Remember when, while talking to a pretty blonde woman at Beatrice Inn, I asked her name and it turned out to be Kirsten–as in Dunst! Well, though I usually have spot-on celebrity radar, my old head injury does sometimes flare up and I become totally flummoxed by bold-face names making live apparitions. In fact, just the other night, I was hanging at the gay hangout Barracuda when a man approached me and said hello. He paused for me to recognize him, but I went blanker than a Price Is Right contestant on crystal and stammered, “And you are..?” “David Furnish,” he replied succinctly, as a lightbulb exploded over my head. OMG, it was Elton John‘s special man and an executive producer of Billy Elliot: The Musical!
“Sorry, I don’t read the tabloids, so I don’t know what you look like,” I said, idiotically sticking my bunions even deeper into my mouth. “But we met at the premiere of my documentary,” he reminded me, as I suddenly felt the urge to drop through a trap door and be eaten alive by rabid rats. But I was stuck there, and Furnish was kind enough to keep talking to ease the pain, switching topics to Billy Elliot as if nothing icky had happened. He said he knew the show would have to earn its acclaim in New York, but also that he’s extremely proud because people told him the project could never make it in the first place. “Be kind to it,” he urged. I will! I might even bring Kirsten whatshername!
Update: I later saw Billy Elliot and liked it a lot, including the dance of the 10-foot dresses on hangers. I’ll have more in the column.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 13, 2008