It Happens This Week
• Santana, Alanis Morissette, Ringo Starr all perform
• Bryant Park’s first alfresco flick: ‘The Way We Were’
• Met plays ‘Tosca’ in Central Park
• Batman Redux!
• Father’s Day
• Trinidad & Tobago World Steelband Music Festival 2005 at MSG
• Damon Wayans at the Apollo Theater
W.’s CousinStands Up for the Media
Will Access Hollywood start reporting on WMDs next?
Apparently it took Brangelina to get a member of the Bush family to take a stand for journalistic freedom. Last week, publicists at the Mr. & Mrs. Smith junket forced reporters to sign draconian contracts forbidding them from asking personal questions. (Angelina Jolie’s codifies her ability to “terminate the interview,” keep the tape, obtain a restraining order, or sue.) But W.’s cousin, Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush, refused. Which meant Access was uninvited to the junket, while its competitors—Entertainment Tonight and Extra, along with CNN and others—acquiesced, handing over the signed contracts to Brad Pitt’s and Jolie’s handlers before sitting down to fawn. None would comment on the record or even confirm having caved. “We were willing to do what we needed to do to report on the movie,” says a rep for a rival show. Brad Pitt’s publicist, Cindy Guagenti, says she “just added the personal stuff” to the document she usually makes journalists sign, restricting resale of their story. (She didn’t make Diane Sawyer sign when she interviewed Pitt, and sure enough, she pressed him on Jolie.) Access is getting as much mileage as it can from the situation—its executive producer, Rob Silverstein, says, “We fall under the guidelines of NBC News, the same rules as Brian Williams.” Bush wrote on his blog on June 9 that “to sign that agreement is to present yourself as a tool.”
Test Flight for Myers’sGuru Pitka
Did Topher laugh?
Will the maddeningly overrepeated frat-boy catchphrases of the future be told in an annoying faux-Indian lilt? Mike Myers has been focus-grouping such a character, named Guru Pitka, at top-secret performances around the city. Presented as a “Dharma-Talk and Sutra on the Four Laws of Happiness,” recent shows in a small Soho theater and on 42nd Street attracted Topher Grace, Kristen Johnston, and Martha Plimpton as test audiences. Myers, with a fake nose, accent, and beard, dispensed fake wisdom (“In a perfect world, you don’t need a Utopia”) and chanted a fake mantra (“Mariska Hargitay”). He fielded questions about crystal energy and the meaning of life. He also donned a pair of assless chaps. Myers wouldn’t comment on the character, but it’s important to note that Austin Powers started out in similar venues. When asked about plans for His Holiness, all Myers’s camp would say was: “How did you hear about the show?!”
Dan Rather’sModel Update
Ex-anchor quite bored.
Freed from his news desk, Dan Rather now has time for less weighty matters—like a book party for The Official Celebrity Handbook. Contentedly swirling a whiskey at Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club, he said, “I don’t consider myself a celebrity, and I don’t think anybody in my business does. But I do follow the stuff from time to time. I was just reading a profile of Kate Moss, about how she was a prodigy at 14 and an icon at 30. But she’s too skinny.” Okay, so he’s not going to be on the model beat at 60 Minutes. Will he get to say “I’m Dan Rather” in the beginning of every show? “Don’t know, don’t care. I’m not into titles. I like to work stories. If it works out, fine; if it doesn’t, I’m fine.” So, you keeping busy these days? “Nope.”
You Don’t Gotta LetLofts Rule
Kravitz seeks brownstones.
Lenny Kravitz, of the newly ironed-flat hair, has been trying since 2002 to unload his loft at 30 Crosby Street, which he first put on the market for $17 million and has now reduced to $12.95 million. (Even having famously had Nicole Kidman as a tenant hasn’t brought him a buyer.) His plan now seems to be to leave Soho for the Upper East Side—where the American woman wears Chanel and has a blowout. According to real-estate sources, Kravitz has been hunting for super-expensive townhouses near Park Avenue.
Blue Movie:Viagra-Salesman Biopic
Glengarry Glen Ross it’s not.
What does sleeping late, lying to your bosses, and peddling Viagra to eager doctors get you? A book and a movie deal. Jamie Reidy’s tell-all, Hard Sell, about selling Viagra for Pfizer, got him fired when it came out in March. But writer Malcolm Gladwell recommended it to Charles Randolph (The Interpreter), who plans to add an antagonist and a love interest to give it a “Jerry Maguire vibe,” says Reidy. Two studios are bidding on it. “My parents are struggling with me being branded as a deceitful slacker,” he says. “But like I told my dad: I lied to my bosses for five years; I worked fifteen hours a week. Let’s face it, I was a slacker.”
‘Page Six’ School of Acting
When a gossip reporter doesn’t get a call-back.
Which gossip columnist got edged out for a role on the Fox TV show based on her boyfriend’s book? Darren Star recently asked “Page Six” ’s Paula Froelich to audition to play a Times food critic in his new show, Kitchen Confidential, based on the best seller by her beau, chef Anthony Bourdain. “They asked me if I had ever acted before, and I said, ‘I do it every day—do you think I like half those people I have to talk to?,’ ” Froelich says. Froelich, Star says, “has screen presence. Certainly, being hooked up with Anthony doesn’t hurt her chances of getting a role. For this part we went with Bitty Schram—it’s hard to go against the pros.”