GLAMORAMA: This is the first time the annual Macy’s Passport fundraiser for AIDS charities was held downtown at the Orpheum Theatre and boy, what a perfect venue!
I’m not into fashion but I sat through the expertly choreographed fashion show, featuring designers Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Madonna’s Material Girl Collection, Tracy Reese, Just Cavali and Tracy Reese, and I was just absolutely transfixed.
It was all stunning and I was quite pleased with my seat which was just two rows behind singer Brandy! She was among the celebs who turned out to see the show which included wonderful performances by singer Chris Hutchinson who did two songs and the night’s finale, Macy Gray, who sounded superb during her three numbers.
In past year’s Elizabeth Taylor has been on hand to make some opening remarks but the 78-year-old movie legend and AIDS activist extraordinaire was not present this year. Instead, we got LaToya Jackson.
Love LaToya, she looked great, but speaking without a script is not her forte. I was able to deconstruct some of her sentences and the main thing was that her brother, the late Michael Jackson, was a staunch supporter of AIDS charities.
Prior to the show, LaToya and Brandy were among the celebs who dazzled on the red carpet. I read somewhere that Serena Williams was present but I did not see her. But I did see Will & Grace star Eric McCormack who was rushing in but did stop and smile when I asked him for a photo. Too bad I had the zoom on and no time to zoom out. So here is my very nice close-up of Eric!
In the photo above Eric is actor Joe Slaughter who was in the fashion show last year and went on to snag a role in the recent Step Up 3D flick: “It was incredible to be in that movie,” Joe told me. “It was a culmination of all the things that I wanted to be a part of.” His next movie, which he can’t yet speak about, will also be 3D: “Apparently I’m making a whole career [of 3D],” he said,laughing. “It’s on my contracts.”
I did not get a photo of the great actress Michael Learned but we did have a nice chat which I’ll post down the road. She played the mother on The Waltons but I had just seen her on a recent episode of Law & Order: SVU and she played the most monstrous, evil character. I told her how scary she was and we had a good laugh.
Other star sightings: Ross Mathews of The Tonight Show (I’ll have my interview with him later this week); the adorable and smart Hal Sparks of Queer as Folk fame; the gorgeous Sara Rue who is 50 pounds thinner; Cat Cora of Iron Chef; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Bachelor Pad runner-ups Tenley Molzahn and Kiptyn Locke stopped and posed for a photo for me but Vienna Girardi, sporting shorter hair, was rushed in as if she was some kind of VIP. Also chatted up a young actor named Robbie Arnell (pictured below Sara Rue) who could not have been nicer -or cuter! He plays Fred Jones in the new Scooby Doo TV movies and is also known for his role in the Nickelodeon series True Jackson. I’ll have an interview with him posted later in the week when he is featured as a Morning Man.
Glee star Mark Salling worked the red carpet and we were urged by his handlers to ask him about the album he’s recording. We had to do a big, group interview by the time he got to my section of the red carpet because apparently a car was waiting for him to whisk him right off to the studio. He would not even be going into the show.
Someone who worked the red carpet AND attended the show and was able to articulate nicely why we were all there was actor Wilson Cruz.
“I’ve been here for the last seven years and was actually in it one year,” Wilson said. “I’m a big fan of [AIDS charities] AmFar and APLA and I’m here to support them and to support Macy’s and all the work they do in order to bring HIV awareness.”
“As far as I’m concerned, the real issue is getting people tested. If we can get people tested and actually get to know their status then we can actually help people stay alive and stay healthy. It’s just a matter of getting people to get that information. I urge everyone to go out and get tested.”
“The amount of people who are becoming HIV positive, in the gay community especially, I hate to say is actually going up,” Wilson added. “We need to continue to talk about thius and we need to continue to talk about how we can prevent people from becoming positive but also how we can help people stay alive. It’s a different disease than it was 25 years ago, it’s not a death sentence.”