The best line heard at Duvet recently: “What did I promise you again—a blowjob or a palm reading?” The most memorable utterance heard at Beige: “Is Happy Valley still good? I haven’t been there since a creature with tits and a penis sucked a whiskey bottle into her ass.” The most choice comment at Happy Valley, as a drunken girl was being dragged out by security: “It must be because she’s wearing a tube top.” The juiciest nugget played by the Cuckoo Club DJ, JOHN JOHN FIELD: a set-to-music version of those crazed phone messages left by FAYE DUNAWAY for a TV biography show producer, fuming that she doesn’t want to be interviewed about TERRY O’NEILL (“a big, big liar”), ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER (“a terrible person and everyone knows it”), or Mommie Dearest (“a stupid cult movie”), but instead wants positive things emphasized, like her artsy, barely seen movies with DEPP and BRANDO (“I was brilliant in it,” she admits of one such chestnut—and she was “wonderful” in the other). “I’m really fed up,” Faye whimpers at the climax, threatening a lawsuit. (Fantastic, Faye. Sheer hate has never been so danceable, so keep spewing, baby.)
The second best communication, according to sources, had JARED PAUL STERN asking the Post‘s managing editor last week about when he can come back and start working on the next Page Six magazine. (The answer: “The 12th of Never”?) The most heartwarming press release from porn guy/self-promoter MICHAEL LUCAS had him rekindling with ex-hustler RUPERT EVERETT at the Cuckoo Club. (Hmm. I wonder who paid whom?) The oddest line emitted outside the Cock by someone trying to avoid the whopping three-dollar cover charge: “Don’t you know who I am?” The most flattering experience ever at Rawhide: Two weeks ago, the doorman wouldn’t let me in because I didn’t have ID showing I’m of legal age! The most astute interpretation of the new X-Men movie, which deals with an attempt to normalize the mutants: It’s a giant metaphor for the ex-gay movement! And the most gay-straight-whatever scene of the week: Club queen SUSANNE BARTCH invited her zany tits-and-a-penis crowd to see a performance by Cedar Lake, the dance company run by the controversial yet cultured Wal-Mart heiress. I haven’t seen such a mixture of drag queens, dancers, and department store execs in one room since I went to see MARTHA STEWART promote her blue-light special at Kmart.
The best celebrity run-in happened outside Cain, which is like a Carnival cruise filled with Applebee’s customers. There, perpetual charmer ESAI MORALES—whom I’d love to give a palm reading to—told me he got fed up with being signed to a big agency, where you get lost in the shuffle. “This lady here is changing my life,” said Morales (NYPD Blue, La Bamba), pointing to a blonde sporting a frozen smile. “I’m her only client,” he added, exultantly. The woman started glaring at him, as if to say, “Put a lid on it, dude,” and he promptly did so and moved on. See—you can’t get that kind of attention with a big agency.
A more wanton broad became the star attraction over at XL’s Faggoty Feud game when the MC, TRAI LA TRASH, dragged up the only biological woman in the place and grilled her about her sexual preferences. When the busty gal declared that licking guys’ butts is her all-time favorite activity, the place erupted into five minutes of hooting and cheering. It takes so little to make the gays happy.
Heading uptown to respectability, I kissed TERI HATCHER‘s impeccable ass at GILLES MENDEL‘s party at Bergdorf Goodman for Hatcher’s happiness manifesto Burnt Toast. First, I had to shimmy past the crush of labeled ladies who were forming human crop circles around the Desperate Housewives star just to get a peek. “She’s so sweet!” cooed an employee who was going to try to introduce me. “How disappointing,” I deadpanned. “No, it’s refreshing!” she oozed. Whatever the case, she couldn’t get Hatcher’s attention, so I chatted up the star’s stylist, who unsurprisingly gushed, “She’s very confident and wears clothes well. She’s a stylist’s dream.” “And she’s so sweet!” repeated the employee, who then slipped away and left me totally adrift. (I guess the sweetness wasn’t contagious.)
