The Blind Leading The Blind: There was no love lost between the male and female stars of a just-finished horror epic. One of the sweetest things he called her was “a spoiled brat.” Why not play the guessing game?
Meanwhile, the cast and crew of the big new “Mary Reilly” movie — it’s about Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde and his (?) their (?) maidservant — are tickled silly the movie’s finished. Big sighs of relief all around. But all hands were somewhat surprised at the gift-wrapped mementos they received from the multi-million $$$$$$$$$ lady who starred in the film. Yo-yos. Oh, don’t bother guessing. It was Julia Roberts.
Isn’t there a feud brewing between Shirley MacLaine and Madonna? If not, there ought to be. That is, considering the quote said to have been uttered by the tell-it-like-it-is Shirl about the tell-it-like-it-is M word: Referring to Madonna as being “the only one of brother Warren’s women who had more money and less class than he” — and then this devastating clincher — “and she doesn’t wash much.” Ladies, please!
The hottest British import to hit the U.S. since Natasha Richardson circled and landed is a 21-year-old beauty called Thandie Newton, who was educated at Cambridge. Thandie, who plays Brad Pitt’s first delicious victim in “Interview With the Vampire,” is now filming “The Journey of August King,” her first starring role, as a hot-blooded runaway slave involved with a lonely mountain man played by Jason Patric. They’re on location in the south, which some claim is hotter than ever since they arrived, but you know how people exaggerate.
After a summer of rumors of a split, it seems peace has broken out between Monaco’s Princess Caroline and her Vincent Lindon. They’ve been cruising the Mediterranean together on a luxurious yacht, along with her kids. B-l-i-s-s. For n-o-w.
Bobby Short, the talented cherub who plays the piano and sings like an angel and keeps the crowd crowding into the Carlyle Hotel where he is a fantastic feature every season, celebrated his 70th birthday the other night at a big party at Mortimer’s, and everybody fell down in a faint when they heard how old he was. Because he looks 50 and acts 25. Probably because his heart is pure? We all know his voice is. Jean Bach, who has known Bobby longer than almost anyone in New York, gave the party for him, and they all came. Fetching in long red chiffon — it was a black tie evening — Jean hopped up on the bar at Mortimer’s (that’s where the musicians played throughout the evening) and gave a wonderful, funny little speech about the privileges and pitfalls of being Bobby’s best friend. At least 140 of those who love Bobby best applauded madly.
Glenn Bernbaum, the proprietor of Mortimer’s, made the place look gasp-terrific, with black and silver balloons trailing tinsel hanging from the ceiling of both the restaurant’s rooms and a black and white mural — chic to pass out — emulating scenes of Harlem’s famous Cotton Club of yesteryear. There were pictures of Bobby in various stages of development, including looking cute in a rumble seat, hanging on the walls, and — well, everyone just had the best old time. Everyone included Lauren Bacall dancing every dance; Jessye Norman, magnificent in a tasseled dress and a matching turban to the sky; Lynn Wyatt of the Texas Wyatts, stunning in a long, bare, black Ungaro printed here and there with red roses and worn with a beautiful matching shawl; Oscar Wyatt; Chessy Rayner; Leonora Hornblow; Kitty Carlisle Hart; Anne Slater; Mati Stevens; Geraldine Stutz; Josephine Premice; Cynthia and Nathan St. Amand; Lisa and David Schiff; the Robert Altmans; Pat Buckley; Eleanor Lambert; Kitty D’Alessio; the Carroll O’Connors; Judy and Sam Peabody; Ellin and Renny Saltzman; Sisi Cahan; Betty Comden; Brooke Hayward and Peter Duchin; Phyllis and Adolph Green; Gil Shiva; Rex Reed; Johnny Galliher; Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder; Gene Hovis; Danny Lavezzo, and more, more, more, all singing Happy Birthday and wishing they knew his secret.
Mortimer’s is the party place for celebrities and social types who think of it as their home away from home sweet home, balloons or no balloons. That chic and stunning creature in the brilliant red tunic and the black pants (Bill Blass) waltzing around the restaurant the other night was Casey Ribicoff — who, with her distinguished husband, former Sen. Abe Ribicoff — was giving a dinner for 50. Everyone was there — David Brinkley and his lovely wife Susan; Nancy Kissinger (Henry came in later after explaining Haiti on TV); Paul LeClerc, the big man at The New York Public Library, and Dr. Judith Ginsburg; Sen. Chris Dodd; Princess Firyal of Jordan with Tommy Tailor of the Texas Tailors; Duane and Mark Hampton; Irina and Lane Kirkland; Ann and Herb Siegel; Mica and Ahmet Ertegun; Lauren and John Veronis; Jessie and Rand Araskog; Linda and Mort Janklow; Lyn Revson; Chessy Rayner; Louise Grunwald; Carroll Petrie; Jerry Zipkin; Khalil Rizk; Pierre Durand; Joe Cicio; Joe Armstrong; Nick Dunne; Eleanor Lambert; Liz Rohatyn; Patricia Patterson; Kitty Carlisle Hart; Tita Cahn; Stanley Donen; Gil Shiva; Kenneth Jay Lane — like that. It was all terribly smart, especially the beluga caviar on corn fritters, and Nancy Reagan was terribly sorry she couldn’t make it — but she arrived too late from California, you know. However — she and Casey and Carroll and Louise and Betsy and Cecile and Nan and Jerry all had lunch together at Le Cirque the next day — it was Nancy’s lunch — so no harm done, don’t you agree?
The celebrated mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli will sing Mozart, Berlioz, Rossini and Bellini, Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields will perform in concert and a slew of the town’s swells will sweep into Carnegie Hall for the gala opening night of its 104th season on Sept. 29. After the last flute has tootled and Sir Neville has taken his bows, guests will repair to the Plaza for what is being billed as “a sumptuous Moroccan feast” featuring a gamut of delights running from such salads as carrots with rose water and raisins, cucumbers with yogurt and dill, etc., to chicken couscous served with oranges, pistachios and figs and culminating in Moroccan pastries and chocolate-covered orange peel. There will also be a traditional Moroccan tea service. So now you know.
This supper will be served in the Palm Court and the Terrace Room of the Plaza, opened especially for the evening in honor of Carnegie Hall, and Robert Isabell is doing the space up as only he can. You will be thrilled to hear that the tableware is 100 percent authentic Moroccon and that it comes from Sam’s Souk.
Lauren and John Veronis are the co-chairmen of the evening and among the guests expected to arrive in a perfumed pack are Elaine and James Wolfensohn, Casey and Abe Ribicoff, Joan and Sanford Weill, Annette and Oscar de la Renta, and Mercedes and Sid Bass, who all know what side their couscous is buttered on. Also on hand will be Isaac Stern, but without his wife Vera. After many years of marriage they have separated. Aha!