January 8, 2014 |
At the Copacabana, Edna Raphael Belle would stop the show with a swirl of curls. "Oh, honey, let me tell you," says Belle, 100, whose professional dance career as "Sandra Lydell" spanned four decades, including a six-year stand at the fabled Manhattan night spot. "I had real long hair, beautiful black hair, up in a Mexican hat. I'd take the hat off, put my back to the audience, let my hair fall . . . and the house would come down. The house would come down !" The retired showgirl - whom one writer described as "torridly terrific" - and I are chatting in her home at the Oaks of Weymouth, an Atlantic County retirement community close to the casinos she loves.
August 7, 2012 |
Gina Gershon warned her mother that she may want to skip "Killer Joe," in which the actress has a few scenes sure to make any loved ones uncomfortable. But mom still planned to bring 10 friends to see her daughter in the dark, violent William Friedkin film that opens here Friday. Gershon was recently in town to promote the film in which she co-stars with Emile Hirsch, Thomas Haden Church, Juno Temple, and Matthew McConaughey, with whom she shared a difficult-to-shoot scene that included a fried chicken drumstick.
December 8, 2011 |
Is NC-17 really the kiss of death? Will the merest flash of naked flesh or the softest moan from hot, sweaty bods doom a film to celluloid purgatory? Granted, while only one movie with the adults-only marker (no one under 17 admitted) has become a box-office hit ( Showgirls ), some have won critical acclaim. Midnight Cowboy , released before NC-17 with an X rating, even won a best picture Academy Award. With director Steve McQueen's hotly anticipated Shame opening (Friday in Philadelphia)
December 13, 2009 |
Lillian Reis, 79, a colorful former showgirl and Philadelphia club owner implicated in a famous 1959 burglary in Pottsville, died Thursday at Virtua Marlton Hospital. A striking, stylish brunette in her heyday, Ms. Reis was known as Tiger Lil. She owned the Celebrity Room, a club that booked up-and-comers such as Don Rickles and Johnny Mathis, said her daughter, Midge Pfersich. Ms. Reis and her lover of 54 years, Ralph "Junior" Staino, who went to prison for the burglary and later for a racketeering and drug-trafficking case involving the Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo organized crime family, were friends with Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and actor Robert Conrad, who once planned to make a movie about her. Pfersich described her mother as a modern-day Mae West.
July 30, 2004 |
For our Showgirls watching pleasure, the folks at MGM now bring us a selection of drinking games, complete with a set of shot glasses. What, did they think we've been watching this movie sober? For a slim $39.98, you get the party essentials, plus the 1995 cult-favorite brainchild of director Paul Verhoeven and writer Joe Eszterhas. Hot off the sensual whodunit Basic Instinct, Verhoeven and Eszterhas planned to make a big-budget, NC-17 morality tale. Instead viewers got a bunch of amoral women showing a lot of tail.
May 24, 2002 |
The day after the Pennsylvania primary, Jonathan Estrin was still passing out buttons, except his declared, "Go MAD. " Estrin, head of Drexel University's Media Arts and Design school, cleverly used the college's initials for a catchy motto and mantra. "Mad means an altered state from which you can be creative," he said. And "creative" aptly described the styles presented Wednesday night by the school's fashion-design students. Janai Myers gave menswear a shot in the arm with clothes inspired by warriors but also fit for a rock-and-roll kind of guy. Part Mad Max, part Gladiator and Braveheart, the collection included wool pants with leather buckles; woven leather tops that mirrored suits of armor; and hand-knit sweaters trimmed with metal rings.
September 2, 2000 |
Into the darkness of the coming decade, a force for righteousness has risen - an avenging angel with long, shaggy locks, love beads, and a paunch. He speaks in the bold language of long-cherished freedoms. He wields the First Amendment like a battering ram. He storms the bully pulpit to crusade against would-be vice president Joe Lieberman. He usually does these things with the top half of his shirt unbuttoned. Meet Joe Eszterhas, filmmaker and author turned anti-Lieberman crusader, who's popped up like a pimple all over the pop-culture map. He's taking out ads in Daily Variety, going on the Today show, penning essays in Salon.
June 6, 2000 |
It's last call at Showgirls. As staff and a dozen students from the nearby Gatekeepers Fellowship Church and school cheered, Pastor James D. Treadwell Jr. climbed behind the controls of an excavator yesterday and started demolishing the last major symbol of the Admiral Wilson Boulevard's sleazy past. "We had the students there to see that their praying was not in vain," Mr. Treadwell said later. "It was exciting. " Once the loser in a state Supreme Court case over its nine-foot-high photos of scantily clad erotic dancers, the nude dance club is coming down as part of the $42 million project to overhaul the boulevard and turn the south side of the highway into a 32-acre park on the Cooper River.
July 15, 1999 |
We've all heard the dirt on Comedy Central's The Man Show, USA Network's Happy Hour, and The X Show on FX, the current spate of dirt-cheap variety-show- style cable programs that glory in booze, babes, third-tier celebrities, and jokes about bodily emissions. Critics hold their noses. Fans - or at least the rowdies recruited for the live studio audiences - seem to revel in the shows' in- your-face political incorrectness, and the bevy of gyrating, rump- shaking, bikini-wearing dancers.
July 17, 1998 |
Before there were cheap gas, cheap booze and cheap women walking the strip, before there were rats and trash and abandoned lots, there was a vision of a tree-lined avenue gracefully leading into the heart of Camden County. County officials, in a bout of self-described optimism, say they believe Admiral Wilson Boulevard, home of oversized signs and nine-foot-tall posters of scantily clad women, can reclaim its lost character. And so, in what could be a $10 million endeavor, the county is seeking a professional planner to draw a master plan for a new and improved boulevard - a thoroughfare with parks and lamp posts and occupied buildings that would persuade even the late Admiral Henry Braid Wilson to drive down the two-mile roadway he once renounced because of its condition.