“I think the reason I never ended up in as much trouble as Paris or Lindsay seem to is that I’m not stupid, so I never do a lot of the things those girls do. You’ll never read a story about me going out and partying when I’m supposed to be working. Nor would I show up on a set drunk or miss a day’s work – never.” – Tara Reid talks about her intelligence and strong work ethic – and if someone would give her a job, she’d be there with bells on.
This past week, the 12th Annual Los Angeles Toy Box Party brought in record numbers of revelers and gifts, courtesy of manager, bon vivant, and raconteur Dana Miller. Because I thought the gifts were going to homeless children, I thoughtfully avoided anything with a plug. I was informed that the recipients were children of clients of AIDS Project Los Angeles – presumably clients with electricity. Still, my large chenille bear will be a lovely gift for someone – even if it won’t have to double as a pillow on a park bench.
Our story really begins the previous evening. I was invited to “Hope for the Holidays,” a show also benefiting APLA. This was a first-time seasonal cabaret being held up on the Sunset Strip. Usually the Key Club attracts a hip crowd. This evening, it was more a hip-replacement crowd. Folks like Betty Garrett, Rip Taylor, Sally Struthers, Bonnie Franklin, Catte Adams, and Bruce Vilanch regaled us with seasonal songs. Most touching was Patrick Cassidy serenading mom Shirley Jones. However, I couldn’t stop looking at someone sitting at the next table – the lovely and talented Steve Kmetko. I went up to him after the show to bemoan his absence from the tube. I inadvertently insulted him when the aforementioned Dana Miller wanted to discuss getting Steve back on TV. “Nah, there’s no place for him,” I chimed in, unprovoked. “Steve always had that wink accompanying his tongue-in-cheek, clever quips. TV has gotten so mean-spirited and nasty that unless you’re going for the jugular, you’ll never make it.” There’s a compliment in there – you just have to fish around and look for it.
But the story doesn’t end there – no siree. This part can be subtitled “Britney’s Priest Smitten with Broadway Leading Man.” One of the participants in the concert was the stunning David Burnham. To be such a talented vocalist and have a perfect face and flawless body is truly an embarrassment of riches – not that Davey looks all that embarrassed. But my eagle-eyes caught him canoodling with a familiar, swarthy stud – John Coulter, the pretty priest in Britney’s CD pictorial. He’s also graced numerous Undergear ads and Joe Boxer “packages” at K-Mart (my hunch is Burnham gets to see a wee bit more). Sadly, the photo of us makes me look like the ugly stepsister – even my patented “pose” couldn’t help me. David is staying with John until Christmas, and then heads back to Broadway to join the cast of “Wicked.” He should do well in that show, which will spotlight his easy top – register, that is.
I’m not the only one who has been running between gay events. Jesse Metcalfe continues to bewilder us. He attended the 15th anniversary celebration of club G-A-Y in London, and brought his on-again/off-again girlfriend Nadine Coyle (from “Girls Aloud”). The soiree was a benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and took place on World AIDS Day. At the event, Jesse got some kind of award and was pictured holding a G-A-Y trophy – one he undoubtedly earned the hard way. The evening didn’t start well for Jesse. Prior to this event, he and Nadine were at another club (a straight one) and he reportedly attacked a photographer when he was leaving. Bystanders state that Metcalfe just “snapped” – so maybe he could get a job on that Oxygen series! In case you’re wondering, the cameraman is pressing charges – and we’ll run the photos.
BTW, the G-A-Y celebrations also featured our own John Barrowman, who went on stage and grabbed his nether regions (see the pic on our Web site). And in a very surreal moment, Sharon Osbourne tossed a $60K diamond ring into the audience, and said, “Christmas has come early for whomever caught it.”
This leads to our first “Billy’s Gift Giving Suggestion” this week – John Barrowman’s new CD, “Another Side.” I’m not sure which side he’s referring to, since we’ve shown you his ass and his dick on http://BillyMasters.com. Be that as it may, I’m recommending this CD with some reservations, because I find it to be John’s least successful release. First off, the cover photo doesn’t do him justice – he could be the love child of Siegfried and Roy. Unless he’s had some bad reconstructive surgery, he should fire his photographer and/or make-up artist because he looks like a fembot. He occasionally sounds like one, too. This is John’s first attempt at pop and it’s a mixed bag. Some of the tracks are quite beautiful – “All Out of Love,” “Always a Woman To Me” and “Weekend in New England” are most successful. But the rock twinges on “You’re So Vain” or worse, “Heaven,” are almost embarrassing. A customer on Amazon.com called the CD “cheesy” – nothing wrong with that. So, unless you’re lactose intolerant, you’ll enjoy this.
Our second item allows me to correct a previous item. When I went to the L.A. film premiere of “Naked Boys Singing!” the sound in the theater was so abysmal that it was impossible to determine whether the fault was in the cinema or the production itself. Now that the DVD has been released, I am thrilled to say it was the fault of the cinema. If you grab this DVD (well, probably not “go out” – I don’t think they’ll have it at Target), you will not only get to see the naked boys, you’ll also get to hear them singing in glorious stereo. Probably the best place to grab it is http://www.TLAReleasing.com.
Just send Rita Moreno the Emmy right now. Occasionally we take our icons for granted, but anyone who caught the season finale of “Cane” saw acting at its best. Moreno spent most episodes puttering around the house or eating dinner, all the while building a complex, nuanced character. Her penultimate moment showed an intensity of raw emotion that we rarely see on television – or theater or film, for that matter. Brava, Rita!
I have a second to mention a few events on both coasts. While I never miss L.A. when I’m gone, I do bemoan missing events. Such is the case on New Year’s Eve, when Belinda Carlisle and Rufus Wainwright hit Walt Disney Concert Hall for “Paris a Go-Go.” Baby will sing songs from her French CD “Voila,” and Rufus will warble some chanson, no doubt. More info can be gleaned at http://LAPhil.com/NYE.
I may miss Belinda, but I’ll be having plenty of Cox in Boston, courtesy of promoter Chris Harris. I’ll be on hand for Deborah Cox on Dec. 29 at “Epic.” The next night, my buddy Gioia (lead singer of Expose) will perform at “Estate.” On New Year’s Eve, the fabulous Chris Cox will DJ at “Machine.” Chris is selling packages at a discount – and I know how my fans love a cheap package. All info can be found at http://ChrisHarrisPresents.com.
When I don’t have time for an opening quote, a blind item, or a question, it’s definitely time to end yet another column. I had oodles of questions about Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson’s vacation in Peru where they were photographed frolicking in their wet undies. No time to go into details, other than to say you can see the pictures on http://www.BillyMasters.com. For immediate attention, send an e-mail to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Jesse bends over backwards (and forwards) at G.A.Y – again! Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.