Spring Sprawling

Keys to Our Hearts: Tribeca, Krach, and Vienna, Too

ALICIA KEYS took a break from her jam-packed schedule promoting her latest album, “The Diary Of Alicia Keys,” to make an appearance at the Tribeca Film Festival’s premiere of director PETER GILBERT’s civil rights doc “With All Deliberate Speed.” The socially conscious diva takes part in a moving, dramatized reading from the diary of Barbara Johns—a 16-year-old who led a student strike to defy the educational system in the small town of Farmville, Virginia in the 1950s. After the Brown anti-segregation decision went down, the county board actually shut their schools down for five years rather than integrate them.

Keys arrived with a team of security, which she needed, as there was a bevy of butch, nylon tracksuit-outfitted lesbians following her every move. Curious to see if she was as pretty in person, they weren’t disappointed. Keys must have been testing the red carpet waters, as she was off to Cannes, hosting a party on a yacht where she celebrated the announcement of her upcoming acting debut in a HALLE BERRY-produced biopic about piano prodigy PHILIPPA SCHUYLER.

Also at Speed’s Tribeca premiere: narrator JEFFREY WRIGHT, ESAI MORALES, GLORIA REUBEN, TAMARA TUNIE, and LARENZ TATE. LOU REED arrived alone in a huge limo but was met by LAURIE ANDERSON—he raced down the red carpet with eyes stuck downward, ignoring the shouts of photographers for cooperation.

The scene was young and loud at HIRO in the Maritime Hotel, when uber-waif KATE MOSS hosted the launch of MICK ROCK’s new book, “Picture This: Debbie Harry and Blondie.” Moss, clad in a gold Pallette tank and leggings, teased the crowd with a split-second appearance on the staircase to the subterranean ballroom. JOHNNY KNOXVILLE, models ANOUK and FRANKIE RAYDER, BOY GEORGE (who wouldn’t pose for a pic), DANNY MASTERSON, ALICE SYKES, design team AS FOUR, NORMAN REEDUS, JOHNNY VENTIMIGLIA, ALBERT from The Strokes, HEATHERETTE, MICHAEL MUSTO, MICKEY BOARDMAN, and hordes of ultra-skinny girls in T-shirt dresses so short they had to manually cover their fannies while climbing the stairs were among the guests screaming small talk over 80s music. Harry made a fashionably late arrival and descended with Moss into the smoky cavern as we fled the scene, suffocating.

Someone on the Cargo staff was urging Krach to pose with hetero females for “edge”—apparently, “gay” is overplayed. Thank you, Fab 5.

That said, gay marriage is still “in” and ordained minister ALANIS MORISSETTE’s ready to officiate. But what would she do if a pair of dizzy, drama-prone gay friends asked her to tie their knot?

“There’s a lot of marriages I’ve gone to where if I was in the same position I probably wouldn’t have moved forward!” she told us. “If they had too much drama going on and I was that close to them, I’d probably be one… they come to and talk about it. My efforts would probably be best spent on conflict resolution measures rather than marrying that many people.”

Mardi Gras, schmardy gras! Vienna’s Life Ball is a big, gay overseas party to mark on your calendar.

Founded by makeup artist GARY KESZLER with help from designer THIERRY MUGLER to raise funds for AIDS/HIV organizations in 1992, the annual event is humongous and draws international talent.

As it rained outside the opulent Vienna City Hall, the sprawling insides of which were transformed into a bevy of themed party rooms, ELTON JOHN, whose namesake AIDS Foundation is partnered with Life Ball, performed “Are You Ready For Love?” Sir Elton sure did sound young—probably because he was lip-synching, wholly evident as the vocals faded with the music and he started barking, “Are you ready?” on a completely incongruous audio level. It’s the thought that counts, right?

Also opening Life Ball’s festivities on the outdoor stage: gay Berlin Mayor KLAUS WOWEREIT, Vienna Mayor DR. MICHAEL HAUPL, HIV discoverer LUC MONTAGNIER, singers NENA HAGEN and RONAN KEATING, actor MAXMILLIAN SCHELL, and a GIANFRANCO FERRE fashion show featuring international models VERUSCHKA, EVA PADBERG, and ERIN O’CONNOR.

Inside, the entertainment and crazy getups didn’t end, from an arrow-riddled St. Sebastian to a green gargoyle that smooched everyone and anyone. Earlier in the evening we’d been “styled” ourselves at Er-Ich, a surreal makeover madhouse akin to the Marbles’ hair salon in Pink Flamingos. We sported a sort of Indian-Vulcan look by the time they finished up.

To recover from the Ball, we slept in at the comfy, TERENCE CONRAD-designed hotel, Das Triest, and visited Aux Gazelles, a Moroccan wellness oasis. Vienna itself is a clean, calming, architecture-rich city—lots of minimalist Otto Wagner. The food’s great, too. Although we visited Demel for its famous (and highly overrated) cakes, we skipped the cliché staples like Weiner schnitzel. Fabio’s dished up impressive nouveau cuisine. We loved our lunches at Palmenhaus and Urania, and dinners at Kristian’s Monastari and the gay-owned, super-slick Motto.

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