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A New Crisis for Britney's Sister?

It's time to play catchup, kids, so get out your mitts and strap on your vomit bags. First off, did you notice that when the Jamie Lynn Spears pregnancy story broke, the photo of the 16-year-old tartlet on the New York Post cover showed her sporting what looked like a gigantic herpes sore? I'm just sayin'! Even more upsettingly, a Christian publishing company put a parenting book by Britney's mother, Lynne Spears, on hold after the big announcement (that Jamie Lynn was pregnant—not had herpes)! So before that, everything was fine, and Mom was considered a glorious parent who instills profoundly inspiring values in her kids? (Rolls eyes.)

A more substantive mom, Jodie Foster, semi–came out by finally acknowledging her girlfriend in public, blah, blah, blah, but now what? Will she take it back, like Rosie O'Donnell did with "I love you, Kelli!" and then go the other way and burst out with a dykey vengeance that'll lead her to the stage of the Mohegan Sun casino? Will she choose a tasteful magazine to do the obligatory Lance Bass–style cover story for, thereby taking the coyness out of her boi-ness? Will she live up to the line in The Brave One, when the pimp says, "Oh, my God. We got us a super cunt here!"? Here's what I think Jodie will do: absolutely nothing. But it would be nice if a red-carpet interviewer at least asked her to elaborate a little. Do you have the balls, ET?

Meanwhile, Queen Latifah was supposed to reveal that she's getting engaged to her female trainer, according to various wacky websites. But shortly afterwards, Queenie made sure to tell USA Today about all the guys who've desperately wanted her through the years. That doesn't necessarily mean they got her, does it? Come on, ET—ask!

While I'm waiting for that announcement—or any announcement—let's catch up with the even more sexually complicated things happening on Broadway. Is He Dead? is glorified sitcom stuff, but it's been deftly resuscitated from the archives, with impish Norbert Leo Butz—once again playing a con man in disguise—adorably clowning around in pincurls as other characters say things like, "I shall expect your full-on oui-oui by four o'clock!" Did I like it? Wee-wee!

I also said yes-yes to the handsome production of Cymbeline, in which Martha Plimpton and Michael Cerveris give highly developed star performances. But I was bothered by Jonathan Cake, who over-leered it up with an irritating speech pattern. (Speak slowly and emphatically, then rush a bunch of words, then come to a sudden stop . . . then speak slowly and emphatically . . .) But he looked great in a towel. Let me eat Cake!

You don't need a towel to watch The Little Mermaid—the water is played by Mylar and the fish float by on what looks like a giant revolving salad bowl. And, shockingly, I didn't want to run out for sushi instead. Of course, I may not be the right person to review this kind of thing: I actually enjoyed Mary Poppins, especially when they vogued, and I even found stuff in Tarzan to like besides the leading man's thumping chest and the homo-erectus remarks. But this show—pretty much a female Pinocchio, about an oddball longing to be human, sort of like Mitt Romney—stays entertainingly afloat for at least the first act. (The dull second half, on dry land, needs water thrown on it.) And between the king's abs and the prince's tightly clothed butt, there's a lot of eye candy for the gays—not to mention the fact that Flotsam and Jetsam come off like screaming queens, the gay has crabs (I mean, the crab seems gay), and Ursula vamps like Bette Midler at the Continental Baths with extra tentacles. Sadly, Flounder was out the night I saw it—maybe he had a haddock—but his understudy didn't flounder at all.

Off-Broadway at the Zipper Factory, a vigorous revue called Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad included a song about gefilte fish that culminated with the entire audience rejecting a bite. The show put the whore in hora, trotting out standup, stripteases, two dancing dreidels, and one angry (and wildly out of place) Def Poetry Jam type. The tirelessly brassy MC/organizer, the Goddess Perlman, offered both wisdom ("With JDate, you get dinner. With Craigslist, you get laid") and fashion. (She wore a menorah dress while admonishing, "Be careful what you throw out!")

