She Bops, He Bops, We Bop

Rosie’s taking Stage while the (so)80s linger on

Boudoir Bad Boy

MIX’s closing night jam

You may have read in Billy Master’s deliciously cheeky Filth column (www.filth2go.com) that “Taboo”’s producer ROSIE O’DONNELL is planning to take over the role of Big Sue when pregnant actress Liz McCartney takes maternity leave in early 2004.

If O’Donnell does it could well serve as a warm-up for appearing in her officially acknowledged next planned stage production, on which she’s collaborating with CYNDI LAUPER. “It’s based on my book ‘Find Me,’” O’Donnell told us at a “Taboo” rehearsal. “It’s me on stage with one other actress playing all the other characters and Cyndi and her band performing nine numbers during the show.”

Lauper, currently on the road promoting “At Last,” an album of standards covers, added this by e-mail: “[We’re doing it] sometime late 2004/early 2005. It is going to be great. Most of the songs I will be performing are from ‘Hat Full of Stars,’ ‘Sisters of Avalon,’ and ‘Shine.’ Don’t want to give much more up––still a work in progress and it’s Rosie’s show.” Will Rosie “she-bop” perchance? “It won’t be in the show and I never asked her,” Lauper coyly responded. Incidentally, Queens-raised Lauper contributed a cover of “Midnight Radio” on “Wig in a Box,” the “Hedwig” benefit album for Hetrick-Martin. “I was motivated to do it because of it’s being a benefit album and also because I loved the music,” Lauper wrote. “I recorded it in the middle of recording ‘At Last.’”

At last DAVID DRAKE, like friend and “Taboo” writer/”Die Mommie Die!” star Charles Busch, will be playing a new cross-dressed character he’s created in “The Secret History of Drag: A Visit with Agrippina Van Hanssen-Cortez” at The Marquee on December 3, 10 and 17. There will be at least a touch of Busch in his performance, incidentally. “I’ll be wearing the plastic & paste ‘jewels’ I inherited from Charles when––at the age of 22––he gave me the reins, and my Equity card, in ‘Vampire Lesbians of Sodom&Mac226;’” Drake reported. “You know, darling, heirlooms of drag.”

As for what’s “Taboo” about his life these days, Drake insisted, “Nothing! In fact, with playing “Agrippina” down on the Bowery, I’m returning to the scene of my most recent crime: falling in love. I met my fabulous new boyfriend last Gay Pride weekend in the basement of the Hole! What can I say—a gay love story.”

Love was in the air––and all over the floor––at the MIX Festival’s Ann Street Bookstore party. The three-level Wall Street-area adult establishment was turned into a giant multimedia party––and retail opportunity with the store’s manager approaching most of the crowd in hopes of stimulating… er, sales. Between stints of leering at nerdy go-go boys writhing on mattresses in the buddy booth area, we ran into/across JOHN CAMERON MITCHELL, Mitchell’s “Sex Movie” producer HOWARD GERTLER (who told us “54” director Mark Christopher just wrapped a new film, “Pizza”), and “Trembling Before G-d”’s SANDI DUBOWSKI, who was preparing to visit Hong Kong’s Jewish Film Festival. “They asked me to bring bagels,” he laughed, “but they’d be like four days old by the time I arrived.”

You don’t have to head to Hong Kong, or even Chinatown, for some fresh Asian cuisine/culture. Director ALICE WU set her “Chinese lesbian comedy of manners,” “Saving Face,” starring Joan Chen as the mother of a 20-something young lesbian, in Flushing, Queens. “Take the 7 train to Main Street and you could be in Taiwan like 15 years ago,” Wu insisted. “Flushing is a more recent wave of immigration [than Chinatown], more Mandarin-speaking, more affluent.”

Speaking of affluent, “Saving Face” was backed by Will Smith and will be distributed by Sony. So would Wu dub her film “The Joy Luck Clit?” “I would call it ‘Eat Drink Woman Woman,’” Wu laughed. “Or ‘Asian Girls Having Sex in Flushing.’ But they don’t actually have sex in Flushing. Let’s stick with “Eat Drink…”

Reporting can be hell, even when food is involved. We made our way to the Waldorf Grand Ballroom for the International Press Freedom Awards dinner, honoring international journalists who risk, and sometimes lose, their lives in the pursuit of stories. Like, say, a “The Cat in the Hat” review.

ED BRADLEY and MIKE WALLACE shared their 60 minutes with photographers, foregoing the champagne and sushi. Emcee Dan Rather delivered corny jokes in his best news anchor monotone and had trouble quieting the festive crowd despite the heavy subject matter at hand. We spotted TOM BROKAW, JANE PAULEY and husband/cartoonist GARY TRUDEAU, STEVE KROFT, LYNN SHERR, BILL KELLER, GAY TALESE, CARL BERNSTEIN, and MICHAEL WOLFF. Guests raised $1.2 mil to benefit the Committee to Protect Journalists.

JOHN BURNS, chief foreign correspondent for The New York Times and two-time Pulitzer winner for his work in war zones (and we’re not talking Wal-Mart’s holiday markdown electronics section) was presented with the award for lifetime achievement. He accepted the award “as representative of the people everywhere who endure hardship to tell the story,” like Ruslan Sharipov, an openly gay journalist from Uzbekistan who was tortured, charged with false allegations of sodomy of minors, and imprisoned to stop him from criticizing government. He warned there’s “a new era” of “bad times” to come for press freedom and security.

Another shindig honored PATRICK MCMULLAN’s “SO80s” book, this time at the former Limelight, Avalon. While munching on Pump Protein sandwiches (“It’s a big change from poppers to protein,” mused fashion PR maven KELLY CUTRONE), we wandered the multistoried space where revelers, including CHI CHI VALENTI, JOHNNY DYNELL, RICHIE RICH, KENNY KENNY, JAMES ST. JAMES, ROGER PADILHA, SYDNEY MASTERS, and KENNY SCHARF were getting back into the 80s groove.

McMullan worked the party, Nikon in hand, and body guard in tow. We followed with our Casio Elixim digital cam––our Christmas gift pick. Check one out for yourself at www.exilim.casio.com/getflashed and you won’t be dateless this holiday season. Boys who like toys showered us with attention, and offers of great sex. It casts a spell. One of the pretty boys at hand, McMullan’s best 80s products, was 17-year-old son Liam. McMullan joked “he wants to be an actor, but there’s only room for one star in this family and that’s me baby, that’s me.”

We shared quality moments with ANTHONY HADEN-GUEST and hot young designer JEREMY SCOTT, who recently tried his hand at music with a kooky single, “Wanna Be” (visit atouchofclassusa.com for a listen). FLOTILLA DEBARGE arrived sporting a runny nose and a Jewcy T-shirt. “Come take a picture of me and Frank”––as in the wall’s Frank Zappa poster––she insisted. We’re both Jews.” Are you converting, Flo? “No honey, I’m Sephardic.”

ENRIQUE IGLESIAS was in town promoting his latest album, “7.” While we waited in vain for our chance to speak with him at an appearance, we noticed that he’d gotten rid of the mole but was sporting work boots, ripped jeans, a sweatshirt, and camouflage hat. We heard him mention that the album is “more honest” than his previous work (but “Rhythm Divine” was so soul-searching!). Although a flak prevented us from getting ours, Iglesias shared hugs and kisses with fans, including a lone guy––“Wow, I have a male fan!” Iglesias beamed.

Contact us at FerberandSabo@aol.com

We also publish:

More from Around NYC