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Karen Salkin Out to Lunch

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As I previewed in last week’s column, three days prior to the Golden Globes themselves, I headed over to the Liberace Suite for a day of pre-awards fun.   It was actually my first day out, after a three-week bout with pneumonia, and I was a tad worried about my stamina.  But it was the perfect way to re-enter the whirlwind that is Hollywood.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept of pre-award show suites, each one invites select celebrities, stylists, and media, and showcases the hottest Hollywood products and services.  I had been lucky enough to attend the Liberace one before the Emmys, (see my archives, to the right of this column, for that story) and was thrilled to be included again for the Globes.  I truly enjoyed myself even more this time.

First of all, most of the sponsor personnel were incredibly lovely.  (Actually, there were only two people I didn’t like in the whole bunch!  With such a big turn-out, that must be a record.)  I was made to feel welcome and special.  A very upbeat, party vibe permeated the whole scene, and the fabulous staff of Primary Action, the host company, made sure the event ran smoothly, from beginning to end.  Very buttery.

new bewst friend

Karen and her new best friend, Megan

My favorite area featured Joico hair products.  I’m always concerned about the look of my locks, and had blown and flat-ironed to the best of my ability before I left the house.  But when my new best friend Megan, a Joico stylist, offered to flat-iron my hair right there, I jumped at the chance.   I really didn’t think much more could be done with it, though.  Boy, was I wrong.   A few minutes with Megan, and I wanted to bronze my head!  My friend Mimi saw me the next day, and said I should never wash my hair again, so I didn’t lose the look I had just gotten.  And I can’t even print Mr. X’s reaction.  All this in just a few minutes with a master.

Once I looked fabulous, it was time to roam around the suite.  There was another cute Megan at Ed Hardy, and she helped me pick out the greatest shoelace-free high-tops from their new collection.  I’ve practically slept in them since.  Seriously, I built my birthday outfit around the sneaks!
before and after
I stopped by the always-hip County Girl Clothes Company to peruse their new tops.  I’ve been wearing them on my show for a while, and wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything from their line.  Plus, I wanted to say hi to Michelle, who’s always so pleasant she makes each one of us feel like the MVP of the suite.

I’m not a big jewelry girl, except for silver earrings and bracelets, but I picked out two pieces that I’ve worn every day since.  The first is a long necklace from GabrielXXO, that’s sterling silver in an interesting shape on a long black cord.  I think it looks like a guitar, and Dick, the company rep, thought it looked like an e-word.  (If you don’t know what that is, refer to my restaurant review this week.) I’m planning to use mine as a Rorschach test.  I love it because, on a serious note, it’s hard to wear that new, super-hip length with the big chest I was blessed with, and this piece looks perfect.  I almost cried when I tried it on.

The other is a bracelet that’s special to me.  Christian Mack, the designer of Atlanta’s Vintage La Rose, had pieces that feature mainly tasteful religious symbols.  We talked awhile and I expressed an interest in them.  She sensitively pointed out that they may not be appropriate for my religion, which I had mentioned in passing, but that she had brought just a couple of bracelets that had other charms hanging from them.  I was looking at one with a skull, that I know are fashionable right now, but so not my style, when Christian said the magic words, “Do you like angels?”

It’s a long story, but Clarence, our singing toy poodle, is named after a special angel, Bud, our first dog.  Bud is in heaven now, and our other favorite angel is Clarence, from “It’s A Wonderful Life.”  That’s how our beloved Clarence got his name.  So, wearing this bracelet gives me a warm feeling.  I really thank Vintage La Rose, as I do everyone who made my day at the Liberace Suite the perfect kick-off to my year.  I didn’t even need a Golden Globe to feel like a winner!


Linda Evans, Joan Collins Joe Farrell &
Tonye Patano in "Legends"

photography by Carol Rosegg
Although I have never seen the legendary television show, “Dynasty,” I thought it would be fun to see Joan Collins and Linda Evans, the two divas who starred in it for so long, perform together on stage at the Wilshire Theatre, and opening night did not disappoint.  I think all of old Hollywood showed up!

The lobby was buzzing from the second the doors opened.  So much so that the curtain was twenty minutes late.  I spotted author Jackie Collins, who was there to support her sister Joan, ET’s Mary Hart, Rip Taylor, with whom I shared an agent a few years back, and Lorenzo Lamas, looking still handsome, but dateless. Bruce Vilanche, whom I’ve known since I started “Karen’s Restaurant Revue,” was my “row monitor,” (meaning he was in the aisle seat of the row I sat in), with his date, the super-funny Doris Roberts. She actually seemed quiet compared to him.  (Actually, who doesn’t???  Even I do!)

