Liz On Hulaween


Photo: Lawrence Lucier
Bette and Donna

PEOPLE WHO have never attended one of Bette Midler’s “Hulaween” blowouts to raise money for the New York Restoration Project just haven’t lived. (This is Bette’s dream charity that restores parks and parkways to the real people of the city.)

The other night the Divine Miss M., looking all of 25 years old these days, appeared at the Marriott Marquis as her svelte new self. She is on “The South Beach Diet,” and even gave away copies of the book in her goodie bag.

Bette did one number, her classic eye-waterer, “The Wind Beneath My Wings,” then turned the show over to Donna Summer, who blew the roof off. What a voice! What pipes! She sounds exactly as she did during her reign as Queen of Disco back in the ’80s. When she ripped into “Last Dance” the place went wild. I think it’s time for a major Donna Summer revival.

Others who added to the fun and games were the “Fab Five” Queer Guys of Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” They helped Caroline Rhea and Joy Behar conduct a raucous auction of this and that. The auction alone raised $300,000, and the whole event pulled down $1.3 million. Giovanni LaFaro at my table (he sells gorgeous antique rugs by appointment) went insane and bid $26,000 for a future lunch at Le Cirque with Bette, Caroline, Joy, Ann Richards and yours truly. (I will have Giovanni’s head examined one of these days.)

Miss Midler is peaking in our lives once more. She is filming “The Stepford Wives” with Nicole Kidman . . . getting ready for a big blasting concert tour starting in December . . . she has a hot CD “Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook” . . . and now she is slim and gorgeous as well. Next thing we know she’ll run for governor of New York. And you know what? I’d vote for her.

MY TABLE for “Hulaween” was right next to that of the Queer Guys. What a gang of dolls they are! I had a great time with the Hair Guy (Kyan Douglas); the Culture Guy (Jai Rodriguez); the Food Guy (Ted Allen); the Interior Design Guy (Thom Filicia); and the Fashion Guy (Carson Kressley). I admired Carson’s simplified, classic black-tie look, and when I told him so, he just shrugged – “Ralph Lauren – what else?”

I am going to take the Queer Guys to a big lunch at Michael’s and see how those literary heterosexuals like them in their “club.” And you can see all of these guys and many more who are like them, or imitating them, on the next cover of Vanity Fair.

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