We were invited by writer-director Bill Condon to a special preview screening of DreamGirls at Paramount Studios. Condon has had a diverse career in show biz, ranging from the Oscar winning Gods and Monsters, which he wrote and directed, to the horror thriller Candyman, on which he collaborated with Clive Barker. His musical adaptations include Chicago, for which he was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Screenplay. We think he had better buy a new tuxedo for this year's awards!
|Michael Lerner (Oscar nominee for "Barton Fink" with singer Freda Payne and Bill Condon (writer-director) Dreamgirls|
Dreamgirls has everything - a suburb cast, fabulous music, gorgeous costumes and a story that will tug at your heart. Wait until you hear Jennifer Hudson (American Idol) belt out "And I'm Telling You, I'm Not Going," or see Eddie Murphy performing any of his jazz numbers. He would make an excellent Sammy Davis, Jr. in the musical being penned by Sammy's widow, Altovise (if he ever has the time to do Broadway that is!) As for Beyonce, is there anyone more gorgeous on the stage or screen? We agree with Rolling Stone Magazine who say, "This Baby dazzles like nothing else anywhere!"
|Stars of the Sixties, Tab Hunter and Barbara Eden at Dreamgirls private screening|
Some of the celebs enjoying the personal preview included Broadway Babies Carole Cook (42nd Street), Freda Payne (Sophisticated Ladies) and Laine Kazan (My Big Fat Greek Wedding). On the distaff side, we spotted Paul Michael, Veteran star of 14 Broadway musicals, including Zorba and Fiddler on the Roof, as well as Michael Kidd, legendary choreographer of Broadway's Music Man, and Guys and Dolls to name a few. Everyone agreed that Dream Girls is a must see for anyone who ever had a dream.
|Shawn & Larry King with Eva Longoria & Lance Armstrong at "Larry King & Friends"|
Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives) was an appropriate recipient of the Corazones Unidos Award at the "An Evening with Larry King and Friends" at the Beverly Hilton. The beautiful actress is involved in a multitude of causes. She recently founded the non profit Eva's Heroes, which serves individuals with developmental disabilities, and is the national spokesperson for Padres Contra El Cancer, committed to improving the quality of life for Latino children with this dread disease. Lance Armstrong, seven times Tour de France champion cyclist, presented the award to Eva, who admires him as someone who has triumphed in the face of his own personal adversity. The sharp as a razor Larry King observed that there never were any Jewish cycling champions - but then again, "they were the ones who manufactured the bikes"
|Humanitarians Claude and Alfred E. Mann|
Humanitarians Claude and Alfred E. Mann received the Spirit of Life Award for their funding medical and scientific research. The generous couple recently donated $100 million, to establish a biomedical engineering institute at Technion- Israel University. Their passion to help others less fortunate is unwavering.
|Mary Hart, emcee of "Larry King & Friends" fundraiser|
Gorgeous Mary Hart was the appropriate master of ceremonies (after all, the entire event benefited Larry's Cardiac Foundation), and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also was lauded for his remarkable leadership, philanthropy and humanitarian efforts to make a difference in the lives of patients and families battling heart disease. A most heart warming evening indeed on the Hollywood Beat!