By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
Joan and I were there to do interpretive readings of celebrity memoirs for an Empire State Pride Agenda benefit performance of Cause Celeb!, the zingy NANCY BALBIRER/CHARLOTTE BOOKER event that puts the hag back in hagiography and the litter back in literary. While we kept getting into character (via dishing), Joan saidas I mentioned last weekthat if her Bravo chat show is picked up, the all-gay panel will include Queer Eye co-creator ANDY COHEN, comic BILLY EICHMAN, and gay American Jim McGreevey. "Will McGreevey do his reports by sticking his mic through a glory hole?" I asked tastefully, and she generously laughed. "We're also going to have . . . can I say the name ANDERSON COOPER?" Joan deadpanned. "No, wait, he can't be on the show," she decided. "He's not gay!" She smirked so loudly they heard it over at the Public Theater. And she wasn't through yet. "I want to see Tom Cruise come out of the cupboard," Joan concluded, "because he's so short!"
Then came showtime, with Joan hijacking the whole evening with a hilarious turn as snooty patootie JOAN COLLINS. She even brought a curly dark wig, a feather boa, and shoulder pads to complete her transformation into the other Joan, reading from the chapter in which the Brit diva prays she isn't recognized when she finds herself on an unemployment line with underprivileged people of color. Halfway through the reading, Rivers interjected, "This isn't that funny." Pause. "Like Joan Collins herself." Pause. "Who used to be older than me!"
AND I AM TELLING YOU . . . SOME MORE GOSSIP
Moving on to younger divas who won't be seeing unemployment anytime soon, if the gossip is true that BEYONCÉ is jealous of her Dreamgirls co-star JENNIFER HUDSONand Lord knows I pray it isn't; no, reallyI think she needs to practice the religious mantras she preaches and realize that each day is a gift, her movie is a godsend, and she should kiss the ground for her great fortuneand besides, even morons have known for decades that the fat girl always steals the show!
This is all made even more delish by the fact thatspoiler alert for non-Broadway queensthe Dreamgirls plot has Hudson being bumped out of the spotlight by Beyoncé 's more mainstream-ready glitz appeal and now in real life, the bumping's happening in reverse. (Though I think everyone in the movie is quite fine and should kiss the ground, etc. etc.) Another interesting plot twist has the two characters engaging in a "Who you callin' crass, you self-absorbed nonprofessional?" catfight that's starting to sound more and more like an ad-lib. The movie, if you don't mind my jumping the gun, is a flashily done rags-to-riches showbiz soap opera with lots of people saying "You and I are through!" to lots of other people in between flailing their arms and singing their guts out. Part Alexander's Ragtime Band with a slice of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, a hint of Mahogany, and a drizzle of Sparkle, it's a grand entertainment custom-made for gay little me, and the brief appearance of the guy who played Urkel doesn't diminish it in the least. Even he's good. Now how about getting Ms. Hudson on some of those posters that trumpet only JAMIE FOXX, Beyoncé, and EDDIE MURPHY? Leaving her out is like advertising a sandwich with "Lettuce! Mayo! Salt!"
THE DOPPELGÄNG'S ALL HERE
From showbiz to showing off, screamgirls SUSANNE BARTSCH and KENNY KENNY brought their fab old Tuesday night Happy Valley bash over to Room Service, which promptly became a little like the Marx Brothers film of the same name as everyone came out of cupboards with headdresses on. The mix was certainly, well, mixed, with people of all genders and astrological signs filling the long, narrow parlor, all of them cornering me to promote their latest self-produced CD. The very shy RICHIE RICH was doing no such thing; he was flashing his ring and exulting, "I just got engaged!" (which I swear he told me three months ago) in between showing the text message PAMELA LEE sent him after he asked her what he should tell People magazine about her breakup with KID ROCK: "Luv ya! Tell them you worked for hours on the beach for free making that veil!" And in white, yet!
Every single Happy Valley freak was there, but since that club closed a few weeks ago, there were now all-new versions of all the above, so the night turned into a multisexual version of The Island. At midnight, they opened an ominous door inside the place and allowed everyoneand all their doppelgängersto go into the next room, which turned out to be a "gentleman's club" with half-naked women writhing up and down poles. Everyone came running right back! There, a publicist declared, "The owner wants to meet you." "No!" I shrieked, feeling I know way too many late-night types already. He was brought over anyway as I prepared for my big moment. "Hi," he said, succinctly, and moved on. And that was the wildest thing of all.