Linda Evans & Joan Collins
photography by Carol Rosegg

I knew that “Legends!” was an old Broadway show, about, coincidentally enough, long-dueling acting rivals, but didn’t know the story.  It was actually quite amusing.   The ladies were joined by four other actors, including Joe Farrell, who, as the scheming off-Broadway producer trying to re-unite the feuding actresses, stole the show.

To my surprise, Joan Collins was pretty adept at comedy.  And, I heard she was suffering from a bad cold on opening night.   Linda Evans, on the other hand, gave one of the most lifeless performances this side of Madame Toussoud’s!  She seemed like she was sleep-talking.

[Sidebar: Linda has my exact body--big chest, flat butt, and a tiny head on a long neck.  I refer to my head and neck as a peanut on a stick.  It was weird to see it on someone else.  Somehow, though, it all looked good on her.]

I saw the second half from the front row, because someone begged to change seats with us, not because I “snuck up.”  And, boy, am I glad I did.  Early one, those of us up-close noticed Joan reaching behind her back to try to undo what must have been the too-tight top of a flowing, chiffon, one-piece pants outfit.   (Nolan Miller, who designed the costumes for this show, and made his name on “Dynasty,” should be ashamed of himself.  Not only did this one fall apart, but all the outfits showed the actresses’ body flaws that most designers would at least make an attempt to hide!)

The increasing disarray became an intriguing sub-plot.  We watched as Joan tried to discreetly fix it, to no avail.  Tonye Patano, as the housekeeper, tried to work on the zipper in character, and Linda Evans even had a go at it.  At one point, Joan walked over to the door leading to the off-stage bedroom, and said, “I wonder if I have anything to wear in here,” as a clue to the wardrobe people to hand her something else, a clue that must have been too subtle for them, but not for the audience, which was so happy to let out their nervous laughter.  The guy next to me, who I won’t bust here, but he knows who he is, was hysterical the whole time.  We kept hitting each other, like grade-schoolers, every time she turned around.  Mature audience behavior, eh?

By the end of the show, the zipper was open all the way down, treating our section, at least, to a view usually reserved for employers of squatting plumbers.  Rollicking night of theater, I must say.

I did enjoy the whole show, though, flaws and all.  I love easy theater experiences, as opposed to the heavy, painful shows that we’re all supposed to pretend to enjoy, so this was right up my alley.  Fluff all the way.

I usually hate celebrity gossip because it’s rarely true, and I never care on the few occasions that it’s confirmed, (except, of course, for Justin leaving Cameron), but here’s one juicy piece I received from a couple of totally trustworthy sources.  The word is that the two ladies are actually fighting off-stage as well, and that the whole backstage situation is mimicking the play.  Now that I know that, it might be worth it to go again, to see what I can detect for myself.  I’ll keep you posted, if I do.

"Legends!" running through January 28
Wilshire Theatre   8440 Wilshire Blvd.   Beverly Hills  213-365-3500


One of my favorite events of the year is coming up! And, no, it’s not my January 14 birthday, though sometimes I look forward to that, too. It’s Stars On Ice and it’ll be here next week-end. This time around, it’s at the Staples Center in addition to the usual Anaheim Pond.

I’ve been lucky enough to attend this show for many years, and have seen all the cast changes along the way. I’m so excited that after a several-year break from the tour to raise her two young daughters, Ekaterina Gordeeva is returning to it. And our city will be treated to a guest performance by one of my favorite skaters, and Katya’s, too, since he’s her husband, Ilia Kulik. I love that boy!

Kyoko Ina and John Zimmerman
photo by Mike Okoniewski
This show is different from others because it features many group numbers, not just individual performances. Which means that I’ll have extra chances to drool over the super-hunky John Zimmerman. I know he’s a pair on the ice with Kyoko Ina, and she has amazing athletic abilities, but I really see just Johnny Z. Same way as in my dreams.

I got to meet him at the nationals when they were here in LA five years ago, and he was darling. What a man! Makes me want to get much more famous, and learn how to skate, just to let him throw me around on “Skating With Celebrities,” which he came in second on last year. (The winning team was having an affair, so it was kind-of hard to beat their chemistry, I guess. I called it, too, way before anyone knew. I can always recognize the feel of fresh sex in the air!)

Todd Eldridge, former World and National Champion, is in the show, too. I’m always surprised that I’m riveted to his performances. He’s so easy going in life that I’m never prepared for his dynamic skating. I’ve met him several times, as well, and freaked him out by saying that he looks like the son of my father and me. Perhaps I should have kept that to myself.


