Broadway’s newest rock musical, Passing Strange, is about leaving home and finding yourself. So after a recent performance, we asked audience member Martha Plimpton about a time when she tried to find herself. It turns out that in high school, she explained, she tried to do it through Jesus. “Instead of becoming a punk-rocker, I became a church lady,” she said. “I was baptized and everything, which in its own way was rebellious. But I was Episcopal, so it was only so rebellious. It’s not like I swore off sex and booze and all that. I just added church.” Lately, her spiritual quest took her to a two-hour stint in a Mexican sweat lodge. “I don’t think I discovered anything about myself, but I did learn quite a few things,” she said. “You’ll literally believe anything when you’re in a 500-degree stone igloo.” —Jada Yuan
Last night, at a benefit for Women's Expressive Theater, the cool old shul on the Lower East Side that's the Angel Orensanz cultural center hosted short plays about love or its complications by women playwrights like Brooke Berman and Jenny Lyn Bader. The plays starred folks like Gretchen Mol, Martha Plimpton, Josh Hamilton, and Michael Cerveris. After the shows, we asked Cerveris (star of Broadway masterpieces like Sweeney Todd, The Who's Tommy, and Titanic) what he's been up to lately. Apparently, he's been flying between here and New Orleans a lot to shoot the film Cirque du Freak, based on the popular young-adult Vampire Blood book trilogy ("It's like Harry Potter with vampires"). He's co-starring across from Willem Dafoe, Salma Hayek, and John C. Reilly. Since we don't know much about sucking blood, but we do know a little about sucking chest wounds, we asked him about Valentine's Day. Has he ever put himself out on a limb for love? "My whole life I've been making grand gestures," he said wearily. "And they meet with intermittent success, but often abject failure." Oh, no! "In the long-term, I'm still going home to my dog, Gibson." And his plans for Thursday, the 14th? "I'm flying back from New Orleans. Unless there's a particularly lonely stewardess, I'm probably looking at me and Gibson that night," he said. "She appreciates my presence in a consistent way. So maybe I'll get her a red...bone or something." —Tim Murphy
It's not often that we completely geek out for a celebrity, but when it happens, it's generally only because we bump into someone from an Aaron Spelling drama and become embarrassingly unable to contain ourselves (like when we saw Nat From the Peach Pit at our grocery store and called out to him in the parking lot, which is practically against the law in California). Tragically, after a bottle of complimentary Prosecco at Cynthia Rowley's show on Thursday, one such moment occurred in which our cool vanished like the Great Wall of China under David Copperfield's mischievous hand.