And more from our Gossip Girl: The “Borat” sequel … New York’s glittering cabaret scene
“ONE OF THE nominated films is ‘The Black Hole.’ A black hole is an empty void in which anything that enters is never seen again. Those of you in the business know it as the William Morris Agency.”
So spoke Oscar-meister Johnny Carson back in the days when he gloriously emceed the Academy Awards — and when stars were really stars. We call them “the good old days.”
Wonder who’s writing the dialogue for Anne Hathaway and James Franco?
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REMEMBER the country of Kazakhstan? Oh, yes, you do. It was the star of the Sacha Baron Cohen film “Borat” – a sleeper spoof where the creative Mr. Cohen made himself a star overnight, by making fun of this former Soviet republic. (Cohen described Kazakhstan’s national pastimes as “disco dancing, archery, rape and table tennis.”)
Now a leading Kazakh movie director named Erkin Rakishev is releasing a so-called “sequel” to “Borat.” It is titled “My Brother Borat” and it shows Kazakhstan as a modern and prosperous country. Director Rakishev will promote his effort with a life-size blow-up doll of Sacha Baron Cohen, and he’ll end up punching the doll saying, “Cohen, you were not right!”
I do hope the doll will be wearing Sacha Baron Cohen’s favorite get-up, a sling-shot brief “bathing suit” that goes up over the shoulders and reveals almost the entire male body. It was Mr. Cohen’s answer to the female mini-bikini.
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LAST week history was made in the international art market but in spite of crushing crowds at both Sotheby’s and Christie’s in Manhattan, the major newspaper, The New York Times, managed not to give this unusual happening a notice in print.
What these auctions proved is that the big money in modern art and in the rare Impressionists is no longer limited to “recent” creations. A 33-inch Roman marble bust of Antinous, listed in catalogues as being worth $2 to $3 million, was sold for $23,800,000. It took eleven minutes of bidding for this to come to pass.
Christie’s, in the same week, sold a Cycladic marble figure (very early, early Greek) which was estimated at $3 to $5 million. It sold for $16,900,000, which was a world record for Cycladic art, dated at 2400 B.C. Other ancient Greek and Roman works of art sold for three to five times their highest estimates.
Impressionist art has been selling at high, high figures for several decades. But now ancient art seems to be catching up.
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NEW YORK’S major cabaret scene, meaning Feinstein’s at the Regency, the expensive former home of the late Bobby Short and the current home of Elaine Stritch – the one and only Carlyle Hotel – are playing host to big big stars, to wannabe’s, and even to a few people who make you exclaim “Who dat?’
Speaking of Feinstein’s, there’ll be two shows on New Year’s Eve: Michael Feinstein “Himself,” and “Herself” – the one and only Barbara Cook. Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks will join them.
Judy Garland’s own baby girl – Lorna Luft” will sing “Songs My Mother Taught Me” from January 4–9. Then we can add Melinda Doolittle from Feb. 22-March 5. Sheldon Harnick and Kate Baldwin hold sway from March 8 – 12. The beloved Shirley Jones will preside March 15 –19. We can dig Little Anthony and the Imperials April 5-16.
Throughout there will be A Special Concert Series starting with Late Night Swing on Wednesday nights. Then comes Louis Prima, Jr. … Pamela Rose … Martha Lorin … Terri White … Jarrod Spector … Bruce Vilanch … Raissa Katona Bennett … Marianne Chalis … Connie James … Judy Butterfield … Bariele Tranchina … Linda Purl … Kate Taylor … and Raquel Bitton. Whew!
THE CARLYLE HOTEL will be slightly more staid and glamorous. Currently, sweetie-pie, Steve Tyrell is doing his great thing in “I’ll Take Romance.” On December 31 at 5:30 one can enjoy Steve’s “The Time of Year,” with cocktails and canapés and a glass of champagne. At 9 P.M. The Carlyle’s Black Tie Gala Dinner and Show will be offered featuring a four-course dinner from Chef James Sakatos, an autographed Tyrell CD, and champagne — all for just $550.00 per person.
On January 11th the wonderful, absolutely wonderful, Christine Ebersole will play a three-week engagement. Wow!
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HERE’S NEWS we can use. The Fred Ebb Foundation has announced that its 2010 donation to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids will total $1 million dollars, making it the largest in BC/EFA history. I don’t wonder at Fred’s generosity; he was the soul of soul who, with his partner, John Kander, created such gems as “Cabaret,” “Liza With a Z,” Flora the Red Menace,” “Kiss of the Spiderwoman,” “Chicago,” “ Women of the Year,” – oh, I give up!
I am happy to say that the New York Landmarks Conservancy made Fred Ebb a “Living Landmark” only a few years ago. Hey Up There, darling Fred, how about shooting a few dollars our way so we can save some other city. Landmarks?