And more from our Gossip Girl: Oscar aftermath — stylists cringe or kvell … Woody Allen brings “Broadway” to Broadway … and happy birthday, Elizabeth!
“I DON’T want to judge people for using a stylist, but when people say that I’m just a dumb stripper, I can’t help but think ‘Wow, you really give accolades to these hair and makeup people and stylists?’ I’m holding my own up there. I don’t have a stylist and I do my own hair and makeup. That counts, even though it’s not always appreciated.” So says burlesque artiste Dita Von Teese.
I’ve seen Miss Von Teese, in and out of her act. She does know how to pull herself together beautifully — and take it off with class, too. Shades of Gypsy Rose Lee!
Speaking of stylists, dozens — perhaps hundreds of them — are anxiously awaiting the critiques of their efforts last night. For these men and women, the annual Academy Awards extravaganza is worth a fortune in clients and reputation.
Often, however, they are dismayed when they see their “star” on the red carpet. Suddenly Miss So-and-So decided to wear her hair up rather than down or put the damn dress on backwards. Too much jewelry, too little jewelry. And as we discussed here last week, perhaps preferring to nix the Spanx.
It ain’t easy, keeping the stars looking good. It’s a surprise more stylists aren’t in rehab themselves.
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WOODY ALLEN’S movie career has always been an on and off thing. He is an auteur and a genuine cult figure, but long periods can pass between successful Woody films — even if the hardcore fans love all things Allen. In recent years, Woody, the quintessential quirky New Yorker, has made a significant comeback by moving his films to Europe– even making a London-based thriller, “Match Point” which borrowed a bit from Hitchcock and a bit from “A Place In The Sun.” (Or more precisely, the source was Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy.) Last year’s “Midnight In Paris” seemed to be everybody’s favorite romantic movie.
But back in 1994, when Woody was still Manhattan-bound, he made the delicious “Bullets Over Broadway,” set in the 1920’s theater world. The movie earned seven Oscar nominations and won a little golden guy for Dianne Wiest, who played the often-tipsy stage diva Helen Sinclair. (“Don’t speak, don’t speak!” she would famously utter whenever John Cusack, playing a young playwright, tried to talk a little sober sense into her.)
Now Woody is taking “Bullets Over Broadway” and putting it on Broadway. With music. Allen is writing the book, and the songs will be genuine 1920’s ditties. At least that’s the plan so far. But I can’t see how they can avoid giving Helen Sinclair an original number. Likewise the chorus girl character played onscreen by Jennifer Tilly. We shall see.
Letty Aronson and Julian Schlossberg are producing this show for spring 2013. One more reason the Mayan calendar just has to be wrong. Fate surely wouldn’t be so cruel as to make us miss a Woody Allen Broadway musical!
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YIKES! Hollywood doesn’t kid around when it smells a flop. Disney’s sci-fi thriller “John Carter” is getting all sorts of bad advance word-of-mouth.
Newsweek’s Chris Lee‘s article asks a penetrating question: will the film, reportedly budgeted at $250 million, be the next “Waterworld?” (“Waterworld” was Kevin Costner’s epic about, well — a world covered in water. Although always referred to as a “bomb,” Costner’s movie took in about $300 million worldwide. Ah, but the budget was $175 mil.)
Apparently “John Carter,” which stars the handsome but not wildly well-known Taylor Kitsch, is expected to meet a similar fate. It might do well, it might do very well. People could love it despite bad reviews. But can it gross at least $400 million? There’s the rub.
Writer Lee states: “Heads have already started to roll right out of the Team Disney Building and onto Dopey Drive in Burbank … meanwhile, at studio commissaries around town, the long steak knives are already out for Disney Studios chairman Rich Ross.”
Well, it’s gleeful inside-track writing like this that makes me want to go see “John Carter.” Especially when the movie is described as “Gladiator” meets “Clash of the Titans” meets “Star Wars.” Sounds pretty good, actually — even though I’m sure it was meant as a “diss.” I say, use that sentence right on top of the first newspaper ad!
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LAST YEAR, Feb 27th fell on a Sunday, Oscar night. Elizabeth Taylor, weak but valiant, watched the show from her hospital bed. It was her 79th birthday. Despite grim news stories, most people expected Elizabeth to eventually leave the hospital. In a wheelchair, waving and smiling bravely as she had in recent years — frail, but not down for the count!
It was not to be. Elizabeth died at Cedars-Sinai Hospital less than a month later. Today would have been her 80th birthday. In all the years I’ve written this column, I’ve always wished Miss Taylor a happy birthday on Feb 27th. So, happy 80th my dear. I know you are having a hell of a party up there, healthy and strong again, surrounded by those you loved and lost.
And even Eddie Fisher. Come on, Elizabeth, you know you had some good times with him!