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Entertainment Reviews and Commentary from Karen Salkin

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These are my last observations of this year’s Countrywide Classic Tennis Tournament that was held last week at UCLA. Though this appeared to me to be the least-attended one of the past dozen or so years, due in part, I’m sure to the inexplicable lack of star power, a good time was had by all.

That’s possibly because the weather cooperated. Usually, it’s stiflingly hot out there, but I was comfortable the entire week. And was actually freezing at the first night session!

I hate when others chat the whole time the guys are working their butts off out there, or scope out the crowd. But the first night that James Blake was playing, I was the guiltiest of Looky Loos. I wasn’t even looking around with any intent, but someone caught my eye about fifty feet away.

I was sure I was wrong, but I wasn’t--it was Kevin Garnett, one of my favorite basketball players. As of this writing, he’s still a Minnesota Timberwolf, so I wondered if his possible trade to the Lakers was back on. I hope not because he deserves a better teammate than the cry-baby and bad sport Kobe Bryant.

Grainy pic of the Posse. Serena’s in the white hat (in one of the few moments she wasn‘t chatting), and Kevin’s closest to us in the orange shirt.

Speaking of bad sports, I got out the super-size binos to check him out up-close, and who was in his row (and apparently in his party) but Serena Williams. Interesting posse.

There were seven of them altogether, and I think one attractive lady was Kevin’s wife, judging from the bling. I didn’t even know he was married. He’s one of the few athletes, like Roger Federer, who I love on talent alone, and really don’t get into their personal lives. And I repeat the word “few.” (BTW--He paid a repeat visit a couple of days later, when James was playing again, and sat in the back row, on the side. Wayne Gretsky and the missus were in the front row of the same section for that match.)

Back to Serena. I know I’ve been ragging on her recently, but her behavior seems to beg the criticism. Here she was, a professional tennis player herself, sitting in the front row, right behind a player, not off to the side, but in the opponent’s direct line of sight, where she knows that they can easily get distracted from, and I’m not exaggerating, she talked and laughed with her companions the ENTIRE MATCH!!!


Worse, they all started chowing down! I repeat, DURING THE MATCH! (Kevin, barely, to his credit.) I can’t stand it when regular audience members do that, with utter disregard for the athletes’ business at hand, but when someone who wouldn’t want it done to them is that rude, I just can’t fathom it. Serena may be a nicer person than I think she is, but her public demeanor seems to support my opinion.

Still, it was exciting to see the two stars there to support James. Oh, BTW, he won the match, and made it through the rest of the tournament until the final when he lost to Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic in three sets.

One last tournament note: the volunteers and security guys and hospitality personnel could not have been lovelier, save for one bi-atch, who still didn’t spoil it for the rest.

Karen’s pick for Most Beautiful Couple of the Year.

My favorite, for a few years now, is the gorgeous and lovely VIP room sentry, Victor from San Diego. I thought that maybe he was nice to just me, but as we were chatting the next-to-last day, everyone coming through had props for him. I even told a little girl she was going to have to fight me for him!

Shades of what I once did to a pre-teen actress trying to get Mr. X’s attention! But that’s another story, that, actually, most of you will never get to hear. At least not from me. Maybe the scarred young lady (who’s now probably a hot 21-year-old, so I guess I’m not so nuts after all) will have a tale to tell.

Back to Victor. I was happy to see he has an equally adorable (looking AND acting) wife and there’ll soon be a stunning baby. Hope we’re all back there next year to see that fam ensemble.


I must admit that I’m now officially jealous of Victoria Beckham.. It used to be because she’s married to the most stunning person I’ve ever seen in my life, no exaggeration. And because I’ve always wanted Victoria as my middle name. (Doesn’t Karen Victoria sound nice? Kind-of regal.)

But I just finished watching her special from last week, about moving her family to LA. (Looks like a bid for a reality series to me.) And she’s a riot! I rarely find other females very funny, but she is just that, and adorable, too.

Now I can finally see what the two of them are doing together. I welcome them to Beverly Hills with open arms and wish the whole fam the most major of times here. Doesn’t hurt that they named their first son after my hometown, as well.


There’s been a recent surge in business parties at nightclubs. I guess none of these companies want press from older journalists because they usually start at 9PM (or later!), and they’re LOUD! I’m happy that I still make the cut with the junior crowd.

A week or two ago, I went to the kick-off of a new t-shirt company, Kid Dangerous, at King King in Hollywood, one I had never heard of before. Though the DJ was pretty weak (he mixed way too fast, and played at an ear-splitting level), it was an interesting event.

Karen with Jimmy Arguello of “So You Think You Can Dance.”

It was the most heterogeneous of any club crowd I had ever seen; there were punks, fashionistas, dancers, schlubs, you name it. The most exciting part to me was to look over and see the fabulous dancer, Jimmy Arguello, late of “So You Think You Can Dance,” the only show Mr. X watches with me voluntarily. (As opposed to being tied to a chair in “Karen‘s Restaurant Revue.”)

The party commenced at 9PM, and at about 10:30, they had a short film presentation (that was apparently apropos of nothing, but short and cute), then a thank you from the four male designers, who seemed a good-natured bunch.

They were followed by a bad rapper, complimentary Polaroids of the guests, (which was a nice touch, unusual for a club party), and goodie bags, that were totally welcome, but alas, had no shirts from the company. They looked cute, though.


Since I’m a huge fan of Justin Timberlake’s Andy Samberg-penned video “Dick-In-A-Box,” I figured I’d forego the above mentioned tennis tournament for one night to go to an advance screening of the latter’s film “Hot Rod.” Mistake.

While there were several chuckles, I could have saved my time and just watched a bunch of 12-year-olds down by the railroad tracks. ‘Nuff said.

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