Gossip About Steve Carell, Joaquin Phoenix, and Katie Holmes

Plus Amy Ryan: not your everyday Jane

Also committed, Jackson's writer/director, Alex Timbers, told me how the musical has grown en route to Broadway: "We'll have a 130-foot stack of LED tubes. And there'll be a horse hanging over the audience." "It's sort of your chandelier," I suggested, adding that if it falls, this can turn into a Godfather musical.

Michael Feinstein no longer has Dame Edna hanging over him; he has left her for Barbara Cook, the two of them starring in the lovely "Cheek to Cheek" show at Feinstein's nightclub at the Loews Regency. "We'll do punk, rap, and thrash," Feinstein jokes at the outset, but instead, they sing standards—he cutely, earnestly, and with big lungs, and she with the expected creamy profundity. And they get frisky, too. When one song starts out sounding like "Fever," Feinstein says, "I'm not Peggy Lee with her 12 facelifts. Late in her life, she was no longer singing out of her mouth. But she was great!" Cook, meanwhile, announces that Catherine Zeta-Jones didn't deserve the Tony—and she dishes on herself, too, admitting that she once followed a hot tenor around the globe in pure lust. "The gonads have a mind of their own," reveals Cook, unexpectedly. And one suspects she's ready for them.

Same place, another night, and Tony nominee Orfeh was absolutely on fire, covering pop hits with a rich voice and personality and a fab husband (Wicked's Andy Karl) singing back-up. Someone give this lady a chart to top.

Fashion Week lured my stimulus package to the FIT Couture Council's lunch for Karl Lagerfeld at Avery Fisher, where the designer's food looked a bit different from everyone else's. It turns out he'd had it personally ordered out from Nobu! If I'd known delivery was an option, I would have gotten a pepperoni pizza.

People had to sneak their own booze into Next magazine's zanily fun Fashion's Night Out event at Limelight Marketplace, but at least that allowed the drag queens to soberly survey the scene. In the process, they realized how removed this place is from the old Limelight ("No booze, drugs, or cock," observed Sherry Vine) and how it's somewhat lacking as a mall, too ("If you're gonna make it a mall, it should have a Panda Express and a Taco Bell," declared Mimi Imfurst). Now that's everyday realism.

musto@villagevoice.com

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