It was the rainy, dreary Wednesday before Labor Day at Michael’s, and the regulars picked at their Cobb salads with neither the anxiety of pressing matters nor much enthusiasm.
And then Penelope Cruz walked in.
She arrived late, clad in the celebrity mufti of a black baseball cap. Before long, the receiving line of well-wishers inside mirrored the growing pack of paparazzi waiting on the sidewalk. We slipped out while the line was still forming, and informed the photographers outside that they had a two-fer waiting for them inside — Cruz and the newly out and proud Lance Bass (although he was sansboyfriend Reichen Lehmkuhl). One response: “Is Sumner Redstone inside, too? Or Katie Couric?” Not to ruin the suspense for anyone, but, um, no. Sorry. On with the roll call:
Table 1: He ain’t Sumner, but he’s the next best thing: CBS CEO Les Moonves, eating with PR chief Gil Schwartz. (And no, Les did not need to ask Sumner for permission, either.)
2: Sony Records’s A&R chief David Massey appeared to have been stood up today. He was still sitting alone when we left, looking a little forlorn and pecking away at his Blackberry.
3. The Mayor of Michael’s returned after a long summer absence (at least on Wednesdays). Joe Armstrong held down his usual table wiith Freud Communications CEO Matthew Hiltzik.
4. Ron Perelman was back as well, with crony Howard Gettis (he’s a Revlon director and Perelman’s partner) and a third lunchmate.
5. Jack Myers and an unidentified guest.
6. Robert Goldstein, president of the Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas, accompanied by his wife Sheryl, their teenage daughter Courtney, and one of her friends.
7. David Patrick Columbia with one of his favorites, Hill & Knowlton’s Jonathan Capehart.
8. We should have known who Bobby Shriver’s lunchdate would be, but neither of us — that would be myself and mediabistro.com managing editor Dylan Stableford — had kept up to date on Penelope Cruz’s love life. As for what Shriver himself is up to these days, well, he has a Wikipedia page for that.