With more than a thousand different productions of THE LYSISTRATA PROJECT taking place worldwide and some two dozen or so in SoCal, it was hard to decide which one to attend. The Lysistrata at the LAFCO POWERHOUSE CULTURAL SPACE was definitely the city's big celeb event; people assured the harried clipboard boy they had tickets as TV reporters idled in front of their news vans. SHELLEY FABARES and peacenik hubby MIKE FARRELL stopped for the cameras before moving into the tight brick-walled space with MICHAEL O'KEEFE, BLAIR UNDERWOOD and JOHN HEARD, who had slapped a “Buck Fush!” sticker on the back of his pullover. First the RADICAL TEEN CHEERS whipped up the audience with chants taking on SUVs and child labor. TOM HAYDEN emceed the evening, noting: “If we're not making a difference, we are certainly making history.” The overflow crowd outside screamed, “No sound!” as Hayden quoted Emma Lazarus, letting everyone know the mikes were on the fritz. “Should I fix it?” MARY McDONNELL asked the audience laughing inside. Luckily, when ALFRE WOODARD began reading, everybody settled down. “How big a thing is this?” JULIE CHRISTIE, playing Calonike, asked Woodard's Lysistrata. “It's big,” Woodard said with a knowing eye to the crowd. ERIC STOLTZ made for the world's most charming Kinesias, ROSCOE LEE BROWNE lent the Commissioner for Public Safety his singular vocal gravitas, while CHRISTINE LAHTI and JOSÉ ZÚÑIGA had fun as the Spartans. Still, can a 2,400-year-old sex comedy chock-full of dick jokes bring about world peace? A question only a Bush can answer.
RUFF TUFF STUFF
“Don't make me cuss — okay, people,” commanded former rapper THE POETESS, celebrating her 10 years in hip-hop and radio with a megaparty at the HOLLYWOOD ATHLETIC CLUB. “Let's see some asses shakin' up this muthafucka.” The designer-sweatsuit crowd heeded her appeal — with a little help from DJ MUFFLA of L.A. Posse and the Beat's DJ DENSE — and started jigglin' butts pronto. And no more encouragement was needed from The Poetess, who's also an on-air personality on the Beat, once that symphony of bass from Roger Troutman's funk classic “So Ruff So Tuff” came through the speakers. “I'm here to party,” said R&B crooner CASE as he scooted inside upon hearing the first beats of Salt-n-Peppa's “Tramp.” Outside, female rap goddess MC LYTE, who now heads up her own label, had to fend off personal managers looking for deals. “Well, I'm interested, but not right now,” Lyte replied hesitantly to one fellow, explaining that she's trying to get out her own record, Lytro Underground Heat Volume One, this April. “Right now I'm the guinea pig. I don't wanna mess up nobody else's stuff but my own.” Catching some air between live performances from SPECIAL ED and the JUNGLE BROTHERS, who were joined by QUEEN LATIFAH for an impromptu number, The Poetess shared some thoughts on the current state of affairs in hip-hop: “There's certain individuals who're fuckin' up the game with the violence and the shooting. It's good to have things like this where everybody can relax and enjoy the music as opposed to having to worry about who's from where and all that madness.”
WHAT IS ART?
“Marcel Duchamp once said that poor tools require better skills,” said festival founder GERRY FIALKA as he welcomed folks to VIDIOTS for PXLTHIS TWELVE, the annual “best of” showcase celebrating short films made using the PXL-2000, the Fisher-Price children's camera that developed a cult following after the company wrote it off as a commercial failure in the late '80s. Well-heeled Westsiders, lowbrow artists and other assorted film-fest hounds slurped up wine and scarfed down cheese while talking about the virtues of making movies for less than it costs to get a cappuccino. The 90-minute pixelvision extravaganza kicked off with a vintage commercial for the kid's camera before turning interactive with ukulele-wielding pixelator DENNY MOYNAHAN's “Queen Kukulele.” The dazzling display of low-tech-meets-even-lower-tech continued with offerings from pixel purists, while less dogmatic pixelators dabbled freely with production possibilities: The end result was a full film spectrum that included everything from documentaries to music videos and even an homage to Ernie Kovacs. But it was the opening lines of “Art Hacks Babble,” Juxtabrothers STEVE and ROSS CRAIG's existential riff on what is art, that best summed up the event's irreverent attitude: “A friend once said to me, 'You can't just slap some shit together and call it art.'” Wanna bet?
I'M A CELEBRITY — TOW ME OUT OF HERE
The Cahuenga Corridor's latest nightspot, WHITE LOTUS, was transformed into an issue of GQ for the mag's blowout bash celebrating its annual Hollywood issue. And H-wood responded with a turnout that made this party a name-dropper's paradise. Turning heads were JAMIE FOXX high-fivin' friends; BRENDAN FRASER arriving late; Emmy winner MICHAEL CHIKLIS hamming it up on the red carpet; SIMON COWELL and DYLAN McDERMOTT hanging out together in one of the dark-red sitting rooms; newlyweds NICK LACHEY and JESSICA SIMPSON; JEWEL; DAVID SPADE; GRETCHEN MOL; JIMMY KIMMEL; THE ROCK; MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN; DANA DELANY; DJ QUALLS; MICHELLE RODRIGUEZ; and current GQ cover girl JENNIFER GARNER. NYPD Blue's GARCELLE BEAUVAIS-NILON, who attracted a gaggle of ogling male admirers, jokingly recounted that she told GQ editor ART COOPER: “I need to be on a cover.” Crossing Jordan's MIGUEL FERRER, sitting with pals including JANEANE GAROFALO, was there for the “gorgeous women” and to hook up with his buddy, writer JAMES ELLROY. Security strictly enforced room limits, yelling, “No more — out!” to no-names and boldfacers alike, including JESSICA BIEL, BAI LING and NEVE CAMBELL. Then there were those folks who tried to beat the valet parking by leaving their wheels in a nearby business' lot only to discover that their cars were locked in with a tow truck on the way. Obviously, they're no auto-didacts.