Monday, April 4, 2016

LIZ SMITH: Stardom!

Hedy Lamarr as stardom!
by Liz Smith

New Stars For Us To Walk All Over — Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Feirstein. Also: Kiefer Sutherland Declares "Not Enough Whiskey" ... The Problem With Lois Lane ... A New Perfume From Elizabeth Taylor Fragrances.

"TO Be a star is to own the world and all the people in it. After stardom, everything else is poverty" said Hedy Lamarr.
Harvey and Cyndi soon to be on the sidewalk in La La Land.
ON APRIL 11th, Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein will receive their stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in front of the fabled Pantages Theater. Aside from their individual contributions to theater and music and acting, Lauper and Fierstein are the creators of the hit Broadway musical "Kinky Boots." (Now in its 4th year.)

By no small coincidence, their show will play for two weeks at the Pantages, April 13th-24th. "Kinky Boots" is still drawing crowds on London's West End and in Toronto. Productions in Australia, Japan and Korea are in the works.

Cyndi and Harvey are two of the most talented, uncompromising, generous, compassionate and just plain nice people in the biz. They more than deserve to be on the sidewalk in La La Land.
WHENEVER I think of Kiefer Sutherland, I always refer back to his role as a sexy, malevolent young vampire in "The Lost Boys" or the relentless, ruthless counter-terrorist agent in TV's "24" series. There was a lot in-between, but those two roles/images are indelible.
As the leader of a local gang of vampires in "Lost Boys."
As Jack Bauer.
I also knew, somewhere in my consciousness, that Sutherland was into music, had a band, sang, wrote songs.

Now Kiefer, who is still acting, is going full tilt with his music. Sutherland's new music video debuted last week, the aptly titled "Not Enough Whiskey." (Kiefer has been known to enjoy a libation of one or a dozen.) It is the first tract from his upcoming album, the country-flavored "Down in a Hole." This CD, produced with Jude Cole is, says the actor, "The closest thing I've ever had to a journal or diary. All these songs are pulled from my personal experience."
On April 14th, Kiefer will go out on the road, promoting the album, a 32-city tour that stretches from Asbury Park, New Jersey to Chattanooga, Tennessee. And you might have caught Kiefer as a presenter last night on the Academy of Country Music Awards.

To find out more about the tour visit
LAST WEEK I commented in mostly favorable terms on the new blockbuster "Batman v Superman." I thought all the performances were good, and the addition of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, a highpoint. But I also remarked that as appealing as Amy Adams is as Lois Lane, that LL has always been a thankless role. Interesting to find Eliana Dockterman of Time magazine complain about the same thing. Indeed, Miss Dockterman points out that there has been a woeful lack of strong women in either DC or Marvel comics. So, major excitement bubbles, anticipating next year's "Wonder Woman" feature which will, naturally, give WW and her Amazonians considerably more screen time than was allowed in "B v S" — a movie that was essentially about the boys comparing ... cape size.
A QUARTER of a century ago, Elizabeth Taylor debuted her second great fragrance line, "White Diamonds." (Her first was the wildly successful "Passion.") "White Diamonds" was initially promoted during the period just before and just after Taylor's headline-making eighth marriage to construction worker Larry Fortensky. Affectionate cynics — and I was one of them — were impressed yet again at Taylor's business and PR acumen. Oh, she really loved Larry (they'd been cohabitating for four years prior to the nuptials) but to blend her new fragrance line with her marriage — at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch — was a stroke of genius.
Liz and Larry, before the fragrance grew stale.
Taylor was also once again, physically rejuvenated. She had emerged from another near-fatal bout with pneumonia showing the effects of her ordeal. But by the time she was filming those famous (and still aired!) TV commercials for "WD" she had undergone a miraculous transformation, looking literally better than ever — younger even than her groom, who was 20 years her junior. (Let's put that down to clean living, a good diet and genetics, shall we?)

Perfume brought out the best in La Liz — promoting White Diamonds in 1991 ...
Anyway, "WD" cleaned up and its success survived the Fortensky marriage, the long years of physical decline that followed, and even her death. It's still a huge seller.

To celebrate that success, tomorrow at The Glasshouses in New York City, Elizabeth Taylor Fragrances and Eva Longoria host a cocktail event, which will also introduce a new scent.

It's hard to believe so much time has passed, but our memories of her during that period are vivid — not the least was attending, as the only member of the press, her wedding.

And there was an astonishing, amusing moment during her stop at Macy's in NYC to present herself to the masses as she hawked "WD". Her car — late as usual — pulled up to a side entrance. But several thousand had gathered, the barricades were up. Apparently something went wrong with the door on the car, she couldn't get out. So, she decided to exit on the street side of the limo, which was cluttered with traffic, policemen, paparazzi and more fans. The door swung open, and La Liz in a short red-and-white print dress, showing a lot of leg, and as calm as you please, jumped out, walked around the car alone, passed one of the barricades and swept into Macy's. Her bodyguards were stunned. The crowd went berserk.
... and Passion in '86.
WHOEVER heads the Film Commission under often-embattled New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is doing a terrific job. (I knew Katherine Oliver during the Bloomberg Administration and she was a doll.)

Last week, I noted three different television shows being filmed — "Madam Secretary" starring my friend Tea Leoni, shooting near Park Avenue in Murray Hill ... the "Law & Order: SVU" team, starring my friend Mariska Hargitay was assembled behind the library near Bryant Park. (I did not run into Tea or Mariska. I hope they weren't hiding!)
Ice-T bringing out Mariska's alter ego on set in NYC.
Also shooting — "Elementary" which is a clever re-boot of the old Sherlock Holmes story. Shockingly, I don't have any friends among the cast of that one, although I do like all the talented stars, Johnny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu and Aidan Quinn. But I remain ever hopeful. Give me a call you guys and we'll have a margarita or two at the El Rio Grande, downstairs in my building. (After filming is over, and my column is filed, naturally.)

New York City might have its problems, but it is still one of the top go-to places to make movies and TV shows and simply enjoy life.
Madam Secretary walking the Bridle Path in Central Park. We ♥ you too!

With Denis Ferrara

Contact Liz here.