Martha Plimpton Will Believe AnythingBroadway’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
Michael Cerveris Will Be Spending Valentine’s Day With Vampires, His DogLast 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
Cynthia Rowley: Best. Front Row. Ever!You already know from our dear Fugs that Cynthia Rowley snagged Martha Plimpton, Parker Posey, Alan Cumming, Lindsay Price, Kim Raver, Aisha Tyler, and Karen Duffy for her show’s front row.
new york fugging city
Plimpton’s Cute, Posey’s Ragged, and Price’s ScaredIt’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.
New Year’s Resolutions for the Best New YorkersRecently, we were watching John Waters’s 1998 movie Pecker, which starred all kinds of great people like Martha Plimpton and Lily Taylor and Edward Furlong, before he got weird and started getting arrested and dating his manager. Anyway, as in all John Waters movies, there were about five really brilliantly funny parts in it, one of which was a game the characters played called “Shopping for Others,” in which they’d go to the supermarket and sneak things into the shopping carts of fellow shoppers when they weren’t looking. (Like a long phallic gourd in the cart of a mousy single woman or a stack of Depends for a smarmy dude in tight jeans, etc.) Anyway, we got to thinking: How about if, this year, we make New Year’s resolutions for others? We’ve never made New Year’s resolutions ourselves — it’s weird, every year New Year’s Eve rolls around, and we realize we’re still kind of perfect! — but we’ve always felt we were missing out on that great American tradition. Not to mention, frankly, there are people that could use our assistance. So. To celebrate the great New Yorkers who make this blog possible and to help them continue their gloriousness into 2008, we’ve generously ginned up some resolutions for their benefit.
Martha Plimpton Loves a Midsummer Opening NightAfter the opening-night performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare in the Park last night, featuring creepy Victorian zombie-kids as Titania’s fairy crew, a jazz-handsy Puck, and a Martha Plimpton as slapsticky as in her Goonies days, the audience retired up to Belvedere Castle to celebrate. “It’s beautiful the way they’ve lit it up like this,” Plimpton gushed, all pixielike. “It’s a magical fairyland.” The misty, late-summer fête was the perfect setting to drunkenly talk about fairies, Central Park memories, romantic obsessions, performing en plein air, and iambic pentameter. Despite a few notables snacking on wraps and brownies — Plimpton, Rashida “Don’t Call Me Ubiquitous” Jones, a thuddingly dull Jeff Goldblum — the affair felt like a high-school cast party, but with a better sound system and free-flowing booze. We mean this in the best possible way: Hooray for no red carpets and lots of impromptu dance circles. A magical fairyland, indeed. —Justin Ravitz
Bonus Party Lines: Read about celebs trying to speak in iambic pentameter in our coverage of the Midsummer opening night.
Earlier: 21 Questions for Martha Plimpton
A Big Detective Heads to the Small ScreenNo. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency On TV: The Weinstein Company is producing a TV movie (and possible series) based on Alexander McCall Smith’s much-loved series The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, with Anthony Minghella directing and writing alongside Richard Curtis.
Martha Plimpton Isn’t the Only Duane Reade HaterSo now we know that Martha Plimpton hates Duane Reade. She’s not the only one, of course, and, as it turns out, there’s now a blog — why wouldn’t there be a blog? — devoted to chronicling the horrors of the drugstore chain that’s eating New York. I Hate Duane Reade launched in February and encourages reader to share their tales of woe. The first post meditated on the one-line-or-several debate; since then the site has included “Overheard in DR” posts (“Teenage girl shaking her fist: ‘Fuck you Duane Reade! Gah!’ –76th & Broadway”), numerous pharmacy horror stories, and April’s sort of genius taxonomy of your standard Duane Reade employees. (A sample: “Photo Guy — He’s there. He’s just standing there. He knows you want him to say ‘cash only’ and invite you up. Nope. He’s photo guy. Don’t mess.”) “After way too many bar sessions filled with rants about customer service, specifically the DR,” the founders wrote on the site, “we decided to vent our frustrations in prose … and sometimes haiku.” Here’s a try: Martha Plimpton stews / While filling a prescription / “You have a Club Card?” —Katie Hintz
Earlier: Don’t Get Martha Plimpton Started on Duane Reade
Related: The Mystery of Duane Reade [NYM]
Don’t Get Martha Plimpton Started on Duane ReadeName: Martha Plimpton
Job: Actress; Tony nominee for The Coast of Utopia; host of the 826 NYC fund-raising concert, Tiny Smooshy Sunday On Fire, on June 3.
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Quentin Crisp and Holden Caulfield.
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
It’s a tie, I think, between anything at Peter Luger and the insanely delish bacon death at Gramercy Tavern.
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
I put dead people’s hair on my head and speak loudly in front of hundreds of strangers while pretending they are not there.