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Posts Tagged ‘Tracey Ullman’

A-List Turnout for Kathy Freston’s Vegan Book Party


For most of us ink-stained wretches, throwing a book party in Los Angeles during a torrential downpour would whittle the attendees down to single digits. But when Arianna Huffington and Wendi Murdoch (yes, wife of Rubert) host such an event, everyone grabs an umbrella and braves the rain.

Friday night’s event, hosted at Arianna’s Brentwood home, was held in honor of Kathy Freston‘s newest book, “Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change The World.” Notable guests included Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Moby, Frances Fisher, Lorne Michaels, and Rob Reiner. So naturally, there was plenty of starfuckery going on. This fishie was making polite conversation with an elderly gentleman when he abruptly shoved me out of the way to get to Marla Maples. Remember her? Other 90′s flashbacks in attendance included Elizabeth Berkley, Tracey Ullman, Candice Bergen, and Oliver Stone.

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FBLA Goes to the Party: Weisberg Book Party

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Slate’s Jacob Weisberg read from his new book The Bush Tragedy at a Domino-sponored shindig in Brentwood. 300 guests stormed Arianna Huffington’s mansion house. (Or home, as the invitations read.)

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Adrian Grenier, sporting a beard that would have been a bushy tragedy on anyone else, Tracey Ullman, who does a wicked Arianna herself, and Christine Lahti represented SAG; Dale Launer and Stephen Gaghan were the WGA/DGA guys, and producers were thick on the ground with Lawrence Bender, Mike Medavoy, Irina Medavoy, Sam Goldwyn and George Stevens. Matt Groening had the animation arena all to himself.

Jim Ledbetter gave Arianna a copy of his new collection for Penguin–Karl Marx’s Dispatches for the New York Tribune, stopping her as she was enroute to her office. Gabe Snyder got the story behind her distracted expression: book deadline! (Who else was in the study, anyway?)

Usual coterie of LA media types–Mickey Kaus, Carla Hall, Kevin Roderick, Nick Goldberg, Kim Serafin, Ruth Shalit, Rob Barrett, Roman Genn–let’s move on, shall we?

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Weisberg’s clever wife, Deborah Needleman (she edits Domino) brought her Conde Nast cohorts along–Clemmy Closson and Beth Brenner.

Oscars were discussed perfunctorily, Obama enthusiastically (Rachel Sklar’s cries of plagiarism! were dismissed as business as usual which means those dissing her didn’t read very closely. Or else they were drunk.) Plenty of food and drink, which is unusual for book parties–and lots of copies of the book which looks like a fast read. No need to send it out for coverage.

(photos by Stefanie Keenan for Patrick McMullan)

Ullman Readies New Showtime Series

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Is America ready for more Tracey Ullman? The comedic actress is prepping a return to the small-screen that will again showcase her diverse talents as she dresses up and creates a variety of new characters for a new series called State of the Union.

This time it’s for Showtime (rather than her former residence HBO) and FBLA ran into Ullman last week at a store opening bash in Beverly Hills. She told us all about the half-hour show that will see her onscreen as a mix of different people including Nancy Pelosi, Ariana Huffington and even David Beckham.

“I haven’t done it for a bit so I have a lot left to do,” Ullman told FBLA. “It’s me as these people and I’ll spend 45 seconds on them, visiting lots of different people from across the country; ordinary people, rich people, and people in Nebraska.”

Ullman added that she felt a creative burst to examine the state of the USofA thanks to her new citizenship. “I became an American last December – I’m still a Brit because I have dual citizenship – but it gives me a whole new freedom to comment on the country. People would say to me, ‘you don’t get it, you’re not American!’ But I am mate, I am now. I stood downtown with 15,000 people from El Salvador waving flags.”

For State of the Union, she waved her writing flag with LA author Bruce Wagner. “We are eclectic people and we love what’s going on. It’s a different era and there is an election coming up. So it’s been interesting to shoot the show, which will come out in March.”

Any funny hints about some of the new characters? “I love Bollywood movies right now so I do this one Indian pharmacy assistant who lives in Tennessee. She can dance and tell you about the side effects of drugs.”

We will definitely be tuning in.

- CHRIS GARDNER