Above, see all the stars as they appeared then...and as they appear now!
At the most recent Hollywood Show, held at the Westin Los Angeles Airport, I was discussing with one of my A-hound (that's "autograph") buddies just how long we could continue coming to these shows, considering so many of the attendees are people we've already met, and other potential guests are dropping like flies.
Not even kidding—this hearse was in front of the hotel as I first drove up!
Don told me, "Oh, I'll be here in 20 years in my Rascal, scooting around for Lindsay Lohan's autograph." He was joking, though. He couldn't care less about LiLo or most modern stars. For him it's Jane Withers through about Dallas, Don and most of the others who attend these shows can't be bothered. When does it end? I guess, as with life, it ends when it ends, so have fun while it lasts.
This was my shortest show. I only spent part of the first day and a few minutes on the second, since I had the GLAAD event and other stuff to do. But I couldn't not come, not with Angie Dickinson, Earl Holliman and Mamie Van Doren in the mix.
Here are my interactions, in order as they occurred:
The 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards—full list of winners here—were a mish-mash of political activism, back-slapping, genuinely emotional moments largely tied to the venerable org's new push for transgender rights and—oh, yeah!—a Madonna/Anderson Cooper one-two punch that was an instant-classic appearance for Madonna (even if the evening was to honor Coop).
Keep reading for a full report, pictures and videos...
Yesterday was the press day for the Cabaret 40th Anniversary Blu-ray™ Book & DVD (Warner Bros., $27.98), which included round-table interviews with cast members Joel Grey, Michael York and Marisa Berenson, as well as with director Bob Fosse's daughter Nicole, dancer Louise Quick and WB VP of Mastering Ned Price.
We had four nice people are our table, so there were no interruptions and very few awkward waves.
Price was happy to discuss his supervision of the restoration of numerous classics, not least of which the restored Cabaret. As odd as it seems for a film that's only 40 years old, the master print had a devastating tear (from a faulty cleaning in the '80s) that required painstaking reparation. (He confirmed that Warner Bros., thanks to its acquisition of various entities over the years, probably literally does not know every film it possesses; therefore, it's altogether possible they own prints of silent and other old movies that are considered lost! Rin Tin Tin features are on the way.)
Fosse & Quick had encyclopedic knowledge of the film
Fosse and Quick were a giggly pair, though Fosse was quick (did you see what I did there?) to reprimand one questioner for innocently referring to her dad as a "choreographer"—she wanted it made clear that he was a director, and that dance was merely one weapon in his arsenal. She had fascinating memories of growing up the daughter of Fosse and Gwen Verdon, and Quick recalled her director's (not her choreographer's) exacting and yet nurturing nature.
That meant he was respectful of everyone on the ground-breaking production, and yet demanded multiple retakes—leading to dancers hoofing it for eight or 10 hours a day.
For Berenson, acting is 100% about "giving"
Marisa Berenson is still gorgeous and slinky at 65, and yet entirely approachable and free with her memories of working with Fosse. (Keep in mind her first movies were under Fosse, Luchino Visconti and Stanley Kubrick—not bad for a model who, as she said herself, no one was sure could even act at first. (Spoiler alert: She could!)
Quick, Berenson, Robert Osborne, Grey, Fosse & York
The main attraction was getting to speak with Grey and York, who did their interviews together. Like the rest of the cast, they're very comfortable with each other, playfully razzing each other and jarring each other's memories.
Grey told me his character was cemented in the original Broadway production
Grey—who at 80 looks like a 60-year-old version of himself—mischievously told us he has always avoided viewing any other iterations of Cabaret (sorry, Alan Cumming) but gave me the answer I was hoping for when he confirmed that his personal career highlights are this film and his work on the recent (amazing) revival of The Normal Heart.
After, he also whispered into my ear, "What is Boy Culture, anyway?" I told him, "A gay culture blog." He feigned a scandalized look and I joked, "Now you'll never work again." Awkwardly, a fellow reporter blurted out, "No, he has a daughterrrr." Oy.
