A blond bombshell's new look accompanies new role: mom-to-be

CELEBRITY NEWS

January 28, 2008|By LIZ SMITH | LIZ SMITH,Tribune Media Services

I ALWAYS look for my enemies upon entering a room. Then I know what to do. Go right up to them, say hello and be charming!"

This is the tall, terrific Alex Kuczynski, a looker who recently gave up her blond bombshell aura and opted for a more natural look, decrying plastic surgery. A rising star at The New York Times during the reign of Howell Raines, Alex married well (and she says "for love") instead of merely settling for life as an ink-stained wretch - picking the wealthy Charles Stevenson of high finance.

The couple has tried several times to produce an heir. (He has five children from past wedlocks and Alex has acted capably as a stepmom.) But now a surrogate mother is carrying their biological baby. They hope to be proud parents come April.

Party time

Speaking of parties, the dynamic novelist/Newsweek contributor Holly Peterson laid one on for her pal, sexy comic Ali Wentworth, on the eve of the latter's new Starz show, Head Case. This event was worth elbowing through.

Glimpsed were Nightline's Cynthia McFadden and Jeanmarie Condon, plus Barbara Walters, the beauty Paula Porizkova, Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria and cookbook maven Jessica Seinfeld.

A golden age duo

Recently, I watched the great Fred Astaire classic The Band Wagon, and then I happened on the black-and-white Ziegfeld Girl. So I got a load of two of my favorites from Hollywood's golden age - the long-married Cyd Charisse and Tony Martin.

The beautiful Cyd was also legendary as a dancer-actor in Brigadoon, Singin' in the Rain and Silk Stockings. Tony is memorable for many films, and I've never forgotten him singing "You Stepped Out of a Dream" as Lana Turner walks down those glorified Ziegfeld stairs.

Cyd will be ringside when Tony, a remarkable age 95, returns to Feinsteins at the Regency tomorrow through Saturday.

If you glimpse them in all their glamour, just remember, they were born Alvin Morris and Tula Ellice Finklea.

Great acting, bad script

The one and only Nathan Lane and the brilliant Laurie Metcalf of Roseanne fame are on stage at the Barrymore Theatre making audiences scream with delight in David Mamet's November.

Nathan plays a beleaguered U.S. president whose ineffectuality hasn't been seen since George F. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskinds' 1931 President Wintergreen in Of Thee I Sing. Laurie portrays Nathan's excellent, but eccentric, speechwriter who has a bad cold and yearns for a lesbian marriage.

Mamet has already passed into theater legend with Glengarry Glen Ross, but here he has elected to write a curse word into most of the dialogue. And it is very hard to listen to that. Likewise, his plotting resembles something Eddie Murphy might choose for a vehicle these days.

Never mind. You still need to see Nathan Lane and Laurie Metcalf. They rise out of this muck of cheap laughs like champion salmon swimming upstream. And the audiences? They are having the time of their lives. So go anyway, even if the playwright deserves 10 lashes with a wet noodle.

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