There's already been a telethon and lots of other fundraisers in the last 10 days, but the biggest one yet is in the planning stages.
I'm told that VH-1 and Miramax Films are joining together for a show at Madison Square Garden on October 20. Details are still sketchy, but offers are out to all "the biggest superstars," according to my sources. An unconfirmed rumor has Bon Jovi as the first act to sign up.
Last year, VH-1's John Sykes and Miramax's Harvey Weinstein got some practice as co-promoters of rock shows when they put together similar projects for Gore 2000. One of those involved was Barbra Streisand, although there's been no buzz about her joining this show.
Hopefully this show will be more racially diverse than last Friday's telethon, and not another Eagles/Paul Simon show. If the producers draw just on talent from the New York area, as a tribute to the city, then expect a program that reflects our great melting pot of a city. Let's hope Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Babyface and Jay-Z are part of the mix.
More details as they're available.
I ran into Natasha Lyonne the other night, after a marathon play reading at the Minetta Lane Theatre featuring Julianne Moore, Rosie Perez, Robert Sean Leonard, Liev Schreiber, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Fisher Stevens, Benjamin Bratt, Jared Harris, Sam Rockwell, Lili Taylor, Catherine Kellner, Mary-Louise Parker, Kyra Sedgwick and Marisa Tomei.
"The 24 Hour Plays" was a charity fundraiser (I mean, isn't everything right now?) for something called Working Playground. But some of the funds will get earmarked for the World Trade Center families. (My advice on this subject is to donate directly to the New York City Fire Department, the NYPD, or American Red Cross.)
Natasha, who's made a lot of films for a 22-year-old. including both American Pie movies, is in great shape these days. She's a smart, attractive actress, and a New Yorker to boot. When I remarked about how well she looked, she replied: "Maybe that's because I'm away from Eddie." She was referring to her former boyfriend, Eddie Furlong, star of American History X and Terminator 2. Furlong, she says, was a hard partyer. Too hard for her.
"He's a great actor, and I love him, but ---," she rolled her eyes. "I couldn't live like that anymore."
Like all actors right now, Lyonne is taking some time to re-evaluate her career. "What we do is so unimportant," she said. She's even thinking of finishing the college degree started at New York University before she took off to make Woody Allen's Everyone Says I Love You.
Call it reverse marketing. Last night, the hugely expensive Michael Jackson video for "You Rock My World," debuted all over America. Unfortunately, the single it's promoting is already falling off the charts.
Jackson's album, Invincible, is still five weeks away from release. And another Invincible track, "Cry," which has no video, has just gone to radio. Confused? If you were alive in 1983, when Jackson's "Beat It" video came out you'll think the years have never passed when you see the 13-minute version of "World." Michael twirls around amid gangsters and girls much as he did in the days of Thriller. Marlon Brando, larger than life and dressed as a caricature of his Don Corleone self, waddles around for no apparent reason.
Meanwhile, Jackson keeps his fedora low to avoid showing off what has become, sadly, his strangely laminated face. If his skin were green, instead of white, you could easily mistake him for Jim Carrey from The Mask. So much has happened surgically since this reporter met him last year that Jackson now resembles Mighty Mouse, complete with the high-pitched voice. When he leans in to kiss the girl in the video, you have to brace yourself for the laugh.
The countdown to October 30 begins.