And more from our Liz: Will Andrew take pity on Fergie? … a fermented Lindsay comes East .. Palm Beach mourns two great ladies … Douglas Hodge goes the cabaret way
“A RIDDLE: What is something that nobody likes but everybody enjoys?
“The answer is – gossip.”
People have been talking about other people for as long as humans have been talking. At least sixty percent of adult conversation is about people who aren’t in the room.
Gossip, however, has a bad reputation — one that many psychologists and anthropologists feel is profoundly undeserved. Some scientists go so far as to say that without gossip, our society would simply fall apart.
So opined one Jennifer Drapkin.
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SPEAKING OF gossip, the British Royals have almost as many problems as the American rich. And even though Queen Elizabeth is no doubt thrilled about the coming nuptials of her grandson, William to Kate Middleton, her own offspring can still give her agita. It is Prince Andrew who has now provided another headache — he seems determined to help his disgraced ex-wife, Fergie, out of her financial difficulties, no matter what! (And no matter that Fergie has been barred from attending the grand wedding on April 29th. I think this is rather mean-spirited. William is her nephew, after all, and she and Diana had a close if sometimes troubled friendship.)
Andrew is gallant, but his attempts have proved awkward. There are questions as to where exactly Andrew has solicited funds.
But QE2 perseveres and remains one of the admirable personages in Buckingham Palace. However, at age 84, the Queen has had to stop climbing up on her favorite horses. She has given up her passion for riding because a bad knee makes it difficult for her to mount.
You might ask whether or not the Queen could be given a little lift, a little push on the behind. But remember the big furor when Michelle Obama put her hand on the Queen’s back in a friendly gesture? Well, imagine the quandary of a mere groom helping Her Majesty rise to the saddle. He’d have to be given a title like “Royal Leg-Up Giver.” I think the Queen just decided it was easier to give up riding altogether. And at age 84, she can be excused.
Of course, the first Queen Elizabeth had a Master of the Horse, but that was something else altogether.
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OUR GIRL Lindsay Lohan is home on the East Coast, spending time with her mother and siblings while she decides what to do about that sticky business back in Hollywood — will she or won’t she take a plea deal in the matter of strolling off with a $2,500 necklace?
Alas, the 25-year-old actress is not drifting through museums or libraries or just chilling with her family. She has already been spotted at two nightclubs and already garnered some unneeded attention when it was suggested that fermented tea she was sipping, might contain trace amounts of alcohol. “I did not drink. I do not drink. Period.” That’s LL’s story and she is sticking to it.
Honey, forget nightclubs. There’s a nifty exhibition at the Met, “The Andean Tunic: 400 BC-1800.” You might get an idea for your fashion line. And you could always drop in and scope out the “Treasures of the Forbidden City.” Just … don’t try anything on.
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TWO GREAT beauties of Palm Beach have gone to their reward. And I will miss both of them terribly. One died a month ago – Francis Carpenter, who once owned the Bulls Head Inn in Bridgehampton when it was a café and nightclub in the Sixties and Seventies.
I saw Francis last when she was 95 and she still looked vivacious and beautiful with her turned up nose and fabulous posture and great clothes. She was a Long Island girl who lucked into a loveless marriage with an heir to the Dupont fortune. When she arrived in Delaware as a bride, she scandalized the entire family and promptly was nicknamed “The Black Banana.” Sultry and fun-loving, she eventually enthralled even her rich and distinguished in-laws.
She was a great, fun-loving creature who never did a soul any harm. I recall that in her early wild days when she decided to go out dancing downtown “with the boys,” she’d always take off all of her fabulous jewelry and give it to my keeping as she roared off with her merrymakers.
The other person who left us unexpectedly was Celia Lipton Farris, a doyenne of Palm Beach. She had been the Peter Pan of 1930s London, and went on to marry a man who invented the milk carton. This extremely generous lady leaves quite a gap in the Florida and New York philanthropy scene, and she will be missed by her friends and by the many, many charities she championed, to which she gave her time and money.
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WENT TO the posh Café Carlyle the other night with their number one star, Elaine Stritch, who lives permanently at the hotel. With us was the divine Sheila Nevins, HBO’s documentary genius who brought me a preview of her latest, “Triangle: Remembering the Fire,” which airs tonight, March 21.
The performer we saw that night, after a delicious dinner of Bobby Short’s chicken hash and Dover sole, was the Tony winner Douglas Hodge. He was fresh from playing the drag queen lead, Albin, in “La Cage aux Folles.”
Mr. Hodge had already garnered many kudos in his native London, and he is a wonderful presence and a fine singer. But he didn’t bother to “explain” himself much to the audience and I think they were largely mystified. Anyway, he did two well-received numbers, the Johnny Cash hit “A Boy Named Sue,” ending with the gay anthem “I Am What I Am.”
No doubt Mr. Hodge is fed up with drag and wanted to perform as his heterosexual self. But he needs to have an “act” written for himself. He’ll be at the Carlyle all this week.