Ghostly pale (but of course) goth kids and cell-phone-wielding (is there any other kind?) studio execs lined Hollywood Boulevard for the premiere of UNDERWORLD at GRAUMANS CHINESE, where director LEN WISEMAN and his leading lady, KATE BECKINSALE, canoodled their way down the red carpet, sharing flash time with their fellow film co-stars SCOTT SPEEDMAN, SHANE BROLLY and a crop of decidedly B-list celebs, such as former MTV VJ KENNEDY and Survivor host JEFF PROBST. Underworlds rock & roll contingent including Nine Inch Nails DANNY LOHNER, the Damning Wells WES BORLAND and RICHARD PATRICK, and THE ICARUS LINE nestled among the hordes of Hollywoods young powerbrokers sucking down drinks with the scenester likes of Peoples STEVEN COJOCARU and A&R man/restaurateur JON SIDEL at the after-party held at the HOLLYWOOD ATHLETIC CLUB, which was transformed into a kind of moody London Underground set with Victorian furniture, scantily clad cocktail waitresses and a dance floor encased in chainlink fence. We thought perhaps we didnt miss out on much by not seeing the film yet another overbooked premiere but as one partygoer so eloquently put it, Kate Beckinsale in a tight leather suit. Whats not to like? Evidently, only the reviews.
Mutts to You
Bound with yards and yards of fluffy white tulle to a pole in the center of the circular VELASLAVASAY PANORAMA, performer CHRISTINE LOUISE BERRY channeled the spirits of dogs wild and tame as she hovered over the mostly entranced audience like a crazed and beautiful goddess of the hunt. Puppets on ribbons, treats for humans, a dictionary of barks and a howled litany of dog names came together in CUR, Berrys weird, wonderful one-woman show, co-written with novelist AIMEE BENDER, and set against panorama proprietress SARA VELAS dramatic The Panorama of the Valley of the Smokes 360-degree painting. Like wanderers lost in a dream, playgoers stumbled out of the circle at Berrys barked command, Go home! and, clutching homemade mini-zoetropes of a running dog, settled in the garden for tea and sherry, joined by musician JOHN GEIGER, who created the soundscape. Canine lovers, such as spoken-word artist JUNE MELBY, L.A. Conservancyite DANIEL PAUL, Polar Goldie Cat RAFE MANDEL, Polaroid artiste MIKE SLACK, activist JOSE ANGEL OROZCO, the Travelling Wonder Shows CLAIRELISE THE FIRE-DARLING and magician CHRISTOPHER WONDER, and Cake Divas JOAN SPITLER and LEIGH GRODE, have all sniffed out the limited-run show, but only last Thursdays lucky pups got to see a post-show Berry swigging whiskey and telling pirate jokes! Good girl.
Pretty (Wasted) in Pink
Walking into JENNIFER ALICIA GRANTs reception for her photo exhibit Show Me Some Pink at the HIGHWAYS GALLERY was more like arriving at a house party than an art opening. The show which includes a group of portraits of her friends biker/model Jenny Shimizu, Warhol superstar Alexis Del Lago and poet Jill Weiss was as colorful and interesting as the folks viewing it, especially after the no-host bar was drained dry. All of those cocktails seemed to create a buying frenzy she sold five pieces. Because openings at Highways happen just before showtime (whats up with that, kids?), Grants fans drag diva JACKIE BEAT, restaurateur FRED ERIC, pastry chef PIPER GOLDSTEIN, actor JUAN FERNANDEZ, director BARRY SHILS, club stud/Dirty Sanchezs MARIO DIAZ and a very handsome bearded lady (it is Highways, after all) were escorted to a neighboring building at the 18th STREET ARTS CENTER to continue the soiree. A few days later, that same space was host to a book-signing event for ROBBIE CONALs new tome, Artburn (Conal is a contributor to the Weekly, which co-hosted the party). Grazing around the goods from Border Grill were MOCAs ANDREA STANG, artist LITA ALBUQUERQUE, Culture Clashs RICHARD MONTOYA, cartoonist MATT GROENING, performance artists MICHAEL SAKAMOTO, ROCHELLE FABB and NURIT SIEGEL, and Celebration Arts MICHELLE BERNE. Writers RACHEL RESNICK, MARY YUKARI WATERS, TARA ISON and painter SUZAN WOODRUFF brought a little pizzazz to the proceedings, dressed to the nines and beyond. Conal gave a talk accompanied by a slide show: When an image of Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared, the jeers and laughs nearly brought the presentation to a halt. Hasta la vista indeed, baby.
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The Vaginal Monologues
I know this isnt a big Hustler crowd, said KATHY GRIFFIN, surveying the snazzily attired gay boys at the PACIFIC DESIGN CENTERs SilverScreen Theater who were attending a benefit for hate-crime victim and West Hollywood resident TREV BROUDY, as she started in on the girlie mags Beaver Hunt column. I had such good intentions, she sighed before busting up the crowd with her, um, penetrating observations on all things vaginal. Must have been something in the air: MARGARET CHO talked about pussy tricks she heard about on a trip to Asia, before noting that gay men, too, suffer from body-image issues. I hear voices, but they tell me I look hot, she mimicked as the gym queens laughed nervously. MICHAEL HITCHCOCK portrayed an Antelope Valley drama teacher obsessed with Judy Garland. After an audience volunteer got polite kudos from the audience, Hitchcock bellowed, Drink in all that applause, its better than any lover! Will & Graces ERIC McCORMACK, soap star GREGG MARX and singer-actor NITA WHITAKER all belted out soulful tunes, while McCormacks co-star MEGAN MULLALLY razzle-dazzled with her interpretations of Its Not Easy Being Green and Aguas de Marco. JENNIFER COOLIDGE brought down the house with her music-comedy hybrid, playing a matron who knows the clarinet and Mozart, while TIM BAGLEY got yuks for his interpretation of a forgetful invalid standup. A recovering Broudy thanked everyone, noting that support comes from unlikely places: When he was in the hospital, the San Vicente Inn, WeHos all-male, clothing-optional resort, opened its doors to his stepmother. Talk about your room with a view.