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Meanwhile, NATALIE PORTMAN almost didn't see Act II of Mother Courage and Her Children (starring the indomitable MERYL STREEP as a sort of sniping Edith Prickley meets Mama Rose). The night I went, Portman couldn't find her ticket stub to get back in after intermission. Out of the blue, a nice woman handed Natalie her stub and split. It must have been the real Sophie's choice: 90 more minutes of outdoor Brecht or the chance to ass-kiss the bald chick from V for Vendetta.


SKANKS FOR THE MAMMARIES

The revolutionary costume for today: Albert Maysles
photo: Nicholas Burnham
The revolutionary costume for today: Albert Maysles

And now for something completely skanky: At CHRISTINA AGUILERA's Marquee party, in between being all smoochy with the hubby for the cameras, "Christina was reading him, bossing him around, making faces, and not treating him well at all," swears a source. How dirrty! At PARIS HILTON's CD party at the same place, Paris was making that usual moon face, as a photographer circled her trying to get a close-up of her kinkajou bite. He couldn't find it, but the marks from NICK CARTERwere still there, whomp whomp whomp.

Another pop star who's been knocked around—the aforementioned Boy George—barked at crews capturing him on his trash shift. (He should have hauled them to the nearest dumpster.) But I hear George commissioned his own camera crew to follow him all week for a documentary! I adore seeming contradictions.

As for that other drag legend, LIZA MINNELLI, someone tells me her concert in Coney Island was so great, "fans in wheelchairs were doing their best to give her a standing ovation."

In that Kiki & Herb show, the wheelchair-ready Kiki ( JUSTIN BOND) cracks that it's against the law to say the president should be killed, "but it's perfectly legal to float the wish that he kill himself, isn't it?"

Drag comes to the kiddie corner with Freakshow, the upcoming book by JAMES ST. JAMES( Disco Bloodbath), who tells me it's about "a teenage drag queen growing up in a red state. I believe it's the first drag queen as a main character in young adult fiction." Except for Long John Silver. "It lets you know it's OK to want to wear feathers and sequins," he explains, "that it doesn't have to be a psychosexual drama—it's just about expressing yourself through ball gowns, blah blah blah. I see it as an AARON CARTERvehicle." But let's have a part for brother Nick, please—or else.

While we're talking about vulnerable young ones, when I heard they'd found JonBenet's killer in Thailand, I thought, "So Patsy Ramsey's alive and hiding out in Southeast Asia?" But it turned out to be that nutty CHAD LOWE lookalike trannie who's so obsessed with youth he's a walking, letching billboard for Botox and hair plugs. The evidence? Well, he's creepy. And also it seems that 14 years ago, he wrote something with the letter S, which was also in the ransom note! Maybe they can get him to admit to Natalee Holloway too. And Chandra Levy. And the Lindbergh baby. And the Duffs' movie career.

musto@villagevoice.com

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