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No doubt Antonin Scalia would write another nasty dissent
if he’d caught sight of the over-the-rainbow crowd — lesbians pushing strollers
with Chinese baby girls, infants wearing “I Love My Gay Daddies” T-shirts,
“normal” families picnicking, everyone living in Harry Potter harmony — at the HOLLYWOOD BOWL for a WIZARD
OF OZ
screening and sing-along. A costume parade featuring more than
200 participants, including goth and couture interpretations of all of the Oz
characters, kicked off the festivities. The highlight: two people dressed as
the crabby apple trees, who pummeled the audience and drag queen MOMMA — onstage dressed as the biggest
Dorothy you’ve ever seen — with fresh apples. Reba’s MELISSA PETERMAN
hosted the eve, and she’s evidently spent time in front of a crowd of screaming
queens before — she just had too much fun asking the audience to bark like a
dog whenever Toto appeared onscreen. Singing along and deflecting fruit of all
kinds were VINCE VAUGHN, BRENDAN FRASER, TERI HATCHER and Judy Garland spawn LORNA LUFT. The following night at the Bowl saw an entirely
different kind of costume parade at KCRW’s
WORLD FESTIVAL hosted by JASON BENTLEY. Asian-infused world-beat
clubwear was the look to be sporting to dance in the aisles — think Bodhi Tree
meets Hot Topic. The night was a first for the Bowl, a turntablist — PAUL OAKENFOLD — headlining, along with
artists such as KARSH KALE, DONG SUK KIM and GRANT LEE PHILLIPS. There hasn’t been such a radical shift in
programming since the Beatles played there in 1964. Groovin’ to the fusion were
Dakah Hip-Hop Orchestra’s DOUBLE-G, actress ANN MAGNUSON, architect JOHN
BERTRAM
, artist ANDREW CAMPBELL,
Grand Performances programming director LEIGH
ANN HAHN
, filmmaker MATTHEW AMATO,
club legends TRALALA and HENRY PECK, and Eastside Studios’ JOHNNY TELLEZ.

—Marcus Kuiland-Nazario

RAISING THE BARRE

The opening gala for the JOFFREY BALLET’s three-night stand at the DOROTHY CHANDLER PAVILION offered a clear view into the perplexity
with which Angelenos approach dressing to go out. Milling about the grand foyer
was a crowd whose overall appearance vibrated with sartorial uncertainty —
casual L.A., off-the-rack evening, hoochie wear. One tubby matron donned tight, black tulle lined with nude-illusion
fabric. Most distressing. Those who got it right did so in the demure, moneyed
way of Orange County —where most of the good dance companies go to perform
these days — it was with a dash of Hollywood oomph. It’s tough to beat the
sight of Joe Millionaire EVAN MARRIOTT, in a well-fit tux
(his?), entertaining not the petitions of hand-selected young women but the
attentions of a full circle of well-heeled old ladies. Nearby, MR. BLACKWELL, who certainly would have
had something to say about the turnout, enjoyed photo ops with all comers,
while, decked out in beaded cornflower chiffon, JANE SEYMOUR, with husband JAMES
KEACH
, bestowed air kisses to a blond gal-pal in graphic-print Ralph Lauren
satin topped by pearls the size of eyeballs. SHERRY LANSING was no-nonsense in a smart, white, tailored
pantsuit, while the ageless DINA MERRILL
looked serenely regal in an aqua version. Presiding over it all, Joffrey
patron LEE IACOCCA, whose engagement
to one PATRICIA KENNEDY was
announced prior to the curtain, stood satisfied in subdued but unimpeachable
black tie, proving that real power is anonymous, even when it isn’t.

—Hazel-Dawn Dumpert

SWERVES AND CURVES

Although you can’t put
your finger on exactly why, something magic happens when you mix Mexican
wrestlers, burlesque and booze, as LUCHA
VA VOOM 3
proved once again at the MAYAN
THEATER
. While ELVIO REYES
pounded LUCIFER, commentators PATTON OSWALT and BLAINE CAPATCH cheered: “This is what America is all about! This is
what we’re fighting for!” A couple of drunks put a bump in URSULINA’s grind after they stumbled onstage, interrupting her
routine with DIONESIA in which they
portray Priscilla Presley and Elvis girlfriend Linda Thompson. But Ursulina
(a.k.a. Lucha Va Voom producer RITA
D’ALBERT
) couldn’t stay down for long, especially when actress PAGET BREWSTER told her, “What a great
goddamn show.” Brewster proudly admitted she was moonlighting as a photographer
“for the free pass.” Backstage, various va-voomers huddled around the monitor
to watch FRIDA KULO, complete with
unibrow, shake off her top for the Bettie Paige look-alikes and the skinny
dudes who love ’em as well as artist THE
PIZZ
, DJ PRICKLE, and Beat the Geeks
PAUL GOEBEL. Oswalt gave the eve a
political charge when he announced, “The American flag is brought to you by
Halliburton and Bechtel,” as ring girl (and Weekly
contributor) PLEASANT GEHMAN hung
the Stars and Stripes over the ropes. Wrestlers PARKITO and ESPECTRITO
got big applause for duking it out, but the star of the evening was HIJO DEL SANTO. “Look out, hipsters and industry cocksuckers,” warned
Capatch, as the blanca-clad,
second-generation brawler tossed BLUE
PANTHER
into the ringside crowd, who got a workout of their own dodging
hundreds of pounds of sweaty wrestler. Hey, it’s better than those spinning
classes.

—Christopher Lisotta