And more from our Liz: Britney Spears — this “femme fatale” loves Betty White … stars flock to a special performance of Broadway’s “The Normal Heart”
“I HAVE recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded upon fables and mythologies,” said one of our great Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson.
Jefferson believed in the separation of church and state. He was less adamant on the separation of slave and master. (Oh, you know, Sally Hemings, the beautiful slave he bedded and with whom he sired several children. Well, nobody’s perfect.)
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SPEAKING OF religion, Madonna is at it again, releasing a “sacrilegious” song and video, challenging Catholic doctrines. Oh, no wait … I mean Lady Gaga and her new single “Judas” is the event raising a ruckus.
The Catholic League (essentially one guy, Bill Donohue) condemns the Lady and her music and winds up with: “Maybe if she had more talent we’d be more offended.” I feel pretty sure this is a leftover from criticism of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer.”
Gaga, honey! You do realize that as talented as you are, the Big M did all this way back in the 1980’s? This, and speaking out for sexual freedom, supporting the gays, etc? I guess everything old is always new again to a new generation. But come on, Gaga — you are a smart cookie. Get a fresh idea.
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SPEAKING OF Madonna, the former provocateur has been so deeply involved in putting the final touches to her film, “W.E.,” that she has hardly seen the light of day. She spends hour after hour in the editing room, mixing the music, getting it “just right.” This is typical Madonna. Even on her concert tours, she is always looking for ways to improve the show, and herself — right up to the last performance.
There is some talk that La Ciccone will return to the recording studio later this year. And just as I presumptuously gave Gaga advice, I’ll do the same for my old friend Madonna. Another album? Great. But please, no more techno-infused dance music. Just sing. Some of us remember the old songs, and soundtracks to movies like “Dick Tracy” and “Evita.”
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ANOTHER MUSIC diva is making news. I do mean once-tormented, now fairly steady Britney Spears. She has a hot-selling new album, “Femme Fatale,” is planning a tour, and is recording with Rihanna.
Britney is also on the cover of Out magazine’s “Ladies We Love” issue. Asked by Noah Michelson what her idea of heaven was, she says “a trip with my kids.” Her idea of hell? “Dieting.” She might have been Audrey Hepburn in another life because “Audrey was a trend-setter, too.” Britney’s favorite “Golden Girl” is “Betty White, because she’s so sweet and innocent.”
For Britney, fame’s big pain is the inevitable loss of privacy … kissing Madonna at the MTV Awards was “cool”… she was “confused and disgusted by sex” when her mother first gave her the facts of life. Oh, and is there a song she’s ever recorded she wishes she hadn’t?
“No” says Britney. “All of my songs are fucking amazing.”
Whatever problems might linger in Britney’s psyche, insecurity about her work is not one of them. And good for her. She’s been to hell and back.
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A FEW years back, I was mighty impressed by Peter Dinklage in the movie “The Station Agent.” I wasn’t the only one. He received Screen Actors Guild and Independent Spirit award nominations. I kind of lost track of Mr. Dinklage, although he has worked steadily since. Imagine my pleasure then when he popped up in HBO’s fantastical new series, “Game of Thrones.” He plays Tyrion Lannister and he is so handsome, witty, debauched and charming. Sort of a medieval Addison DeWitt from “All About Eve.” As good as the series looks to be, after only one episode — so many characters, it can be confusing! — Dinklage is by far the standout player.
Mr. Dinklage stands only 4’ 5,” but he is a towering talent. I hope Hollywood uses him more. And properly.
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LARRY KRAMER’S great play about the early days of the AIDS plague, “The Normal Heart” opens on Broadway April 27th. (The devastating semi-autobiographical work has had two acclaimed off-Broadway productions. Now, finally, Larry will see his work right on Broadway itself, at the Golden Theater.)
But on Monday April 25th, producer Daryl Roth has invited a slew of special guests to a preview performance and party after. Among the expected throng: Diane Von Furstenberg … Elton John and David Furnish … Lou Reed … Sandy Gallin… Ingrid Sischy … Calvin Klein … Matthew Broderick … Christine Baranski … Hamish Bowles … Andre Leon Talley. (It’s always a gamble to print a wished-for guest list, but this one is so good!)
This “Normal Heart” has been directed by Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe. The cast includes Ellen Barkin, Joe Mantello, Luke Macfarlane, Jim Parsons, Richard Topol, Wayne Allan Wilcox, Lee Pace, John Benjamin Hickey, Mark Harelik.
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ENDQUOTE: Well, just because we were upset about Elizabeth Taylor’s death and felt news coverage of her passing was appropriate, not everybody feels that way.
Bill Maher, in a rant on the ineptitude of the nightly network news complained that they all opened up with Taylor’s death. “Please, it was not like she was struck down in her prime. They had a sandwich named after her at Cedars Sinai. She was there a lot.”
I usually agree with Maher. Not this time. I guess he just isn’t a fan of show biz history.