Johnny Depp Remembers Heath--And Other Oscar Treats

Showstoppers and rip-offs in the blowsy movie musical. Plus: Paper's Nightlife Awards

On Broadway, Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones goes for art as a roving theater actor in A Little Night Music, the exquisite show with untoppable Sondheim thoughts like, "Perpetual sunset is rather an unsettling thing." Zeta-Jones plays it lusty and large, then manages to wring fresh poignancy out of "Send in the Clowns." But having seen the impeccably gorgeous original production, I'm a little over the current, scaled-down trend, an act of economic urgency posing as theatrical vision. There's already talk of a minimalist Show Boat, which is being dubbed either Rowboat or No Boat, and I'm sure we can also brace ourselves for recession titles like 51 Dalmations, Six Wives for Three Brothers, and the immortal Not Very Big River.

A lotta night music was honored at the Paper Nightlife Awards at M2. (Disclosure: I got inducted into their Hall of Fame that night. I knew that if I went to 3,756 parties, someone would notice.) Among the highlights, drag star Harry (a/k/a Harriet Holloway) presented the Best Promoter Award and remarked, "Promoters have the best coke—or, as I call it, powder cardio." Amanda Lepore cooed that, thanks to her surgeon, "I'll look the same in 2033." And the human sparkplug known as Ladyfag won Future Face of Nightlife, telling the crowd that all the drink tickets she gives to gay guys don't always direct them to her nibbly bits. By the way, I hope this award boosts the Lady's desperate attempt to organize a fundraiser to help her buy an $8,000 pair of shoes she wants. Nothing's more important than the right footwear!

Lepore showed off her face at a birthday dinner at BonBon, where we all posed with cookies shaped like her giant lips, then dutifully ate them. At my table, dandy Patrick McDonald pursed his lips and told me he didn't get along with his assigned design partner on the reality show Launch My Line. "When I got to know him," said McDonald, "a Cher song came to mind: 'Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves.' "

Well, I'm sitting here singing "Song for the Lonely" with my legs open.

musto@villagevoice.com

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