Sunday, November 21, 2010

Joan Collins SINGS!

It sounds as disingenuous as GARBO LAUGHS, right?  But sing Joan does - in a movie where she played a character named, yes, Polyester Poontang!  And I heard all about it in her one-woman show, now playing at Feinstein's titled, "One Night With Joan" - which was actually one-hour with Joan, but if you add up the number of nights she's performing and multiply that by one hour, you may reach one night with Joan.

My friend Dustin (who did a great interview with her for out.com) invited me to see Joan Collins ("recognized world-round as a fashion maven of timeless beauty", according to her press release).  Joan opened by telling the crowd, "Oscar Wilde said that a woman who reveals her age will reveal anything.  I've revealed everything except my age!"

Please note how her publicist carefully worded the press release: it's "timeless", not "ageless" probably done less for the youthful Joan and more to appease the denizens of Feinsteins (a spot inside the Loew's Regency Hotel fondly known as the "Wrinkle Room") who's combined timelessness would beat out the hills, glaciers, and the prehistoric seabeds of Indiana.  I mean, Regis Philbin was there!

Joan Collins is, let me reveal, 77 years old.  I might add that another legend, vivacious dance maven Chita Rivera, is the same age.  1933 must have been a good year.  Definitely not a good year for the country, but then again, neither is 2010.  While those at Feinstein's dine on a $96 prix fixe menu and listen to Joan Collins talk glamor - there are no less than a dozen people setting up their cardboard beds outside on the steps of a church not a half a block away on Park Avenue.

Irony is also timeless, ageless, and shameless!

Just last week, Wonder Woman Lynda Carter was here at Feinsteins singing a new arrangement of "The Locomotion" (?!) but now it's the radiant, personable, and beautiful Joan Collins who took the stage in black sequin leggings and told us about her Grandma who entertained (in black face, no less) in South Africa during the Boer Wars, and also taught her the splits.  At this point, Joan kicked off her heels, and busted into a full split right there on the wrinkle room stage!  Maven, indeed!
 Her tale is a well-told mix of old Hollywood gossip and glamor, and personal peaks and valleys.  First of all, I had no idea she was British!  Or that her first husband tried to sell her to a Sheik for $50,000 (a big sum in those days, she insists).  After that, Joan got the first of her four divorces (Elizabeth Taylor sent her a note after the fourth: "I'm still ahead by three!")

Joan's career goes way back to the tail-end of the studio era - and she told tales about Gene Kelly and Bob Hope, and detailed on screen run-ins with an ornery Bette Davis, and an off-screen shunning by a "timeless" Joan Crawford, to which she responded, "Miss Crawford, my MOTHER was such a big fan, she named me after you!"

Then comes Alexis Carrington-Colby and Dynasty - "I was flavor of the month for a decade!" Joan got to play the timeless vamp - a role she might never have gotten if she wasn't forced to go back to work and take roles such as the aforementioned surefire stinker Polyester Poontang, or take critical heat for going topless in the film version of her sister Jackie's book "The Stud".  The mean-spirited criticism (a forty year old woman! Topless!  Has she no shame?) made her decide to immediately follow that up by taking the lead role in "The Bitch".

Which goes to show - fuck turning the other cheek, showbiz survival is about slapping back.  And doing the splits on stage!  Sparkle on, Joan Collins!

1 comment:

Tony said...

Hey Jesse -

The LA Times thinks you're eye candy.
So, we already knew that.
Good thing they're catching up.
Congrats on the positive review.