I've heard from a reliable source that Jane Kean has passed away at 89. Kean is best known for being the second "Trixie" in later ('66—'70) Honeymooners episodes. She was also "Belle" in that memorable Mister Magoo Christimas special, singing the above heart-tugging ballad "Winter Was Warm."
I met her at a Hollywood Show not long ago. She was completely with it and a good conversationalist, wry and sassy. Her quote to me then about L.A. vs. New York was that in L.A., you always woke up with the boring realization that, "Well, it's gonna be another goddamned beautiful day."
I'm a fan of street art, so yes, I was pissed I didn't find any Banksys to steal (or buy for a song) during his NYC residency. But I have had a Mr. Brainwash run-in/own some of his stuff, once pried a piece of an Invader mosaic from a local bridge, and have found two stunning works by Ty Cummings on the street where they were left for—presumably—me to rescue.
So I was intrigued by the work of Pegasus, which I think merges pop culture icons in ways that are more playful and quirkier than Brainwash's cynical-feeling concoctions. If you're wondering what I mean, look no further than "Strike a Pose," his clever, sweet marriage of Cher, Madonna, Janet Jackson, David Bowie, Elvis Presley...and maybe more:
The ultimate celebrity mixer.
Unlike all of the artists I've mentioned, Pegasus is highly reachable...and reacted favorably to my interview request. What follows is my chat with this emerging artist, whose work is destined to decorate my walls one day...
Somewhat controversially, Adam Levine has been named People's "Sexiest Man Alive' (winners are apparently killed each year, except for the precious few who have taken the top honors twice, OR they all lose their appeal after they've won once).
Got ya covered, Adam.
I wouldn't call him the sexiest, but he's gorgeous, fit and smart. Plus I like 'em cocky.
Meanwhile, who knew that Adam's dad was gay pornstar Chad Douglas??? (Not really, but...really!) Check out the comparison after the jump...
Billie Hayes, she of "Witchiepoo" fame, is letting go of some long-cherished items from her personal collection, representing her 50-plus-year career in showbiz. For my money, her New Faces of '56 program is among the most amazing. The new faces included Hayes, Maggie Smith, Jane Connell (who just passed away last month), Inga Swenson (Benson) and more.
Lady Gaga did herself and Madonna big favor on SNL last night, making self-deprecating light of comparisons between the two. In a skit about "bad cover songs," she lip-synched "Born This Way" while doing Madonna moves (including some vogueing). If only she'd taken the piss out of their pissing match two years ago with something like this...
Thursday night was the Out 100 party, celebrating Out Magazine's issue in which its editors honor 100 influential out figures from all walks, the most famous of which get the cover treatment. (This year, Edie Windsor, Jim Parsons, Lee Daniels and the very recently out Wentworth Miller made the cut.)
The venue is conducive to having a fun party with live acts (Debbie Harry was headlining, with Steve Grand, The Dolls and Charli XCX of Icona Pop fame supporting), but not so great for a red carpet. Still, Out did a nice job with a second-floor carpet, my only complaint being that the DJed party music drowned out the interviews somewhat.
I was surrounded by nice people, except for an inconsequential sourpuss who looked about 12 years old who was frowning his way through the night for ET, and being near sane individuals helps loads.
Sharon Needles: Gay as hay-ull.
The first person down the carpet was Sharon Needles, looking more glam (and alive) than ever. My question for everyone was to describe their best and worst coming-out experiences (see video above), but she said hers had all been good because she'd been "gay as hay-ull" since age 4 and had a supportive family who knew she liked dick. The most X-rated "awww!" ever.
I remember seeing the 1993 film Strawberry and Chocolate on a blind date. Which makes me feel ancient, since it is now regarded as a Cuban "classic" (it was nominated for an Oscar the year of its release as Best Foreign Language Film). The date sucked, but the movie definitely didn't—and now it's being rethought for the theater in a production directed by Tony winner Roger Robinson at 777 Theater in Manhattan.
In the same way that the original film's pleasures are simple—it's wit and nuance that dazzle, not sets and FX—so are the pleasures of this fine production: it's well acted, its characters are direct and the setting is evoked rather than laboriously conjured.