I assume) makes the creature's right foot look like a dangling penis. And suddenly this becomes a must-see sequel. But what's with the beavers, as it were, in Narnia? They don't even flinch when they're chatting with the kids, who are all decked out in beaver coats. God, I hate self-loathing rodents.
Star magazine recently ran some of my illustrious celebrity predictions for the new year, but here comes the special DVD version where I include a few that didn't see daylight.
Which celebrity will get pregnant in 2006? Lindsay Lohan. But you won't hear about it.
Which celebrity will have the biggest comeback in 2006? Joan Collins, with a reality show called "I'm Not a Bitch, I Just Play One on TV!"
Which celebrity will have a full-on meltdown in 2006? Teri Hatcher. With Felicity Huffman's oncoming Oscar bid, it will all be too much for poor Teri to take. Expect lots of on-set demands, flying objects, and effigy burnings.
Which celebrity will get arrested? Colin Farrell for indecent exposure.
Which celebrity will become a new fashion icon? Lourdes Ciccone will launch a junior kabbalah line.
Which celebrity will get scary skinny? Star Jones. Only her head will keep swelling.
Phyllis Gatesthe wife of closeted movie icon Rock Hudsonrecently died, and now Bob Hoffler, who wrote The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson about agent Henry Willson, has some juice to spill. As Hoffler tells me, "After their divorce, Gates, who was a lesbian, blackmailed Rock. In the book, I detail the story where Henry hired a hit from Las Vegas on two guys who were blackmailing Rock. Well, Gates put them up to it, and the hit also paid her a visit. Later, she tried again, but was quelled by photos take of her with other women. Rock had somehow acquired these photos."
The author adds: "Phyllis had told various people that marrying Rock 'would be fun.' She then became addicted to being the wife of a star, and didn't want the divorce. Mark Miller, [movie star] George Nader's lover, told me that she had a double standard: Phyllis could play around with women but Rock had to remain faithful to her. In a way, she was just being pragmatic: she feared that Rock's exposure would ruin his fame, which was in turn her gravy train.
"By the way, Phyllis did not meet Rock at Henry Willson's office, as she claimed. She met Rock at Mark Miller and George Nader's home in Studio City. She had been out on a movie date with Rock Hudson's then-lover, Jack Navaar. So Phyllis knew the score. She met Rock in the company of gay men." And now it's gay men who are telling the truth about the whole situation.
Oh, one more thing: Says Hoffler, "In the last two years, Gates was actually mentioned as the correspondent in a divorce case in which a husband accused his wife of having an affair with Gates. I don't know how that case resolved."
The invite said "Paper and Mac celebrate Zac Posen at Village restaurant," so I went and dove into the pear crumble and special guest Bryce Dallas Howard, who was unspoiled and fun. Was she only there because she starred in The Village? "Yes," she played along, "I only go to restaurants named Village." (16-month-old spoiler alert: It's set in the present!) Of course she would also go to any restaurant named Manderlay; that's the title of the new Lars von Trier weirdie with Bryce as Dogville's Nicole Kidman character, this time stumbling upon slavery in the '30s. "It's an interesting film," she told me, wide-eyed. "Interesting is the operative word."