So we recently talked to musician Rufus Wainwright about his new big plan for the summer solstice, or, as he calls it, Blackout Sabbath. He wants everybody to turn off all their lights and unplug everything in their house for twelve hours, in order to better think about how you personally can save the environment for the next year. He's even been collecting magnets so that people can hang their ecoresolutions on the refrigerator. "In American culture, the fridge magnet and things that are on the fridge are really a strong indication of what is going on in one's life," he told us. "It has a certain status in the household. It's almost like a little biblical in terms of, like, you know, This is the decree! Stamp it on the fridge with the magnet!" Indeed. We told Rufus we were impressed with his efforts to save the world and asked him about his efforts to save Britney Spears. He has said he is "probably the one person who can really help her." That's two awfully big goals! "Britney Spears is basically an analogy for the world. Whereas Judy Garland was an analogy for the world in the fifties and sixties, Britney is now," he explained. "Save the whale! Oh, God, that's awful."
Related:Rufus Wants You to Do It in the Dark [NYM]
Lindsay Lohan spent her Thanksgiving shopping in therapy and shopping in New York with her mom and sister, while her boyfriend spent it partying. David Wright bought jewelry for his mom for Christmas. Tory Burch has been dating both Paramount head Brad Grey and Katie Couric's ex, Tom Werner. Whoopi Goldberg, who supports Bill Richardson for president, slammed John Edwards and Michelle Obama for canceling appearances on The View. Hayne Suthon, the owner of Lucky Cheng's, has finally made peace with ex-husband Robert Jason. Jerry Seinfeld is planning to stick to stand-up, not movies. Alec Baldwin bought the cast of 30 Rock mozzarella sticks after their show at the Upright Citizens Brigade.
Parties for movies about human sex trafficking are a bummer. We guess we should have known that when we trekked over to the U.N. for the premiere of Trade, where we spent most of the night trying not to catch a case of self-righteousness from Mira Sorvino, Sigourney Weaver, Gloria Steinem, or the movie's director, Kevin Kline. Happily, Rufus Wainwright was there. He had a song in the movie. “It’s by far my favorite placement of one of my songs in any films to date," he said. "There's nothing like having a song of yours play while somebody’s jumping off a cliff!” Rufus has a sense of humor! He also eats red meat. Jorn, his current German boyfriend, often cooks him Wiener schnitzel. “And every night for dessert,” he added, “we have sausage.” —Bennett Marcus
O.J. Simpson had a ghostwriter for his never-released memoir, If I Did It (who'd have thunk it!) and even practiced a crying scene for his TV interview with Judith Regan. Barry Bonds's ex-mistress, who has alleged that the slugger has used steroids, is shopping a tell-all and nude pictorial. Enrique Iglesias wishes he were gay. Nathan Lane wants to start a heterosexual pride parade, with George W. Bush as grand marshal. Jay McInerney is sick of telling people he broke his foot chasing after a taxi. Madonna didn't invite Janet Jackson to sit at her booth at Butter, though she did hang out with Shakira. Also: Ashton, Demi, and Penélope were there. The flowers at the Waldorf-Astoria wedding of billionaire Russian heiress Angelina Anisimova and real-estate developer Ryan Freedman cost $1 million. John McCain didn't wash his hands before leaving a restroom in East Hampton.
After college, Chuck Schumer picked a girl over a scholarship. 50 Cent is really rich. Gay activists don't like John Travolta in the Hairspray movie because he's a Scientologist, not because of his performance. Brian Grazer is getting divorced. Eliot Spitzer banged his head on the trunk of his car. Rufus Wainwright defends Anderson Cooper's lifestyle and choice of gym. Maggie Gyllenhaal might come to Broadway as Nellie in South Pacific. Kevin Spacey partied at Lotus. Lily Allen put on a bad show at the Roseland Ballroom, then she hung out with Josh Hartnett. At Graydon Carter and Anna Wintour's party for Nicholas Coleridge's A Much Married Man, Ron Perelman thought the book was about him.
Performance artist Justin Bond is perhaps best known for playing half of Kiki and Herb — their show, Kiki and Herb: Alive on Broadway, is up for a Tony on Sunday. What will he be prowling for during the after-party? “I’m a connoisseur of crab cakes,” says the Maryland native. “I haven’t really found one that’s completely satisfying.” He’s also a lover of oysters, prosecco, and dropping the names of his dining companions Rufus, Maggie, and Tilda — or so we discovered when we asked him about his recent meals.
Mother Earth apparently loves $600 throw pillows. How else to explain the Sundance Channel's decision to host the after-party for the premiere of the Green, its enviro-friendly programming block, at ABC Carpet & Home, the pricey boho-chic home-furnishing-and- tchotchke emporium? The store proudly touts its recycled, sustainable, and rainforest-friendly headboards, couches, and candles, but, still, the feng shui of the event, held on a second floor already crammed with Nakashima coffee tables and Eames chairs, felt toxic.
Rufus and Martha Wainwright opened their childhood living room to Carnegie Hall last night for an evening of family Christmas music. It was a typical scene — if you're used to having Lou Reed pop in to sing "White Christmas" and "Silent Night" and Laurie Anderson stop by for "O Come All Ye Faithful" and "We Three Kings," rendered as haunting dirges. The crowd — for the most part, either gay or NPR types — was bemused by Jimmy Fallon, who came off like the stranger your aunt awkwardly brought to the first Christmas after her divorce. He got better later, somewhat, cracking up through his "Baby, It's Cold Outside" duet with Martha Wainwright. Rufus mentioned a few people had complained about the lack of Hanukkah songs in last year's show but said that, after a thorough search, he'd found "there are no good Hanukkah songs." Instead, he sang one in Hebrew. "But I'm not going to sing it with an Austrian hat on," he joked, doffing his red Alpine mountain cap. David Byrne was a promised appearance who failed to show, but a surprise visit from Antony more than satisfied. He sang "Blue Christmas" like an underground Elvis and then contributed, alone, "Snowy Angel," a stirring, wistful ballad written, Antony said, by the East Village performer Baby Dee. Martha Wainwright complained to her brother for placing her after Antony; Rufus joked that following her was just as bad. But it wasn't, as his performance of "O Holy Night" in its original French rendered everything else nearly forgettable. —Aileen Gallagher