David Gest (former hubby of Liza Minnelli) has completely reinvented himself. Would you believe that he went from offensive oddball to the toast of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales? After his break-out appearances on the reality show, I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, David proved he is really funny and great on camera. He demonstrated he is a terrific ream player, and as a critic in London stated, "I've warmed up to him, just like the rest of the viewing public."
|David Gest and Lou Gosset, Jr. at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel|
Gest invited us to a soiree in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel to announce his Prime-Time ITV UK TV series, The David Gest Show, and the publication of his autobiography, "Simply the Gest". Some of the many celebs toasting the unlikely hero, included the still gorgeous Rhonda Fleming, former child star Margaret O'Brien, Stella Stevens and the irrepressible Jackie Stallone, who is off to Russia to celebrate the 75th Birthday of Mikel Gorbachev. Would you believe Jackie was personal astrologer to the former head of the Soviet Union, and that she was invited as his personal guest!
|Stella Stevens & Marci at David Gest Reception|
Meanwhile, back to Ms. Liza, her Mother, Judy Garland was paid special tribute by the Professional Dancers Society at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Each year, The Gypsy Awards are presented to performers who left their distinctive marks in the world of entertainment. This year, Florence Henderson and Nanette Fabray were lauded. After viewing the clips of these two talented thespians, all we can say is "Wow!" Did you know that Henderson (who is best known as Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch) had a long standing career in musical comedy? She starred on Broadway in Fanny, Sound of Music and South Pacific to name a few, and was the first woman to guest host on the Tonight show.
|Marc & Eva Stern with Kirk & Anne Douglas at Salon at the Taper|
Fabray, who began her career at age 3, dancing at the Paramount Theatre in L.A., is best known for her comedic work with Sid Caesar, and she also starred on Broadway in such vehicles as By Jupiter, Arms and the Girl and Mr. President. Some of their fellow performers who came to honor these lovely ladies, included Dick Van Dyke, Lorna Luft (Judy Garland's other daughter), Mitzi Gaynor (President of the PDS) and Carl Reiner, who tripped the light fantastic with Fabray on the old Sid Caesar Show. Kudos to Joni Berry, who announced that last year over 700 dancers received aid from funds raised by PDS, which has provided over $1.2 million for dancers in need.
|Cyd Charise & Tony Martin with Joni Berry, Chairman of PDS|
And last, but not least, we enjoyed "A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening" celebrating the songs of Jimmy McHugh at the Salon at the Taper. This musicale, hosted by Michael Feinstein, paid tribute to the Oscar nominated composer whose hits included "On the Sunny Side of the Street", and "I'm In the Mood for Love". Some of the many celebs enjoying the songfest, included Anne and Kirk Douglas, and the always adorable Ava and Chuck Fries, who are Honorary Chairman of The Center Theatre Groups Angel Night 07, on Saturday, May 19th, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel. For more info, please contact Erica Lotzer at 213-972-7564. A most worthwhile event on the Westside Beat.
|Nanette Fabray, honored by Professional Dancers Society|