Kerry Washington: No Slouch in Mamet's Race

Plus dancing stars, live mullets, and midlife lesbians.

At a book party at artist Peter Max's studio, charismatic HLN host Jane Velez-Mitchell told me how she came out as a midlife lesbian, as detailed in her 12-step memoir, I Want: My Journey From Addiction and Overconsumption to a Simpler, Honest Life. "I was a blackout drinker," she admitted, "and a garden-variety lush. My boyfriend told me he was not going to tolerate my behavior anymore. I made a fool of myself at a party in West Hollywood." Which is not easy to do in that neighborhood. "You really have to try hard," she agreed, laughing. "So I had a miracle. It was a spiritual convergence. The obsession was lifted."

And since she could no longer hide behind a bottle of Chardonnay, Velez-Mitchell was able to face her sexuality, "and I'm still in the process." Funny, most people have to get tanked to come out, but Jane—a different-drum marcher—had to stop doing so. She even became vegan, "so no matter what happens to me every day, I won't have killed anyone. Nobody had to die for this party!" "Unless I choke on a cucumber canapé," I quipped.

No one croaked at the celebration for the coffee-table book about the long-running downtown restaurant Indochine at Bergdorf Goodman last week. In fact, there were more living beings there than had been in any store for ages. High on life, I asked Indochine's owner, Jean-Marc Houmard, for his magical secret to success. "If I had one, I'd be rich," he said. "Wait! You own Indochine, not to mention Kittichai, and you're not rich?" I screeched. "You must be a terrible businessman!" "Thank you for pointing that out," he replied, winsomely.

Wild Irish jigs were being performed over at the Finian's Rainbow bash at Bryant Park Café, especially when the raves started pouring in like Lucky Charms. Co-star Cheyenne Jackson told me he'll be on 30 Rock next week and his character is supposed to recur throughout the season. His leading lady, Kate Baldwin, is another trouper; she told me that, though Finian's Rainbow is about a pot of gold that grants three wishes, "I'm not superstitious. I believe in hard work and elbow grease." Well, I believe in mischief (and lip gloss), so I wondered if anyone's bought tickets expecting to see Finnegan's Wake. "People keep calling it Finnegan's Rainbow," she admitted. "They haven't gotten to the Wake part."

musto@villagevoice.com

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