Two-time Oscar nominee Julianne Moore skipped the party after the premiere of her latest movie, World Traveler, on Tuesday night. You couldn't really blame her — she gave birth to a little girl just six days ago.
Still, director Bart Freundlich managed to come over to Serena Bass' fabulous underground boîte on West 23rd Street with the rest of his family — that is, without Julianne, whose husband he is not. But the baby is his, and so is the little boy who preceded her. Bart and Julianne are in a Kurt-Goldie, Susan-Tim type of arrangement.
But family is a big deal for this group. Not only were Bart's grandparents at Serena's, but also another family member is about to become part of the deal. Julianne's brother, Peter Moore Smith, a writer, is busy adapting his recently published first novel, Raveling, for a screenplay. Freundlich says that if all goes according to plan, he will direct and Julianne will star in it.
Raveling — as in un-raveling — is a family drama with a lot of promise. By coincidence it tackles the subject of schizophrenia, which is the hot, hot, hot disease for filmmakers in 2002.
Meanwhile, the World Traveler crowd was added to by star Billy Crudup, whose new Broadway show, The Elephant Man, is dark on Mondays. Also present and accounted for were James LeGros, who co-stars in World Traveler, as well as Alicia Silverstone and Jason Biggs, who are starring with Kathleen Turner in The Graduate — also dark on Monday nights.
Silverstone is much taller in person than you might think after seeing her in Clueless. She's also a lot nicer — a lot — and she told me she's committed to The Graduate for months to come. "I wanted to try something new," she said. "And I'd never been on Broadway."
Alicia is still dating rocker Chris Jarecki, who told me that the first album by his group Stun is about to be released this summer. Expect Stun to be the next big thing, a la Creed, Nickelback, etc.
Crudup, by the way, lamented the recent news — which this column broke — that his girlfriend Mary-Louise Parker will not star in the movie version of Proof. Parker won the Tony Award last year for originating this role, but it seems Gwyneth Paltrow has the inside track. Paltrow will perform the play in London this summer as a warm-up.
Macy Gray's new album is scheduled for this July, believe it or not. And Macy tells me she's determined to make it a hit after the disappointing sales of her sophomore effort, The Id, which debuted last September with a resounding thud. The Id, of course, suffered from post-Sept. 11 malaise on the part of shoppers. Too bad, because the single "Sweet Baby," should have been a gigantic hit.
Her new album is called The Trouble Being Myself. You may laugh when you read that since Macy sends out a mixed message in public — she's flaky, and she always looks a little stoned. But when I ran into her the other night at Rosie O'Donnell's book party she was straightened up and flying right. She's funny in person, and when it came time to perform, she knocked her hit "I Try" right out of the ballpark.
Broadway and TV star Judd Hirsch, famed R&B singer-writers Ashford and Simpson and Atlantic Records legend Ahmet Ertegun were just some of the stars who turned out on Tuesday night for Broadway's new Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Top Dog/Underdog, written by Suzan-Lori Parks.
Broadway in April and May, when it's pre-Tony time, is always fun because there are usually just as many stars in the audience as there are on stage. Everyone wants to see a new hit show so they can say they saw it "when …". I was lucky enough to be the guest of Outer Critics Circle member Rosalind Friedman — my mom!
Top Dog stars Geoffrey Wright and rapper Mos Def as brothers who live in a tiny, squalid city apartment. Their shared passion is three-card monte, a street game New Yorkers know all too well. But they also suffer from the shared memory of parents who abandoned them — a memory they cannot escape.
Both Wright and Def — Brooklyn-born Dante Beze, but I'm waiting for The New York Times to refer to him as Mr. Def — will be nominated for Tony's in the best actor category. They are simply amazing, Wright especially so. I was a little chagrined that there were a few empty seats on Tuesday, but it was early in the week. When you come to New York, you must not miss this show or these performances.
Finally, a hearty get well to our pal at the New York Post, gossip columnist extraordinaire Neal Travis. Neal is busy recuperating from breaking too many stories at once — the man needs a rest! Neal, Elaine's and the rest of Manhattan are not the same without you. Everyone looks forward to your speedy return!