Fortunately the stylist made the introduction, and Hatcher turned out to be . . . well, so sweet. “Has anyone mistakenly thought Burnt Toast was a cookbook?” I wondered, cutely. “Only LIZ SMITH,” Hatcher said, laughing. Whatever the book is, does it mean Hatcher’s horning in on my territory? “I should only be so lucky,” she said, correctly. “But I’ve always written. I wrote an episode of Lois & Clark. I wanted to be able to give women tips for how to live their lives, and I’m grateful Desperate Housewives has given me the exposure to do it. If I didn’t have that, no one would take me seriously.” And speaking of that colossus of camp programming: Has anything on the show shocked the absolute bejesus out of her? “I was surprised that Gabrielle [EVA LONGORIA‘s character] got away with sleeping with an underage boy,” Hatcher admitted. “That’s a sensitive issue in our culture. We seem to attack a lot of men for going after teenage girls. I was surprised the writers let that slide. I’m not suggesting she should have gone to jail, but the storyline dropped and it’s a serious issue.” Great answer—and even though I then dove lustily on a piece of chicken, I can assure you it was just an hors d’oeuvre.
ANOTHER MAN’S POSEIDON
On the big screen, very young disaster queen Emmy Rossum ran from chunks of hail in The Day After Tomorrow and from bad music in Phantom of the Opera, and now she’s got water in her lungs in Poseidon, the remake about an ocean liner turned topsy-turvy by a “rogue wave” or maybe just an upside-down camera. Just like the original version, this one introduces a bunch of starlets, B actors, and Oscar winners (well, one Oscar winner—RICHARD DREYFUSS), then makes them battle the waves while tying up their messy personal problems. It’s like a Carnival cruise filled with Applebee’s customers. There’s about 10 minutes of backstory, and then the water becomes the star, destroying some good sense in its path, though it’s interesting to see Dreyfuss play a gay architect with a diamond ear stud who’s been dumped by his lover and has decided to end his life with $5,000 bottles of champagne. Sad? Pathetic? Maybe, but at least unlike so many screen gays he had a lover.
(By the way, United 93 probably would have been a hit if they’d only gone for the kitschy, all-star, IRWIN ALLEN approach, with a romantic subplot and a lounge singer. Nah, maybe not.)
Staying in the wet zone, every critic clobbered JULIA ROBERTS‘s dual-role performance in Three Days of Rain, many rhapsodizing about how much better the admittedly fab PATRICIA CLARKSON was or must have been in ’97. But I did some research and it turns out PETER MARKS‘s Times review back then said Clarkson was effective in Act One, “but less convincing” in the second half. So there. (P.S.: I wouldn’t be surprised if Julia signs on to the movie version; stage actors whore out for Hollywood all the time.)
In other Broadway news, someone on “All That Chat” heard that JUDY KAYE might follow PATTI LUPONE in Sweeney Todd. A gorgeous choice—but can Kaye play a tuba? Meanwhile, a certain new leading man with his own lovely instrument has reportedly been sleeping his way through Broadway—well, half of Broadway, namely the male half. “Gay guys are so hot!” as KATIE HOLMES exclaimed in Go.
YOU CAN CALL ME AL
I’m hotter than Faye Dunaway’s breath these days—if I can steer the conversation back to myself—but while I get recognized all the time, unfortunately it’s not always for being Mikeypoo. (Don’t you know who I am?) Thanks to my nebulously nebbishy face, panting folks have been convinced I’m either AL FRANKEN, EUGENE LEVY, MICHAEL RICHARDS, TONY KUSHNER, ELVIS COSTELLO, or the guy from NY1. A woman was near tears last year as she told me what Caroline, or Change meant to her, and the more I assured her I didn’t write it, the more she was convinced I was either a painfully shy genius or a shameless liar. Others have absolutely adored me in projects ranging from Seinfeld to American Pie, despite my shrieking protestations that I’ve never even seen those things, let alone been in them. By the time a scary guy was chasing me down the street and squealing, “Mr. Franken!” I just went along with it so as not to disappoint one more person (and to not get killed). “Yes!” I said, still running, “that’s me!” But when the freak kept chasing me, begging for an autograph, I demurred, not thrilled at the prospect of forging Franken’s name. “You asshole!” he shouted. “I tried calling in on your radio show and I couldn’t get through—and now you won’t even give me a fucking autograph? You suck shit!” Sorry, Al, you now have one less fan—but he was rather psychotic anyway. Now everyone leave me alone. I’m really fed up.