‘A Taste of Bunny’—Lady Bunny‘s new show Sunday nights at Fez—is a marvel of high fashion and low humor that mixes lip-synching, go-go dancing, and fart jokes
into a scat-ridden potpourri of pure entertainment. The utterly tasteless mood is set when credits are held up from behind a curtain: “makeup by Sherwin-Williams, body by Crunch (Nestlé’s Crunch), costumes by Stevie Wonder, choreography by Christopher Reeve.” As you try to muffle your guffaw, the shameless drag star proceeds to whirl out in a glitzy minidress and two feet of frosted hair and indulge us with jokes so filthily familiar I even recognized one of them from my own column. (That convinced me of how superb the material was.) In this “work in regress,” Bunny presents herself as “a world-weary yet adorable orphan girl on steroids,” but mainly she’s just on, period, trotting out smutty one-liners in between singing a plaintive “Who Will Buy?,” doing a dead-on impression of Kate Bush, and reworking pop tunes into raunchily feel-good anthems (“It takes two to make my hole feel tight”). The Bunster even inspires—she tells a lengthy story about giving head in a potato-chip van—and educates, with helpful hints like “How do you make Martha Stewart scream twice? Fuck her up the ass and then wipe your dick on the curtains!” What a sick, offensive, appalling evening—I can’t wait to go again. No, it’s not Masterpiece Theatre, but I never felt Masterpiece Theatre had enough fart jokes anyway.
The rest of the week, I aimed a little higher culturally, pristinely nibbling on a Cornish hen at a private tasting at Eugene’s (formerly Esme, and before that Number 24) and sucking down some rarefied form of risotto at the party for the crime caper Where the Money Is at Cipriani (formerly the site of my pasta-gorging spree at a Julia Roberts bash). The movie is a likably quirky character study—at least until it settles for sub-TV-level heist action—and the party was that rare one where all the principals showed up and seemed so agreeable you didn’t feel like force-feeding them Mariah Carey‘s leftover oysters or wiping your privates on their curtains (Paul Rudd came too, and told me he loves his goldfish).
The cagey Paul Newman generally smiles a lot without revealing much, so I instead talked to his costars Dermot Mulroney and Linda Fiorentino, who revealed that they loved working with Paul Newman. “Even when I came in here,” said Mulroney, “I made a beeline right to him. It’s like bees to honey!” He raced over to Newman again, honey, as Fiorentino admiringly told me, “Paul kicked my ass at badminton, and he’s my father’s age!” Did she get all hot and bothered in the equally athletic, sexually fraught scene where she’s slow dancing with the old legend? “I didn’t, because I knew him so well,” Linda said. (That always ruins it for me, too.) “You couldn’t get hot and bothered with the schedule we had—we worked 18-hour days.” Linda will next slave away in Till the End of Time, in which she plays Georgia O’Keeffe opposite Ben Kingsley‘s Alfred Stieglitz. Who’ll play the cow skull? “Harvey Weinstein,” she laughed. “That’ll go in the column!” a publicist shrieked, having a conniption. “Harvey’s my paisan,” said Fiorentino, unfazed. Mine, too—he’s where the money is.
The Keeping the Faith premiere was where the stuffed cabbage was, not to mention a sushi bar, a gospel choir, and Boys Don’t Cry‘s brilliant director, Kimberly Peirce, and associate producer, Bradley Simpson, enjoying serious Oscar afterglow. I confessed to the two hotshots that the sight of them hugging when
Hilary Swank won Best Actress made me a bit nervous that they may have been suddenly bearding for each other. Peirce assured me it was just a spontaneous display of affection and said she’d purposely avoided being photographed with Simpson that whole night so it wouldn’t look like a heterosexualized image. “People called my family afterwards,” Peirce told me, “and said, ‘Who’s the guy?’ I’m like, ‘A big fag! Give me a break!’ ” No connection here, but as for Best Actor Kevin Spacey and his perennial date Diane Dryer, Peirce told me, “You see him leaving parties with her and you think, ‘Why does he do that?’ I’m totally out and nobody cares.” Yes, we do—we love it!
Let out of his cage, fabulous wildman John Galliano made an appearance at Saks Fifth Avenue to promote his fall line, and I clawed my way past the models, buyers, and fashionistas to ask him if he saw the Oscars (though I didn’t ask who he hugged during Hilary Swank’s win). “I saw some of it. Nicole looked wicked,” the designer replied, in a review far more concise than the awards themselves. All right, what’s the inspiration for his wicked new collection? “It’s inspired by children and forgotten innocence,” Galliano said, “based on some very moving pictures by Diane Arbus. Children always put clothes together without any preconceived ideas at all.” Funny, so do I.
But let me put on my carefully calculated director’s cape and disclose that, as sure as my name is Erin Brockovich, all sorts of pilots are being developed for the fall TV season, and some of them sound more doomed than pilots for Alaska Airlines—though others will be enchanting, I’m sure. Among the ones I’ve heard about are Bette, in which the divine Bette
Midler is married to an English professor named Roy who’s supportive, but doesn’t let the little devil get away with anything. (Why is Bette doing TV? I can only guess two reasons: Isn’t She Great and Drowning Mona—though I just saw Mona at the $4 theater, and it had way more wonderfully sick humor than the critics gave it credit for; Sherwin-Williams must have done the makeup.)
There’s another pilot called Homecoming Queen, in which Brett Butler finally gets out of prison after having cut the ear off her ex-husband’s then girlfriend. It is not based on fact. Meanwhile, PAX TV is drumming up Doc with Billy Ray Cyrus as a New York HMO physician from Nebraska—though naturally it’ll be shot in Toronto. Sound like an achy breaky bomb? Maybe not, but it’s definitely a work in regress.
In the movie world, Emmanuelle 2000 is an upcoming seven-part series of features which official descriptions say “has a sci-fi bend [sic] to it, similar to Being John Malkovich.” But I bet people will be diving into her snatch rather than her head.
May I end with some things that make me very happy? All About “All About Eve” is the liveliest, dishiest book ever written about the wittiest movie of all time. The lead singer of Incubus whines so petulantly, but oh so cutely, don’t you think, especially in acoustic performances? (Pardon me while I burn, indeed.) And, finally, I loved hearing from my sources that, in her first TV-show taping last week, Dr. Laura Schlessinger—who has the IQ of a cow skull—asked the audience if they’d go to a shower for an illegitimate baby and was worked when most of them said yes! That’s one for the bastard, zero for the bitch.