“I’m not crying because I’m on my period or anything. I can’t believe a film about menstruation won an Oscar!” —Rayka Zehtabchi during the acceptance speech for Best Documentary Short Subject for “Period. End Of Sentence.”
Another Oscars go down in history as well, the word that springs to mind is “uneventful.” You know you’re in trouble when it took a quip about the female menstrual cycle to grab the attention of this very sexually active gay man. Speaking of being grabbed, I couldn’t help but notice that none of the four winners for “Bohemian Rhapsody” thanked the person responsible for those wins. So I’ll say it — thank you, Bryan Singer.
An Oscar highlight was the performance by Queen. And even I learned something. Did you know that Adam Lambert was in “Bohemian Rhapsody?” He’s the guy who hooked up with Freddie Mercury in the truck stop restroom. Since he’s now lead singer of the band, it’s like he had sex with himself – probably not the first time.
It seems each year notable people are inevitably omitted from the “In Memoriam” segment, and this year was no different. Egregiously absent was Carol Channing, who was also an Oscar nominee. And, where was Kaye Ballard? Oh, the humanity! I can understand skipping Sondra Locke – they probably wanna stay on Clint’s good side!
Let me give some advice to all singers out there. When the note is flat, you know what doesn’t help cover it up? Holding it longer and screaming. And, for heaven’s sake, learn the lyrics. It’s pretty obvious who is hugging the teleprompter for words and who is actually connecting with the song and the audience.
Last week, I accompanied Jenifer Lewis to the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards. When asked how she felt, Jenifer said, “Well, I’m honored. I’m honored to be honored.” Now, who else could pull that off? Her award was presented by original “Dreamgirls” Sheryl Lee Ralph and Loretta Devine, along with Jenifer’s daughter Charmaine. The other honorees were Regina Hall, KiKi Layne, and Amandla Stenberg. Some of the people in attendance were my dear Sherri Shepherd, Angela Bassett, Iyanla Vanzant, CCH Pounder, Regina King, Spike Lee, Billy Porter, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and even Puff Daddy (who I was sitting next to). The event was hosted by Kelly Rowland, who remembered me from hosting LA Pride. How did this little white boy from Boston end up in the middle of a gala event celebrating Black women? Dare to dream.
Despite the wattage of the room, Jenifer managed to weave her unique magic, steal the show, and touch upon a story we covered earlier. “I was asked on the carpet so many times, ‘What do you think, Miss Lewis?’ I have no comment. Today is a day to celebrate. But this is what you will be hearing tomorrow.” She then sang her latest song. “Before you lie to us, remember Rosa sat on that bus. Before you tell your tale, remember Mandela sat in that jail. Before you do anything, remember Dr. Martin Luther King. Before you connive and steal, I dare you to Goggle Emmett Till. Before another dawn, and I speak to everyone, remember whose shoulders you stand on.”
The next night, I was with the incomparable Sam Harris (assisted by the phenomenally talented pianist Todd Schroeder) who was featured in concert at the Catalina Bar & Grill in Hollywood, and my God, he just gets better and better. He’s so good, he almost pisses me off! So many highlights, but I think having him recreate the opening number from “The Life” knocked me out the most. It took me back to seeing the show on Broadway – a show that had a first act that lasted almost two hours! But, here’s the thing – any amount of time you can spend with Sam is never enough. Thanks to Chris Isaacson for continuing to produce such great events in Hollywood. Upcoming concerts include Brian Justin Crum on March 7th, Joey Arias & Sherry Vine on April 7, Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal on April 15 and 17, and the fabulous Erich Bergen on April 24 and 25. Get more info at ChrisIsaacsonPresents.com.
Last week, we lost acclaimed fashion designer, Karl Lagerfeld. He was 85. There was much speculation about where his vast fortune would end up. Turns out, his primary beneficiary is Choupette, his beloved cat. The bequest is not without complications. According to French law, pets cannot inherit cash. “Well, it’s lucky I’m not French then,” Lagerfeld told an interviewer this past year. Touché!