Talking trash while wearing riches, the city's best drag queens still include Peppermint, Shequida, and Shasta Cola, who rock Barracuda with hot lip synchs and humor; Bianca Del Rio, whose hilarious mouth is saltier than the rocket salad at Ye Waverly Inn (the New Orleans emigré just got a drag MC gig at Harrah's, by the way); and Kitty Hiccups, who does a deadpan but not-dead-yet Eartha Kitt over at the Ritz. Meanwhile, at Don't Tell Mama—where my waitress doubled as the lighting lady—the fearless Mimi Imfurst mounted A Very Mary Christmas, which had Mimi as the Virgin Mary performing an unlikely comeback cabaret act that involved Heather Mills jokes ("She works at IHOP") and retooled pop hits ("Oh, what a night . . . late December in 1 B.C. . . .") Mary's latest CD? It's available at the Virgin Megastore.

 

At the M.E.A.N.Y. Fest finals at the Knitting Factory, I voted for the tighter-than-my-pussy Ten Year Vamp and the completely off-the-wall Maslow, but some showbizzy Scottish band with bowler hats won, maybe because they'd flown all the way from Sweden just for this event. Fellow judge (and powerhouse performer) Lourds Lane previewed her Super Chix rock opera and told me that Frenchie Davis will appear in it, singing the immortal "Shut Up and Fuck Me." Oui-oui!

Some movie catchup? One of the few ceremonies that's been unencumbered by pickets, the New York Film Critics Circle Awards brought out cinema types genuflecting before one another—literally in the case of Javier Bardem, who kneeled in front of Daniel Day-Lewis as I simultaneously cried and got sick. The latter won Best Actor for definitely doing Walter or John Huston (but definitely not Whitney Houston) in There Will Be Blood, one of several arty films this year about greed in the wilderness. (Then again, what do I know? I am a false prophet! God is a superstition!)

Before the ceremony, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck—who directed the best foreign-language film, The Lives of Others—told me, "I don't see the Huston thing. I see Daniel's performance as a completely personal study in greed. Watching it was a deeply therapeutic experience. Everyone can find elements of themselves in Daniel Plainview." Yeah, especially Walter Huston.

Onstage, von Donnersmarck praised Day-Lewis, but he also thanked presenter Charlie Rose, interestingly saying that if he wasn't happily married, he would have enjoyed the fans he got from being on Rose's show. Another grateful winner, Sarah Polley, nabbed Best First Film for Away From Her, so I saucily asked if she beat Ben Affleck for it. "Yeah," Polley deadpanned, "I beat the crap out of him and he's lying in a ditch, where he's ineligible." (A woman who plays along with the press and makes a haunting Alzheimer's film? I'd marry her if I weren't already so devoted to Charlie Rose.)

In total homo land, I hear that on the Florida set of Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild, Will Wikle had a lovely affair with porn star Brent Corrigan. Another ejaculation idol, Michael Lucas, had to be forced to wear his "cock sock" coverup during his scenes—he wanted it all flapping out, as usual—and what's more, he made his screen romantic partner cry by ad-libbing a bit where he fingered the kid's butthole. Uncharacteristically, Lucas had no comment about this when I asked for one.

A more covered-up Michael—Michael Cera—was just spotted downtown trying to convince a bunch of girls from Long Island that he's an actor! But even if they hadn't heard of Juno yet, Superbad was huge! How super-dumb can you get? We got us some super cunts here.

WEB EXTRA

Wait, let me catch you up on more from the New York Film Critics Circle awards. Receiving a lifetime achievement honor, Sidney Lumet said this was nice "after 30 years of enmity with the critics." He added that this year there were so many good movies out that once awards season hit, "I found it hard to vote for myself—but I managed."

A publicist for Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep was running around saying, "They restored it—and then we had to pay for the music rights!" Daniel Day-Lewis, presenting an honor to Javier Bardem, cracked, "He didn't get this from the National Association of Barbershops."

Persepolis‚ Marjane Satrapi told the crowd, "In France, they always call the New York critics tough bastards. So thank you, my bastard friends." Patricia Clarkson said she's only eight years older than Amy Ryan but "In Hollywood, I'll be playing her mother soon." The Lives of Others director von Donnersmarck told me he "had some important things to say" when the orchestra cut his acceptance speech off on the Oscars. But he wouldn't specify what they were because, "There are some things you can only say when the world's listening."

With the room listening, Ellen Barkin claimed that after he directed his first few movies, George Clooney wrote a letter to Lumet saying he's sorry he stole so much. And Maggie Gyllenhaal revealed that There Will Be Blood cinematographer Robert Elswit once hid in a closet to take a photo of her brother Jake's birth. That must have been how TMZ was born.

 

musto@villagevoice.com


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