Thursday, May 16, 2013

LIZ SMITH: Wrapped up in Liberace ...

Liberace and Liz at NY Pops, 1985.
Wrapped up in Liberace ... Angelina & Leo — heroes!
A look at networks and HBO ... Actors Actors Actors
Thursday, May 16, 2013
by Liz Smith

"THERE'S NOTHING MORE intriguing than a movie star wrapped like a mummy playing someone just emerging from plastic surgery. Think Humphrey Bogart in "Dark Passage," Elizabeth Taylor in "Ash Wednesday." And now, in HBO's "Behind the Candelabra," Michael Douglas playing Liberace, the swishy but closeted Las Vegas piano player. Matt Damon, bleached blond for his role, costars as Liberace's stoned and rhinestoned boyfriend, Scott Thorson, who was almost 40 years younger."

This is Joan Kron, the Allure magazine expert on face lifts international and you can read her two-part takeout on the movie, which bows on HBO May 26th. Joan's expert view on these guys who felt they were forced to say they weren't gay when they were leading romantic and not so romantic flamboyant private lives together, may strike a younger generation as absurd.
But Liberace always seemed to me to be a warm prince at heart. And I met Scott as well when the couple was still new together. I never got over visiting their house in Las Vegas with its multi-dogs, a Michelangelo fake painting on the ceiling, and candelabra hanging only 12 inches over the coffee table.

Oh yes, tune into Joan Kron here.
Liberace and Liz on Live at Five.
I CAN'T wait to see the domestic struggles of Lee and Scott. But I already know that the winner will be my friend Rob Lowe, playing the Liberace doctor Jack Startz, wearing tons of makeup and a high-camp wig.
TWO BIG and worthy stars made plenty of high-powered news this week!

Angelina Jolie scored with the shocking news of her brave double mastectomy and filled the world's breast cancer organizations with questions, answers and participation deluxe.

Angelina and Brad in Davos.
Leo at Christie's.
Catapulted by her own beauty and dynamic talent away from her earlier sexual preoccupations and juvenile "showing off" into adoptive and personal motherhood and steady companionship with Brad Pitt, this glamorous star has vaulted herself into medical history. She has grown adult before our very eyes.

Angelina and Brad have worked tirelessly of late to help solve world problems. They were so active at Davos that the organizers had to ask them not to appear personally at meetings in Switzerland because they caused so much reaction. They went right on giving money and time to many international causes. Now, Angelia has made her medical history a part of history! Admiration abounds.

At the same time as he is being feted, ignored, castigated and examined as F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Gatsby," Leo DiCaprio continues his own sweet way, not socking paparazzi and silently seldom defending himself from criticism.

Think on this, the great actor's Foundation to fight global warming came about with an auction at
Christie's the other night, that coincided with front page warnings from scientists about the earth's carbon dioxide emissions being at dangerous levels. And thus, Leo's fronting for solutions to global warming raised an astounding $38 million.

In this rock'n'roll downturn of Internet celebrities and young foolish narcissistic VIPs, here are two major and talented and thoughtful “fame victims” who have turned their stardom to good will and good works! More power to both of them.
IF YOU WANT to know what's going on with your TV viewing these days you have to embrace the inside stuff from The Hollywood Reporter. Their headline is "Fox banks on male comedy ... NBC likes big stars and ABC triesto avoid fourth place. CBS still sits in first place!" But everything is changing and there are no static situations. Slow growth and dwindling dominance in regular TV, the Reporter predicts.
I AM sorry if you missed "On Your Toes" at the Encore series in City Center. This big cast would never make it today. Nobody could afford them, even for a long run hit. But I do want to say that ballet star Irina Dvorovenko and Christine Baranski were two of the most adorable, able and delightful actresses I've ever seen onstage. Downright sexy and glamorous. The audience for this approximately $25 a ticket revival went absolutely crazy. Rodgers & Hart & Balanchine at their best!

Coming Encore revivals include “The Giacomo Variations,” starring John Malkovich, “The Cradle Will Rock,” “Violet,” and “I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road.” Call 212-581-1212.
Irina Dvorovenko in On Your Toes, at New York City Center.
NO ONE will ever take Robin Wright (the ex Mrs. Sean Penn) or Kevin Spacey, the multiple Oscar winner,for granted again. What magnificent actors! I wasn't in the crowd that first went crazy over the Netflix ongoing all-at-once movie "House of Cards" ... But now I am rationing myself to two of these every Sunday afternoon and if this kind of inside Washington drama doesn't kill off reality non-acting TV, well, I'll be surprised. The networks should pay attention.
THE STELLA BY STARLIGHT gala on June 10th is shaping up for Elaine Stritch. Now, Stephen Sondheim has been added and he will get The Marlon Brando Award. Added to the program — Martin Sheen, Harry Belafonte, Liza Minnelli, Alec Baldwin, Whoopi Goldberg, Mike Medavoy, and they are tying to raise dough like crazy for the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. Call 212-689-0087 ext. 27.

Contact Liz Smith here.

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