Tony Blair's successor may not be willing to dress the part

BUSH GETS ready for Iraq U-turn by Brown: New P.M. To Speed Withdrawal and Cool the Special Relationship" read the headlines in the Daily Telegraph.

What's more -- England will have to adjust as well to a successor to Tony Blair -- Gordon Brown, a leader who "believes black, and certainly white tie, smacks of privilege and elitism." Brown is said to have no intention of going back on his position of wearing a plain Labor Party lounge suit in the queen's presence.


The first state visit of Brown's premiership is not yet announced but there is plenty of worry about his appearing so informally on special occasions. That might be considered disrespectful. Columnist Tim Walker reports, "If you do not dress in the appropriate manner ... you risk becoming the story."

This led to some gamesters bringing up an old adage about dress -- "Never Brown in town."


GQ simply must address this problem.

AmfAR effort

Sharon Stone has been in Cannes doing her fabled auctioneer stuff for AmfAR's Cinema Against AIDS event -- sponsored by the Weinstein Co., Bold Films and MAC cosmetics. Stone tells pals she will travel to Dubai and Rome later this year; she'll spearhead AmfAR's plans to launch glittery fetes in those cities.

Thinking on the great work of AmfAR, on June 5 at the Rainbow Room -- David Barr, Dr. Barbara Starrett and yours truly will be honored for our AIDS efforts by Peter Staley and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

My big bonus? I'll get to sit with the handsome AmfAR leader Kenneth Cole and his wife, Maria, with our mastermind Dr. Mathilde Krim and with my talented pal Liza Minnelli. Tickets? Call 212-806-1636.


If you missed going to Primola on Second Avenue the other night this is what you missed: Pele, the famous soccer player, signing balls, Gary Kasparov, the chess king, signing game pieces and Gina Lollobrigida, the movie queen, signing anything pushed at her.

Also on hand -- the gifted Gena Rowlands, in town promoting Paris, je t'aime on the big screen and What If God Were the Sun on TV; a double whammy, Neil Sedaka, the great pop singer-composer, CNBC's finance expert Maria Bartiromo, realtor mogul Harry Macklowe and an assortment of fellow millionaires.


The food is excellent. The people-watching is even better.

A Stritch in time

Nathan Lane proves again what a master he is of every word and nuance. His remarks before giving the National Corporate Theatre Fund award to the legend Elaine Stritch were a lifesaver for the Tavern-on-the-Green evening where regional theaters were saluted. Nathan brought things up to super pro par, saying he is a "Stritchoholic" and adding, "Al Gore has also told me she is indirectly responsible for global warming, because wherever she goes, things tend to heat up!"

His story of Stritch waltzing into theaters without paying, and only Mamma Mia! saying no to her, was priceless.

Tribune Media Services