Ekaterina Gordeeva
photo by Mike Okoniewski

As I said it, (the first time of many), it sounded strange even to me. But Mr. X and I always say that everyone looks like the child of two diverse people, and we know what we mean. (Here’s an obscure example: Mr. X says that Stockard Channing looks like the daughter of Buddy Hackett and Elizabeth Taylor. The next time a better one comes to me, I’ll write it in a future column.) Todd is actually the image of my father as a young man, (so of course he’s my mother’s favorite), but has blue eyes, like me. That’s all I meant when I broke the news to him, but now I think that he thinks that I’m a tad weird. Join the club.

There really aren’t many female stars in the professional world nowadays, so this show may seem to be a tad testosterone-heavy, which is fine with me. (Check their website below for the entire cast line-up.)

Olympic champ Alexei Yagudin is back again, with his awe-inspiring footwork, and former National champ, Michael Weiss, is appearing for the first time. Look for his famous back-flip (his dad, a former Olympic gymnast, first taught it to Scott Hamilton back in the day) and his “freedom-blades” that allow him to do special tricks. I interviewed Michael on Sports Radio a few years back, and he’s quite entertaining off the ice, as well.

Christopher Dean, one of the most brilliant skaters in history (I hope you’ve all had the almost religious experience of viewing tape of his famous “Bolero” number with dance partner Jayne Torvill, which won the Olympics way back when) is choreographing, so my mouth is watering as I write. (This time not over him, but his amazing work.)

Emmy Award-winning costume designer Jef Billings, (who originally introduced himself to me as a fan of my show, so we can all see how brilliant he is), is continuing with the show this year, so we’re in for many visual treats. Here’s another reason for me to try to get more famous: to wear gowns designed by Jef and my other favorite designer, Ret Turner, whose dress I wore the first time I was on the Tonight Show.

But I digress. So, back to Stars. I feel we’re in for a special show this year. Hope to see all of you there. And, if by some magic, I get to meet John Zimmerman again, look for a picture of us in this column next week. After I take it out from under my pillow!

Smucker’s Stars On Ice
Anaheim Pond January 20
Staples Center January 21
Missed one of Karen Salkin's previous restaurant reviews?
Out To Lunch Dec. 28 -
Karen's year-end wrapup
Out To Lunch Dec. 19 -
Karen reviews Chakra
Out To Lunch Nov. 28-
Karen reviews "Jersey Boys" at The House of Blues & Frankie Valli
Out To Lunch Nov. 28-
Karen reviews Tesoro Trattoria
Out To Lunch Oct. 27-
Karen reviews Deli Boys
Out To Lunch Oct. 27-
Karen reviews Chakra
Out To Lunch Oct. 16-
Karen reviews Cinespace
Out To Lunch Oct. 6-
Karen reviews Aphrodisiac
Out To Lunch Sept. 26-
Karen reviews Ugo and Patina Catering
Out To Lunch Sept. 14-
Karen's Food Court Guide
Out To Lunch Aug 29-
Locanda Del Lago review
Out To Lunch Aug 17-
Karen reviews CUBE on La Brea
Out To Lunch Aug 9-
Karen unveils her quick breakfast, lunch and Chinese menu favorites and visits Nathan's
Out To Lunch July 31-
Karen does a NY restaurant run-through extending from Manhattan and Brooklyn
Out To Lunch July 20-
Karen talks about The Greatest Show On Earth
Out To Lunch July 13-
Karen's Dark Secret
(okay, one of them) and reviews
Osteria Latinia
Out To Lunch July 6-
Library Tea Asia de Cub
Out To Lunch June 29-
Upstairs at Vitello’s,
Jurlique Day Spa,
"Back On Broadway"
Out To Lunch June 20-
Organic To Go, Cafe 50's
Out To Lunch June 13-
Karen reviews Mr. Chow's
Out To Lunch June 6-
Karen reviews Amici
Missed one of Karen Salkin's entertainment and theater reviews?
Read Karen's theater review of Edward Scissorhands, Plaid Tidings and quick movie notes
Karen reviews Champions On Ice
Karen comments on Andre Agassi
Karen reviews the annual Emmy Suites
Karen reviews "Curtains" and Burton Morris
Karen reviews "Water and Power" and "Hayfever"
Karen reviews "Much Adoobie About Nothing"
Karen reviews "So You Think You Can Dance?" and "Beehive"
Karen reviews "Doubt?" and "Fat Of The Land "
Karen reviews "Sweet Charity" and the "Marvelous Wonderettes"
Karen reviews "Nightingale" and "Souvenir"
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