Martha Is Nice – Not NaughtyIn spite of the ImClone scandal, her falling stock price, and Kmart’s taking her out of its ads, Martha Stewart just might avoid getting coal in her stocking this year. As it turns out, the domestic diva has been rather nice lately. She designed a holiday wreath to be auctioned off on December 15 at the Arcadia Gallery in a benefit for the Treatment Action Group, an AIDS-advocacy organization. The concoction is made of intertwining white-bristle bottle brushes and decorated with metallic-painted plastic animals. Auction expert Robert Schagrin, of Gotta Have It! Auctions, predicts it will fetch up to $10,000: “I think infamy can certainly create a higher price for something like this. And with charities like this, bidding gets voracious.” Sharon Stone, Sophie Dahl, event designer Anthony Todd, Badgley Mischka, Kiehl’s, interior designer Dennis Adler, and New York Magazine shutterbug Patrick McMullan have also created wreaths for the auction.
It isn’t everyone who can get into a Broadway show in previews, but even the jaded – and connected – theatergoers with tickets for La Bohème’s first night were thrilled when director Baz Luhrmann made a surprise pre-show appearance. “He walked out onto the stage and said, ‘Hi, I’m the director,’ ” says one audience member. “The crowd went nuts; they clapped for a good minute or so.” Luhrmann explained that there were still a few kinks in the production – and indeed, on top of the twenty-minute intermission, there were unusually long breaks between the four acts – “but no one seemed to mind – a lot of people were more surprised that the singing was in Italian.” Backstage, Luhrmann recently presented the 200 cast and crew members with specially designed Bohème pens from Montblancworth $195 each. And the writing doesn’t stop there: Luhrmann’s wife, Catherine Martin – the designer responsible for the show’s costumes and stage sets – is creating Bohème window displays at Montblanc boutiques across the country.
Robert Downey Jr., whose most recent drug arrest was last year and who has been sober ever since, seems to be making up for tough times. In return for hosting a party for Flaunt magazine’s fourth anniversary and W Hotels’ third CD, Rhythm and Muse II, at the W Hotel in Union Square this week, a source tells us, the actor insisted he get to pick the night’s performer: his ex-wife, model turned singer Deborah Falconer. The two, who have a 9-year-old son, Indio, were married in 1992, soon after Downey’s seven-year relationship with Sarah Jessica Parker ended. They separated in 1996. Now we hear Downey’s paying to fly her in from L.A. and put her up. Downey’s rep insists that Falconer was already signed for the gig before he agreed to host but admits that “he wouldn’t be hosting if she wasn’t performing.” Flaunt publisher Luis Barajas also told us Falconer was chosen before Downey and that the mag and the W are paying her way.
At least one actor from Eminem’s film 8 Mile seems to be bringing the movie’s tough-guy antics to real life. Our spy spotted Evan Jones (who plays Em’s sidekick, Cheddar Bob) at the L.A. premiere of Friday After Next. Jones was smoking outside the Mann National Theater, blocking the red-carpet entrance. “The security guy told him to move,” reports the spy. “He did, but just to the front of the fire doors. Then another guard came over.” Jones’s response? “Get off my fucking case!” We’re told that when the guard threatened to kick him out, Jones said, “Don’t worry. I’m putting it out, asshole,” dropped the cigarette at the guard’s feet, and stamped it out on the red carpet.
Sharon Osbourne and son Jack are so proud of the family bulldog, Lola, for finally learning to do her business outdoors that they picked out a $148 black doggy vest for her at the Coach boutique on 57th Street. Sharon also treated herself to a light-blue alligator clutch, a lizard makeup pocket mirror, and a pair of black leather pants… . In other shopping news, “Page Six” recently reported that Russell Crowe picked up a $10,000 Cartier watch for his girlfriend, Danielle Spencer. That same day, Crowe was also spotted heading for the VIP room at Harry Winston. Our spy tells us that he saw a salesperson handing Crowe a Winston bag chock-full of wrapped boxes before he got back into his car… . We also hear that Rudy Giuliani is throwing fiancée Judy Nathan a birthday party at Le Cirque on December 16.
With Aric Chen.