The MACY’S AND AMERICAN EXPRESS PASSPORT 00 — which has raised over $10 million for HIV/AIDS research since its inception in 1988 — was quite a slick-ass production of theater and fashion (is there a difference anymore?). Guests GREG LOUGANIS, JANE SEYMOUR, KIM COLES, MIMI RODGERS, CARMEN ELECTRA and BEVERLY JOHNSON, along with presenter and M.A.C. Viva Glam III girl MARY J. BLIGE and hosts EARVIN “MAGIC” JOHNSON, CINDY CRAWFORD and DAME ELIZABETH TAYLOR (pictured), worked the media mosh pit and sideline stargazers. On the runway, familiar faces included actor CRISTIAN DE LA FUENTE, JOELY FISHER, Star 98.7’s RYAN SEACREST and Johnson himself, who showcased fall lines from Kenneth Cole and Anne Klein, among others. Plum-hued leather jackets and python coats gave way to white-sequined cocktail dresses and uplifting lingerie (did we mention the diamond nipple jewelry on the men?) from Wonderbra and 2(x)ist. R&B star TYRESE, dressed in barely-covering-the-booty studded jeans, sang, danced and got the girls panting. Pepsi girl HALLIE KATE EISENBERG and a crew of adorable kids were strutting some serious schoolyard style in their eensy weensy Guess? getups. It was, however, the percussion-drenched song-and-dance number from the CHILDREN OF UGANDA, whose members have all been orphaned by AIDS, that stole the show and put the night into perspective.
He’s a-Getty Outta There
The Getty Hills were alive with the sound of POLYVOCES, the new side project of RAUL PACHECO of OZOMATLI and ALFREDO ORTIZ and WALTER MIRANDA of the BEASTIE BOYS’ band, at the farewell fete for exiting J. PAUL GETTY MUSEUM director JOHN WALSH, who has headed the organization for 17 years. Socialites mingled with staff as they checked out the goodbyes via video from ED RUSCHA, who offered his analysis of Mr. Walsh’s handwriting (allegedly indecipherable), and architects RICHARD MEIER (who designed the Getty Center) and FRANK GEHRY. Even Mayor DICK RIORDAN appeared on video to say so long (thankfully not astride a 10-speed in the French wine country). STEPHEN GARRETT, John’s predecessor, participated in the live roasting, channeling no less than old J. Paul himself! Voodoo at the Getty — who knew? A swarm of bees invaded the sushi tables, but that didn’t stop incoming J. Paul Getty Museum director DEBORAH GRIBBON from buzzing around the wasabi to schmooze it up with Community Arts Resources co-directors AARON PALEY and KATIE BERGIN, CARS producer AIDA SALAZAR, and MICHELLE BERNE, artistic director of Celebration Arts — the group that provides the Getty Center with those pesky giant puppets (inside which your reporter hid while taking notes). Backstage, photographer/Respect doorman CONRAD STARR (yes, related to Kenneth) sat mesmerized across from lactating CARS diva GIGI DAVIS, who came equipped with her own double-breast pump. Got milk?
Attention Must Be Paid
Opening night at the AHMANSON — where BRIAN DENNEHY’s and ELIZABETH FRANZ’s bravura performances in the Tony Award–winning revival of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman prompted applause beyond the de rigueur standing ovation — attracted a glittering crowd, which included RON “Biff” ELDARD’s gal-pal JULIANNA MARGULIES, KELLY WILLIAMS, DONALD SUTHERLAND, COURTNEY B. VANCE, ROBERT GUILLAUME, ED BEGLEY JR. and SHARON LAWRENCE. A few minutes to curtain, a red-headed JENNA ELFMAN and a blond KIRSTIE ALLEY sat down next to us. A tardy curtain allowed the curious to get a better look at the prompt stars. When a theater patron wearing a tie imprinted with a Norwegian-flag motif inquired “whether she still had that TV thing going or not,” Kirstie politely replied that Veronica’s Closet was off the air. After exchanging air kisses with a T-shirt-clad TOBEY MAGUIRE, ignoring DAVID SCHWIMMER and whispering as GORDON DAVIDSON escorted a frail-looking KIRK DOUGLAS to front row center, Kirstie and Jenna 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. Explaining that someone in Florida sends them to her, the generous star handed us the empty bottle so that we could track down the crunchy pick-me-ups for purchase. Not wanting to sound like Willy Loman, we refrained from asking, “What’s the secret?” to the newly thin Kirstie. However, one nearby theater patron jokingly volunteered, “Nature’s speed?”
Where’s That Girl?
Security at MADONNA’s Music CD release party at (Jewel’s) CATCH ONE was tighter than a pair of Lil’ Kim’s pants: Outside, clever revellers who street-parked to avoid the lengthy valet wait were turned back by guards and forced to drive up, while inside even the The Mad One’s man o’ the minute, director GUY RICHIE, was briefly shut out of her inner sanctum by a bouncer. Party planner BRYAN RABIN, art director Kenny Baird, and Warner Bros. Records’ ORLANDO PUERTA threw a (literally, at least) glittery gathering thanks to the go-go garb and music-themed installations by designer-to-the-rock-set’s MICHAEL SCHMIDT that incorporated more than 1 million Swarovski Austrian crystals. (Hmmm . . . if each crystal cost $1, that would account for half of the reported budget for the party.) Oh, sure it was a celebulicious scene — MACY GRAY, GEORGE CLINTON, SHERYL CROW, DAVID SPADE, DEBI MAZAR, HUGH HEFNER with BUNNIES — but the really cool crowd included ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons,
L.A.-dy SEAN DE LEAR, JEFF “Porno-a-go-go” PALMER, writer/DJ BRENDAN MULLEN, club queen APRIL LaRUE, chanteuse CONSTANCE, interior designer RON MEYERS, plus, from New York, photographer DAVID RODGERS and living legend JAYNE COUNTY, and from San Francisco, filmmaker STEVEN PRICE, music journalist GINA HALL and artist ROB ROEDERER. Even the neediest gift-bag hags departed sans the usual loot — swag sacks were about as accessible as the Material Mom herself (pictured) — although one industrious go-go boy attempted to flee the scene with the crystal-encrusted codpiece that he’d worn onstage, only to be stopped by the ever-alert security squad. Guess he crossed that borderline.
Edited by Kateri Butler