Among its many pages, magazine takes a good, long look at China

The Baltimore Sun

WOMEN DRIVE what's on television - husbands and boyfriends decide on movies," says NBC's reigning brilliant, Tina Fey.

So, Vanity Fair magazine hits its stride again with an April issue crammed with everything you ever wanted to know about funny women like Ms. Fey, Sarah Silverman, Amy Poehler, et al.; rich payouts to the wealthy we mostly never heard of, but a few will be familiar among those who reaped the financial whirlwind in 2007; feuds and fights between the likes of titans Barry Diller and John Malone; the life story (again) of Calvin Klein; the staggering news that the Iraq war will cost the United States $3 trillion and none of it has been paid for yet - "etcetera, etcetera, etcetera" as the King of Siam might have said.

But my favorite piece is by William Langewiesche, and if you are interested in the coming Olympics and the actualities of China's rise, you won't want to miss this. The reporter, given his head by his editors, feels that the nation's new capitalism is grandiose but "no amount of pomp and prep work can buy China the role it wants." He seems to think the Olympics will bomb, pass on and the Chinese will be no better off for it. This is the best, the funniest and most trenchant look at the waking "Sleeping Giant" I've read anywhere.

Mai tais, anyone?

For those who adore the Polynesian-themed restaurants of old, like Trader Vic's and the Luau in Hollywood, be happy. Tiki times are coming back.

The Luau is reopening on Bedford Drive at Wilshire, a few blocks from where the original stood. It is expected to be a huge hit for trendy diners looking for a '60s throwback; a place to down mai tais and imagine what life was like when Frank Sinatra was "the Chairman of the Board."

L.A.'s Hal Lifson, an expert on all things '60s when he's not repping potential Olympic stars like Kara Goucher, says, "This could be the new 'in' spot for old-school hipsters and new-school Clooney types to gather, see and be seen."

A new 'Cat'

If you want to revel in how truly great the theater can be, then go see Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Broadhurst - if for no other reason than the magnificent James Earl Jones as Big Daddy. His humor and depth beat all who have gone before since the drama's first bow in 1955. The new production is lovely and the audience even better. So many beautiful women wearing their "Crown Hats" in a distinguished crowd that has forgotten the word "race."

Women in cyberspace

The Web site is where yours truly Liz joins other fine dames in cyberspace - Mary Wells Lawrence, Lesley Stahl, Peggy Noonan, Joni Evans, Whoopi Goldberg, Lily Tomlin, Candice Bergen, Jane Wagner, Judith Martin, Joan Ganz Cooney, Julia Reed, Joan Juliet Buck, Marlo Thomas and Sheila Nevins. There'll be many new names in the future and you yourself, if you like our style. We kicked off Saturday. Join in the dialogue with a lot of females who have been there, done that and want more!

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