York's story of being forced to perform "The Money Song" at an appearance = hilarious
York, 70, is hard to recognize these days, but was generous with his extensive memories of making Cabaret. He and Grey agreed they had no qualms about the film's then-shocking bisexual content. He also gamely spoke at length about deciding to do the film Logan's Run in the '70s, one of the day's rare tangents.
I, of course, was the first "journalist" in the room to ask Grey for a pic-with, which he warmly obliged. This led to open season on all of the stars, who were gracious in indulging all of us.
Tonight is the red-carpet premiere of the restored Cabaret, including Ms. Liza Minnelli herself doing the press line. Wish me luck and let me know what I should ask her should I be lucky enough to get in a question or two.
Last night at XL, the Season 5 premiere party for RuPaul's Drag Race unfurled. Like many of the show's storied contestants, it was a hot mess in a hot dress.
Snooki's a new mommy but JWoww brought her twins
First up was a mob-scene photo op. Why the sudden interest? Is drag going to be the next "Gangnam Style"? Nope. It was because fellow Viacommies Snooki and JWoww had been paid lured to semi-host the evening, so the event photographers were champing at the bit. I was late so missed some of the pint-sized supernovae, but I did find it funny when Snooki and JWoww wouldn't do solo shots and wouldn't even do a simple two-shot against the backdrop for the salivating photogs. (One of whom kept shouting, "J.Lo! J.Lo!" while others kept shouting, "Nicole, turn to the right!" to try to get on Snooki's good side by showing they knew her Christian name.)
JWoww looked like she missed her calling as a pornstar named "Catherine Zeta Bones"
What, did ya call each other? (No, they didn't. The carpet was very diverse.)
Can she get a witness?
Inside, the ladies were positioned at tiny tables and all of us press types just had to run up and grab whomever might be available.
I will be able to upload many more videos later on Monday.
Snooki and JWoww had a line that stretched all the way back to December, so I went for Detox Icunt first, having heard she was a big Madonna fanboy fangirl fan.
Detox has a Modigliani beauty that cunty hostess Bianca Del Rio later termed "Anjelica Huston"
I loved her. She feels like this season's Chad, but with fewer miles on her. (No offense at all, Chad—I'm old, too.) She also vaguely reminded me of Chicago's Memory Lane. Anyway, she confirmed her adoration for Madonna (she saw MDNA three times).
I then went for Jade Jolie. I wanted to be sure I had time for her because she's the subject of a new mini-scandal on the show—in the past (how distant is not clear to me), she was known as "Tristan Everhard" and did bareback porn videos.
Jade: My Little Po(r)ny
She was a frickin' doll (and resembled a mix between a Dawn doll and something you'd see at ComiCon) and answered my question about the porn brouhaha smoothly and graciously. This was before I got to speak to all of her rivals, not one of whom cast even a hint of shade toward her for her movie work. From what I can tell, it was never used on the show and didn't come out among the ladies until a month or so ago. This Jade's a gem.
As much as I loved those two, I think my favorite (in person, anyway) might've been Alyssa Edwards. I know, not much of a drag name! But she doesn't need a flamgirlant name—she has a sparkling personality, is smart enough to butter up reporters in-between lengthy but never too-lengthy answers (she complimented me on my smile and nuzzled close for our photo op) and is gorgeous.
I spent half my day trudging around in the bitter cold running errands, including walking from 42nd/11th to Madison/56th and back to get my camera fixed—only to be handed a business card and sent away once I got there.
So tonight, almost nothing was gonna drag me away from cuddling with two exceptionally hairy Shih Tzu dogs.
Except Holland Taylor.
She was participating in an "Inside Look" event at The Greene Space, and I would have swum across the East River for that.
Ms. Taylor—with whom I've been fascinated ever since her delicious role on Bosom Buddies—has written Ann, a Broadway-bound, one-woman show about the late, great Ann Richards that opens in March. Richards, a force in Texas politics who went from being its most successful state treasurer to an incredibly popular Democratic governor after exploding onto the national stage with her 1988 keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention. Renowned for her zingers and her vision as a progressive, she died of esophageal cancer at 73.
