Tuesday, May 10, 2016

LIZ SMITH: Still A "Marvel"

by Liz Smith

Sharon Stone: Still A "Marvel" After All These Years. Also — Hershey Felder/Irving Berlin ... the Red Bull Theater ... David Boies and "The Good Wife" and a good glass of wine!

"I THINK I am aging, but I am enjoying the process," said Sharon Stone.

I don't know when Miss Stone said this, but I'm amused, if the quote is accurate; that she thinks she is aging. Ah, if it were only so simple. If it was, then I'd prefer to think I'm not!
SPEAKING OF the beautiful Miss Stone, it is encouraging to hear that she will play a major role in an upcoming Marvel movie. Which Marvel movie? Who knows — one of hundreds that seem to be in the works. (If it's not Marvel it's D.C. comics. Well, you can't fight success; the new "Captain America" feature is breaking box-office records around the world.)

This won't be the first time Sharon has gone the comic book route. She starred in 2004's "Catwoman." She was not the kittenish heroine, however. That role, and the eternally fetish-y leather cat-suit went to Halle Berry. Sharon played a wicked cosmetics mogul — trying to preserve her youth, in fact — who tangles with Berry (after shy Halle is turned much more aggressive following an inadvertent dousing in some icky chemicals.)
Sharon stone as wicked cosmetics mogul Laurel Hedare.
The movie didn't do well, which surprised me. I recall going to the premiere and being more-than-reasonably entertained, especially by Sharon. Others around me — the entire audience! — voiced highly negative comments, but I wondered what they expected from a movie titled "Catwoman?"

What I remember most about that evening, however is interviewing Halle. The after-party was held at the cosmetics department of a store on Fifth Avenue. At first, it didn't seem I was going to get to Ms. Berry. After being told for over forty minutes, to "wait" behind a velvet rope, while Halle tarried somewhere, hidden behind counters of lotions and potions, I decided to head home. I'd already interviewed a number of other celebs, seen the movie, and it was getting late. I wasn't annoyed, but there is life beyond show-biz.
Benjamin Bratt, Sharon Stone, and Halle Berry at the Los Angeles premiere of "Catwoman."
Just as I was hailing a cab outside, two frantic young people dashed up, and implored me to come back in, "Halle is ready for you!" They looked so painfully stricken I sent the taxi away, and was escorted briskly back into the store, past a crowd of others waiting to pay homage to the star. (Many of them giving me what is now known as the "side-eye.") She was lovely, of course, but I found her touchingly tentative and nervous that night. Whether she sensed something about the future of the film or had other concerns, she was, while cooperative and gracious, intriguingly off-kilter. Her beauty was mind-blowing, and I found the concept of her holding court at a cosmetics counter both amusing and ironic. (Perhaps her manner was no different than it usually is, with anybody. But as it was my first time with Halle, I was so tempted to grasp her hand and say, "Darling, what's wrong?")
Halle Berry at Henri Bendel for the Purr-fect 'Catwoman' event.
I've never had the chance to speak with her again. I hope I will. Certainly before — as Miss Stone might say — I start to think I am aging any further!

As for Sharon, we are old friends and she's a marvelous interview — frisky and funny and bawdy. Sometimes she is on some other plane of thought or insight only she seems to understand, but always fun and quotable.

Sharon is an often underrated actress, I've always thought. It's likely this new film won't stretch her dramatic talents much, but as long as she gets plenty of screen time, and is bad to the bone, that's fine with me.
IT WAS great to see Dana Carvey back as The Church Lady on last weekend's "Saturday Night Live." His skit was certainly the best thing in the show, and Darrell Hammond continues to be masterful and hilarious as Donald Trump. I think The Church Lady and Donald should become a weekly thing, and yes — drag in Tina Fey's Sarah Palin to also be judged by Dana Carvey's divine lady of religiosity.

Wouldn't that be special?
SAVE THE date and make your choice. On June 6th, Manhattan's Town Hall presents the premiere of "Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin." This is a new play — with music, natch — about the man who became known as America's Composer. "Hershey Felder as ..." was written by Hershey Felder, who has won acclaim for other solo efforts including "Liszt in Musik" ... "Monsieur Chopin" ... "Beethoven" ... Maestro" (as Leonard Bernstein) and "Lincoln: An American Story." Directed by Trevor Hay this is a one night only event. Call 800-982-2787.
Also on June 6th, at the Bowery Hotel, there will be "an intimate soiree" celebrating the Red Bull Theater's "Season of Scandal." Liev Schreiber, Michael Kahn and the Michael Tuch Foundation will receive the Matador Awards for Excellence in Classical Theater. Among those listed to be on hand, soiree-ing intimately: Judith Light ... Elizabeth Ashley ... Michael Urie ... Olympia Dukakis ... Shaina Taub ... Michael Cerveris, etc. Call 212-352-3101.
SO, THERE I was watching the series finale of "The Good Wife" on CBS last Sunday night when who should appear as a privileged legal commentator on the case unfolding, but that humane real-life guy, David Boies, playing himself. Mr. Boies is famous for arguing gay rights and civil liberties before the Supreme Court. He changed the lives of thousands of gay people in America.
David Boies, playing himself, on the series finale of "The Good Wife."
"The Good Wife" made its exit with all of its usual complications and ins and outs and people suddenly in love with their enemies. I can't say that the ending satisfied me but the actors were one and all simply great and the stories compelling to the end. I'll miss it!

Liz with a bottle of Hawk and Horse Vineyards 'Latigo' Cabernet.
But I got such a kick seeing David Boies, who is a hero of mine, especially as I just happened to be drinking a dessert wine from "Hawk and Horse Vineyards."

(I needed a drink to get through the sadness of "The Good Wife" divorcing me — I took it very personally!)

This vineyard makes delectable red cabernet sauvignon and it is owned by David and his wonderful wife Mary. I've been on the Hawk and Horse gift list for years and hope to remain there.

After all, other TV shows I like will eventually fold, you know?

And then there's the election. Is sobriety even an option? Keep it coming, you guys!
Hawk and Horse's biodynamic vineyarrd.

With Denis Ferrara

Contact Liz here.