It was a real circus at the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship in New York Monday night. From the elephants outside the 50th Street entrance to the belly dancers inside, the place was crawling with characters for the launch of Lancaster’s new fragrance, Casmir.

“This place is more crowded than on a Saturday — at Christmas,” said Tommy Boy Records’ Monica Lynch, as she was easing her way out of the party. “I’m going to pet the pachyderms.”

As Lynch walked out, Annabella Sciorra and her friends walked in — without acknowledging a receiving line of Saks’ Rose Marie Bravo and Phil Miller and Lancaster’s Richard Hartigan. Sciorra moved into the thick of things, joining the likes of Sony’s Mickey Schulhof and Janice Dickinson — who says she’s changed since having a baby: “I don’t use four-letter words anymore.”

“This is wild. Saks, elephants, perfume, Indian food,” said John Leguizamo, who thought the connections were a little tenuous. “I came because I heard Scorsese was going to be here. But he pulled out. We’ve been hoodwinked.”

Martin Scorsese was planning to attend, along with Ismail Merchant (who did). Both of the directors’ film foundations were beneficiaries of the evening. After Merchant spoke to the crowd, Abel Ferrara got on stage in Scorsese’s place. It was a disaster.

“Shut up!” Ferrara yelled at the boisterous crowd. “Who’s doing all that talking? Shut up! I can’t hear myself.” After a few tense moments of Ferrara’s ramblings — which included outbursts of profanity — several security guards hopped on stage and escorted the director out the back door.

Ferrara didn’t make it to the party at Le Colonial afterwards, but Madonna did. She turned up with New York playwright/director Frank Pugliese, whom Madonna is said to be wooing for the lead in his debut film, “Mob Girl.” Madonna’s competition for the role: Marisa Tomei, who, until recently, was Pugliese’s girlfriend.

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