Taylor took the part of "Ruth" on Bosom Buddies to raise her profile for Broadway parts
The evening was a delight. Taylor, 70, has a regal air and elocution that perfectly frames her wit, her broadly engaging sense of story-telling and her intelligence. She seems like foreign-born royalty, not a chick born in Philly. The long and short of it is: She shits fabulousness.
Actually, to hear her speak of Ann Richards's magnetic charm and personable nature, it was hard to imagine who but Taylor would have played her—but it almost didn't happen. Taylor recalled wanting to do something with the governor's life story but had to remind herself, "You know people who produce things. You know George Clooney, Tom Hanks." She said she pulled over to the side of the road while driving one day because she was so overwhelmed with a rush of ideas on how to stage Ann—though it's been through several major overhauls, the basic structure of the show was born in what sounds like a 15-minute fever dream, one during which Taylor was wide awake.
WQXR's Elliott Forrest provided the Q, Taylor the A
She's performed the show in Texas, Chicago and D.C. to enthusiastic reviews. But she made clear that the most important reviews have come from Richards's family. I asked Taylor if she'd been terrified performing Ann for the governor's family the first time, and she said she'd told the family—who had cooperated with her research—that she did not expect them to attend her show; after all, this had been their dear mother. But attend it they did, and the day after she opened, Richards's two sons wrote her a glowing note of approval. Taylor became emotional remembering this (I wasn't trying to "Barbara Walters" you, Holland!), saying it freed her to never again worry about whether she was getting the real Ann—if she couldn't rely on the assurances of the Richards offspring, on whose could she rely?
It was a great talk, one that is available in its entirety (my question toward the end) here. Taylor also remembered Bosom Buddies fondly (it's where she met the man who would go on to produce Ann!), said she has been furiously texting with Tom Hanks about their upcoming concurrent Broadway runs (Hanks will appear in The Lucky Guy with their Bosom Buddies bosom buddy Peter Scolari) and said that as a part of the cast of Two and a Half Men, she spent time worrying whether Charlie Sheen would be alive from day to day during his mental break. (She says she is very fond of him, and that everyone on the show felt for him.)
I'm actually wind-burned from today! (Or is it a tan from her star power?)
After, she was kind enough to pose for a picture with me and to sign two autographs—one for me and one for my e-friend Kevin, who sends me wonderful tips for the blog as well as bringing this event to my attention in the first place.
While in L.A., I was contacted by my friend Bryan (that's us pictured) and invited to share space with him in a special VIP area near the arrivals. It put me right up front and within 10 to 30 feet of all the stars, so that I was able to spot them while they were still in the backseats of their limos, watch them emerge and wave to fans and then enter.
It was pretty fun in spite of the arctic weather (by L.A.'s standards) and long amount of time on my feet (we arrived at 11:30AM, the first stars appeared around 2:30 PM, the show started at 5PM).
The fans there were hilarious. Mostly young, they would shriek out each star's name as if he or she were their ultimate idol. (At one point, someone yelled out to Amanda Seyfriend, "Amanda! You're my #1!") One young, straight boy next to me kept shouting the oddest, most specific things, like, "Oh, my gosh! Steve Buscemi! I'm on season three of your show!" or "Jessica Chastain! You're my second favorite actress this year!" Much too close to a conversation in order to be yelled, but highly amusing.
Most of the stars gave the fans some notice, but it ranged from having to be told to do it (as Eddie Redmayne was, by his PR) to a brief wave (Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lawrence), to repeated smiles and other silent means of communication (Nicole Kidman), to the few who came right over to us and strutted their stuff with the everyday folk (only Connie Britton, Jimmy Fallon, Jessica Chastain and George Clooney went that far).
Hugh do something to me...something that simply mystifies me...
I was most dazzled by the first star to arrive—Debra Messing. I love her, and it was exciting to see her pop out so early. The last star to arrive was Orlando Bloom, who was promptly goosed in the privates by Miranda Kerr, who used her handbag to semi-discreetly make that point.