Intelligencer: May 2–9, 2005

It Happens This Week
•¡Cinco de Mayo! Street fair on 116th in East Harlem.
•Final exams for Columbia and NYU students.
•Mother’s Day … street fair on Lexington.
•Chanel exhibit at Met opens.
•‘House of Wax’ opens—first major movie role for Paris Hilton!

Sunday in the ParkWith Terri?
Hard to say if Tom DeLay will like Mia Farrow play.
Theatergoers left wobbly over the Terri Schiavo case will be able to relive it this fall, when James Lapine’s new play, Fran’s Bed, opens at Playwrights Horizons. In it, Mia Farrow (in her first major stage role in 25 years) plays a woman hovering in and out of consciousness while her family debates whether to pull the plug. “Bottom line, I had a similar situation with a family member,” says Lapine (Sunday in the Park With George). But while he “certainly followed” the Schiavo drama, he says this is more a case of Homebody/Kabul than of Law & Order. Like Tony Kushner’s play, which happened to open just as the U.S. was battling the Taliban, Lapine’s originated well before current events. Now “I’m definitely going to rewrite it. I don’t want it feeling like it’s ripped from the headlines.” And if he can’t erase all similarities, Lapine is confident time’s on his side. “It’s being done in September. People have short memories.”
—Jada Yuan

Face/OffFor Ferrer?
Some Hispanic Dems looking to sub Serrano.
Last week, a Marist College poll had Freddy Ferrer losing to Mayor Bloomberg for the first time in a head-to-head race. Word is several Hispanic Dem insiders are so worried that they’ve been privately floating a loopy-sounding idea: Freddy should swap places with Bronx congressman José Serrano. The result? There would be a new Latino candidate for mayor and Ferrer would run uncontested for Serrano’s seat in 2006. Don’t bet on it, though. The scheme is said to have been presented to Serrano, but a spokesman for the congressman, while refusing to comment on private conversations, says, “There’s no way he’d do anything like that. He’s 100 percent behind Freddy.” He chalked the rumor up to “Ferrer’s enemies.”
—Greg Sargent

The GraduateDavid Project Vet
Begins new film looking back on what she wrought.
Daniella Kahane isn’t letting Columbia off the hook yet. The Barnard film student who got the David Project to produce Columbia Unbecoming—the documentary that tore apart the university with accusations of professorial anti-Israel aggressiveness—graduates May 17. But she’s already working on a follow-up film that she hopes “will be a portrait of student activism that took place on campus this year.” Last month, she got a $7,000 grant from the Avi Chai Foundation, which funds Jewish groups working in schools—including the David Project. Kahane says campus life hasn’t been so easy for her activist friends: “People hiss and call us McCarthyites.” But “we’ve done this because we care about the university. I don’t regret the publicity that came to Columbia.” University spokesperson Susan Brown says that while the university encourages artistic expression of all kinds, “one would think you’d need a few years of distance to be objective and dispassionate.”
—Kate Pickert

AnonymousWins Again!
Joe Klein’s librariannemesis loses suit.
By now, it’s hard enough to remember the Clinton administration, much less Primary Colors, the novel about a Bubba-like candidate. But Daria Carter-Clark can’t forget it. In 1996, she filed a $100 million libel suit against Joe Klein, who’d written the book as “Anonymous.” Carter-Clark claimed she was the librarian character, who, it was implied, had a backroom sex romp with the candidate. On April 21, a state appeals court finally decided her claims were without merit, saying, “Although the book was inspired by real life personalities and events, it was still fiction, and must be analyzed as such in this libel suit.” Exactly, says Klein: “This character did not exist in real life.” Isn’t she based on someone? “Most people thought I was referring to the teachers-union leader Sandy Feldman or my agent Kathy Robbins,” he says. “Ed Koch once said I had great legs,” says Feldman, “but I didn’t recognize anything else in that character in me.” She adds: “I don’t like any implication I was on the make that way, but I do accept the fact that I have great legs.” Meanwhile, Carter-Clark’s weighing her options. “I feel very aggrieved,” she says.
—Susan Avery

Bush News Conference A Stretch
For busy anchor Anderson Cooper.
Even with four networks broadcasting his press conference, President Bush was well aware that his come–on–let’s–fix–Social Security talk last week wasn’t America’s idea of gripping Thursday-night entertainment (it was even moved up a half hour so as to not interfere with The Apprentice). But one TV-news personality didn’t bother watching it live. As Bush kicked off the proceedings at 8 P.M., CNN’s Anderson Cooper was spotted on a stretching mat at the Columbus Circle Equinox, conveniently located downstairs from his studio (where his show had just ended). “He was right in front of me,” says our sweaty spy. “And he was nowhere near a television.” From eight to nine—the duration of Bush’s talk—“he did a variety of weights,” looking quite “lean and wonderful,” she adds. Then he went back upstairs to sub for Aaron Brown at 10 P.M.


Intelligencer: May 2–9, 2005