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Don't l Look Like Myself?

Photo courtesy Magnate MagazineEdited by Kateri Butler

At the Opium Den’s recent 10th-anniversary shindig, the club’s co-owner JOSH WELLS noticed a very convincing Xena type, and whispered, “You do a mean LUCY LAWLESS” — right into the ear of the real TV deal herself (pictured with CANDYASS, center, and ALEXIS ARQUETTE).

VIVA LA DIVA!

MARY J. BLIGE proved that she’s a diva’s diva after she threatened to “fuck somebody up” in the backstage staff at her Universal Ampitheater show for screening too early a video of Aretha Franklin that she was supposed to accompany.

NO SELF-ESTEEM PROBLEMS HERE

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT, with a self-deprecatory, cosmopolitan-induced giggle, at the debut of Karaoke Nights at the Derby: “I’m probably the most famous person here.”

Big-wigged JACKIE BEAT, who performed at Cherry’s sixth-anniversary party: “I was the highlight of the night.”

FOUR MORE BEERS! FOUR MORE BEERS!

POPDEFECT got quite a sendoff at their breakup show at Al’s Bar when Flipside scribe GUS HUDSON passed out dozens of signs affixed with each band member’s image, which the audience waved in unison like political conventioneers, nearly stunning the group into silence as they stared in a sea of their own faces.

WHY FOR ART THOU, COOLIO?

When ROSEANNE started caterwauling the “feed your head” line from “White Rabbit,” it was time for us to flee her Tower Records gig, leaving us to forever wonder what the heck COOLIO was doing there.

SCIENTOLOGY’S DIRTY LITTLE SECRET?

Opening night at the Ahmanson, for Death of a Salesman, KIRSTIE ALLEY and JENNA ELFMAN started passing a vial of little white pills back and forth. Kirstie must have caught us stealing a glance, so she offered us her stash of Country Life Tropical Papaya enzyme supplements. Not wanting to sound like Willy Loman, we refrained from asking the newly thin Kirstie, “What’s the secret?” One nearby theater patron jokingly volunteered, “Nature’s speed?”

COVERS WE NEVER THOUGHT WOULD HAPPEN

Finally, GREG BRADY got to say the F-word — and we don’t mean far out! Greg Brady, a.k.a. BARRY WILLIAMS, did an Eminem-inspired rap, “I’m the Real Greg Brady,” at his “return of Johnny Bravo” show at 14 Below.

THE MANE EVENT

A pride of celebrities at THE LION KING premiere party stalked the wait staff, who circulated wearing multi-tier trays of edibles that resembled the metallic Christmas tree that nearly sank Shelley Winters’ Oscar hopes in The Poseidon Adventure. Call us old-fashioned (or just hygienic), but we prefer food that hasn’t been worn.

MISS MANNERS

She wouldn’t be RACHEL ROSENTHAL if she hadn’t championed animal rights and railed against the meat industry — in her last solo piece Ur-Boor, a performance full of heady ideas about civility and boorishness, at LATC — but minutes later at the after-party, to everyone’s shock, there were trays of fried chicken wings and poached salmon on the buffet table. Now that’s good manners.

HOW TO MAKE AN ENTRANCE

MACY GRAY and GEORGE CLINTON pulling up in a horse-drawn carriage to MADONNA’s Music CD-release bash at Jewel’s Catch One. Other guests were forced to wait 30 minutes to valet park, while clever revelers who street-parked were bounced back to their cars to get in line.

HOW NOT TO MAKE AN ENTRANCE

MADONNA materialized at her party just long enough for a few finger snaps and a little booty shakin’ on the dance floor, while surrounded by bodyguards, after hiding out in a backroom all night.

MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS

When a heckler shouted “I Feel Like Dancin’” — an attempt at “I Was Made for Dancin’,” a hit for bubblegum idol LEIF GARRETT, who appeared at the Retro Show at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium — the former Tiger Beat heartthrob quipped, “Actually, I really don’t.” The assembled were treated to a tantalizing glimpse of his bald spot when he briefly doffed his hat to mop a sweaty brow. Rock on, Tiger.

PARTY OF THE YEAR

The Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic benefit was the perfect combination of a good cause, an exotic venue (the former Canfield-Moreno Estate), fantastic food, inspiring conversations with a groovy crowd not necessarily there for self-congratulation, beautiful music with performances by BECK, AIMEE MANN, RUFUS WAINWRIGHT, LOS SUPER ELEGANTES and DJ NOBODY, and hosted by ROBERT DOWNEY JR., MINNIE DRIVER and IONE SKYE.

THIS BOOTH IS MADE FOR KNOCKIN’!

Since we can’t be everywhere, thank God for the L.A. Times’ BOOTH MOORE and her “So Cal Confidential”: She attends the invites we just don’t, um, have time for. To use a Booth fave: “Yikes!” Highlights? There are as many as there are clichés in the sea, but a few that come to mind are the time she covered — so we didn’t have to — the opening of Bristol Farms in the old Chasen’s, and in the same week the opening of two other boutiques! We’ll never forget her revealing tale of a Phish show (she and her boyfriend had to leave early). We also wept the time she wrote about the finale to Survivor, and how the conclusion was like “a sundae without a cherry, a roller coaster without a loop, a . . . well, you know.” Yes, Booth, we know.

Contributors: Ron Athey, Siran Babayan, Pleasant Gehman, Jen Hitchcock, Falling James, Lina Lecaro, Derrick Mathis, J.V. McAuley, Libby Molyneaux, Brendan Mullen, Sandra Ross

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