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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Scheffer’

Lunch: Moguls, Mavens and a Vampire Primer

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— DIANE CLEHANE

Had we stopped by on Monday we would have seen Anjelica Huston (Love you on Medium!) Oh well. This week Hollywood on the Hudson was strictly a downtown affair as it seems all those Tinseltown types were staying busy with the Tribeca Film Festival. Today’s crowd at Michael’s was the usual mix of movers and shakers with one MIA mogul (Welcome back, Ron!) resurfacing after an extended absence.

I was joined at the bar by my long time pal Kathryn Leigh Scott who was in town from Los Angeles on her way to London. Kathryn and I met back when I doing a piece for TV Guide about NBC’s short-lived nighttime version of the ABC daytime cult classic Dark Shadows created by the late, great Dan Curtis back in the (gasp!) late sixties. I might be dating myself a bit, but I was totally obsessed with the show — and its lead actress, none other than Kathryn — when I was an impressionable youngster who rushed home every day from school to watch the gothic soap that introduced vampires and werewolves and other creatures that went bump in the night to a generation of fans.

These days the absolutely ageless Kathryn, having sold her incredibly successful imprint Pomegranate Press which published countless tomes on Dark Shadows and other pop cultural touchstones, is concentrating her considerable talents on writing fiction. Her first novel, Murder in Primetime, was a hit and now she’s hard at work on her next thriller. But Dark Shadows remains a big part of her busy life. Tomorrow she departs for the UK to do three new recordings of new material based on the show for Big Picture. The project is timed to DS‘s 40th (!) anniversary.

Kathryn has also sent none other than Johnny Depp the complete collection of her DS books as primer for him to study as he prepares to sink his teeth into the role of vampire Barnabas Collins for the feature film version of the show. Turns out Johnny is a long time fan — something Kathryn first discovered when she worked with the Oscar nominee on 21 Jump Street back in his teen idol days. “To have everything come full circle and see Johnny do this is marvelous!” We can’t wait!

I was happy to introduce Kathryn to my pal People‘s East Coast news editor Liz McNeil, who was lunching with staff writer Nina Burleigh (another rabid Dark Shadows fan!) and attorney Suzanne Kimberly Bracker. Turns out Suzanne is something of an expert on celeb divorces. Who could these gals have been talking about over lunch? The list is long, don’t you think? Talk about great dish!

Here’s a rundown on today’s crowd:

1. The Imber Gang: Gerry Imber, Jerry Della Femina, Jeff Greenfield and the gang. Just asking, but is Fox News’ Monica Crawley breaking into this ole boys’ network? This is the second time we’ve spotted the blonde beauty lunching with these formidable fellows…

2. Peter Brown and, we’re told, a lady “ambassador” of some import.

3. Hallmark honcho Henry Schleiff with Steve Scheffer and John Redpath.

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Lunch at Michael’s: A Kareem Dream

lunch_at_michaels_logo.jpgIt’s official — the holidays are over! It’s back to business, people! Now that the weather has finally turned cold (it is January, after all), things are heating up once again at Michael’s. The dining room was abuzz with the usual mix of movers and shakers, moguls and random celebrities (we understand Hugh Grant had a reservation but was stuck at the airport, darn it!) — and plenty of power suits. Even the most jaded regular craned their neck to catch a glimpse of basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar when he arrived shortly after 1:00. While we’re still awaiting the return of some of our favorite friends, there were plenty of boldface names to more than keep us interested.

Here’s the rundown on who was dining and dishing today:

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and a group of unidentified handlers and executives. The NBA hall-of-famer cut a towering figure (he’s 7’2″ after all) as he made his way to his table stopping to shake Al Roker‘s hand en route. Sporting a Tonight Show bomber jacket and penny loafers, he arrived with a copy of his new book, On The Shoulders of Giants, due out at the end of this month from Simon & Schuster, tucked under his arm. The retired L.A. Laker, who has the reputation of being something of a gentle and generous giant himself, writes movingly of Harlem’s renaissance in the upcoming tome. Sounds interesting …

2. Gerry Byrne and guests.

3. MTV’s John Sykes, a hip looking dark-haired beauty and an unidentified gentleman.

4. Norman Pearlstine, and we’re told, Fairchild’s Ed Nardozza.

5. Stanley Jaffe.

6. Today‘s Al Roker, his producer Jackie Olensky and our good pal Today show flack Lauren Kapp. The glowing new mom of two-month-old Oliver Darcy Wraps managed to tear herself away from her bouncing baby boy for the afternoon to catch up with her pals. She showed Diane Clehane, today’s lunchtime chronicler, lots of adorable pics of her bundle of joy. (We’re so impressed you’re out and about already!) Lauren, still on maternity leave, is back at her Today perch on March 1.

7. Vogue‘s Andre Leon Talley and Manolo Blahnik’s main man, George Malkemus. ALT caused quite a stir yesterday at 55th & Fifth when he arrived with newly-minted superstar (and sure to be Oscar-nominated) Jennifer Hudson. We guessing Ms. Hudson is in line to get the full Vogue treatment in an upcoming issue now that she’s arrived on the A list due to her shattering performance in Dreamgirls. We’re also thinking that Andre will step in and style the plus-size glamour gal for the red carpet as he did for Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda) at last year’s Oscars.

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