Diana Ross gave it her fabled all last week at Manhattan's Jazz at Lincoln Center in a one-woman concert sponsored by Qatar Airlines, celebrating their inaugural flights to New York City. Colin Cowie covered the room in burgundy flowers, which matched Diana's gown. A glam coincidence? Perhaps. Ross changed midset into a lime-green number with more sequins and chiffon. She was in fine voice, earthy and electric with the joy of performing. The best sight? An audience of sophisticated New Yorkers throwing the aforementioned blooms at Ross' feet as she took her final bows. She exited like a goddess, gliding across a petal-covered stage.
HBO or Showtime ought to film Miss Ross in her current show. And after that, I think it's time for this legend to try her hand at movies again.
Yikes! I caught recent episodes of Paula Abdul's Hey, Paula reality show. The former pop star-turned-American Idol judge presents herself as perpetually dizzy and incoherent ("overworked," she says.) The late Anna Nicole Smith's TV venture is starting to look like a PBS miniseries in comparison.
Why is stupid behavior now seen as so entertaining? Why do we want to see people deliberately or inadvertently humiliated? Jamie Lee Curtis, writing on the Huffington Post blog, mused on the reality TV obsession: "Are we so unhappy in our own lives we need the fix of watching another human being go into the gladiator ring and come out a bloody, eviscerated mess? What does Russell Crowe scream in Gladiator - 'are you not entertained?!'"
Apparently we are entertained, because these shows proliferate like the famous Tribbles of Star Trek.
A piece of her history
Carol Burnett's private 12-seat movie theater at her Santa Barbara, Calif., home has a newly added bittersweet piece of decor. Carol, now a living legend, was fired from one of her first jobs as an usherette at a Hollywood Boulevard movie house. Recently, she learned that the door to that place, the very door in front of which she'd been terminated, was up for sale at a Hollywood memorabilia auction.
She bought the door and installed it as the entrance to her home cinema center. Carol's husband, Brian Miller, says, "Well, it makes an interesting talking point."
Facing the fans
Kirk Douglas, still a champion at age 91, recently appeared in Las Vegas, hawking his latest book, Let's Face It. More than 1,000 fans showed up at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Much to Kirk's (and wife Anne's) amusement, at least three women propositioned the screen legend. He signed their books, politely.
The next day, more than 400 people jammed into Kirk's appearance at Borders in Las Vegas.
"I'm sorry. I have no idea how to do that!" That's Christopher Walken telling Details magazine how he reacts when a director tries to, well, direct him. "It's very rare and it's not a happy thing," says Walken, who admires and has confidence in his own unique style.
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