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.

On Broadway: Washington
Paul Smith
On Broadway: Washington


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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."

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