NY Mirror

I wrote a fan note to Broadway eternal DONNA MCKECHNIE when I was practically in diapers—the original ones, not Depends—as McKechnie astoundingly reminded me at the party for her riveting memoir Time Steps. The note still holds. At the event, McKechnie read triumphant snatches from the book and illustrated her points with other Broadway eternals singing the appropriate show tunes. When Donna's original A Chorus Line castmate PRISCILLA LOPEZ belted "What I Did For Love," everyone fell apart, even—no, especially—on "Look, my eyes are dry."

Later on, ex-View-er MEREDITH VIEIRA heard me gushing to another guest about something and she assumed it was about the McKechnie performance. "Wasn't it great?" she exclaimed. "Yes," I replied, "but we were talking about Weber's discount store." She handled it well.

And suddenly it was Fashion Week, where my discount apparel was greeted with fishy stares, even from attitudey homeless people. But fun freaks and icons gathered at the Mao Mag party, where I chatted up NATALIE REID, "the fake PARIS HILTON," who's almost as delightfully ditzy as the real one. "Sorry about your record not selling enough," I said, feigning concern. She looked dazed and responded, "I like your jacket." Hot! At a party for The Daily at the new club Tenjune, Elvis's granddaughter, RILEY KEOUGH, seemed equally light-headed while spilling beer on RYAN CABRERA, "but she's nice," I was assured. I'd probably like her anyway.

Lip service: Tomer Heymann, middle, mouths off at Paper Dolls premiere.
photo: Cary Conover
Lip service: Tomer Heymann, middle, mouths off at Paper Dolls premiere.

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See also:
Slideshow: R.I.P., Willi Ninja
Photo Gallery on a Vogueing Giant

But stop everything. The unthinkable has happened and BEN AFFLECK (the best thing in the fairly leaden Hollywoodland) and SHARON STONE (who closed her legs for the RFK assassination piece Bobby) are being talked about for Oscar consideration. What a world, what a world. Check the Weather Channel to see if hell's frozen over.

Alas, not coming back is voguing giant Willi Ninja, who never stopped twirling, whirring, and giving the new kids props and inspiration. After Willi's recent death from AIDS, poet EMANUEL XAVIER sent out the requisite info, with the proviso, "This is a funeral service, not a ball event. Any unnecessary drama will not be welcome." Afterwards, a relieved Xavier informed me that only necessary drama took place. "Thank God none of the ball queens tried to run off with Willi's pumps or trophies," he related. "He went out like a downtown Celia Cruz, the way he would have wanted to. He looked fabulous, and considering the amount of people, they kept the procession cute, with house music playing in the background. I almost expected Willi to pop up from his coffin, snap his fingers, and yell 'Work!' " Xavier certainly worked it. "I was cruising this really hot guy," he told me, "as Willi would've expected me to, and it turned out to be PHARRELL WILLIAMS!" Hmm, frontin' into him would surely allay some of my grief.

There's only one mildly sour note. Another attendee swears Willi would be rolling in his grave that MADONNA was quoted in his press obituaries, seeing as "he spent his entire career reminding people that voguing was introduced by the likes of MALCOLM MCLAREN and QUEEN LATIFAH." Willi would have, you know, died. Still, Madonna was being sincere, and even us city queens should probably encourage that sort of thing.


WEB EXTRA: Let's make way for some new beginnings. I hear Amy Lumet (director Sidney's glam daughter) has just gotten engaged to Tony Peck (Gregory's charmer son). And Minnie Mortimer (the cute sister-in-law of Tinsley) has been hand holding with Syriana writer/director Stephen Gaghan. Hey, one more of these and we've got a trend.

musto@villagevoice.com

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