I have a new book out, everyone! It’s a wildly witty, hilarious collection with some trenchant original essays added—though admittedly I might be a little impartial. The amazing title is Fork on the Left, Knife in the Back, and if you don’t think that sounds delightful enough to buy, even at reduced rates, I’ll consider utensiling myself in the back.

Anyway, end of plug and on to other people’s needs. I got to indulge in many an hors d’oeuvre tray at the 30th-anniversary party for Mr Chow restaurant, where Brooke Shields looked stoic as Michael Jackson music played, but Spring Awakening composer Duncan Sheik seemed a little tired, telling me he has been waking up to the loud sound of construction lately. “I thought there was a recession!” he exclaimed, only semiamused.

Whether the economic crisis is still rocking or not, people turned out in full force to support a benefit for Only Make Believe, an organization that puts on interactive shows for kids in hospitals. Their admission got them an evening hosted by Sir Ian McKellen, who sang, recited Shakespeare and told us about his knighting by the Queen. (When Elizabeth asked him if he’s working, Ian replied, “Yes, in the theater.” Responded Her Majesty, “Does anyone still go to the theater?”)

Um, yes, they do, O Royal Eminence—and this season it has been mainly to see other gigantic stars like Hugh Jackman, Daniel Craig and Jude Law. But Jude found time to appear at the Only Make Believe event, impishly telling the audience—wink, wink— that he has been going straight home every night after his performance in Hamlet. Two days later, the dailies had an item about a late-night makeout session Jude had at The Box. To be busted, or not to be!

And sure enough, I went to the same club for the Fleshbot Awards honoring sexual achievement, where the big draw was Levi Johnston, Sarah Palin’s almost son-in-law who went on to that muchballyhooed seminude Playgirl shoot. Levi was there to accept a provocatively shaped award (though he cagily avoided posing with it). He told me the Playgirl thing could be a launching pad. But to what? Well, Levi said he wants to study acting, do some modeling (with clothes on) and maybe even sing a little. Would he ever try rap like another famous ex, K-Fed? “No,” he replied, sensibly. “I’m a country singer!”

Meanwhile, Minnie Mortimer—sister-in-law of socialite Tinsley Mortimer and wife of filmmaker Stephen Gaghan—happens to be a designer, so she christened a new restaurant, East Side Social Club, with a celebratory dinner there. Minnie told me she makes clothes that she herself would like; the items retail for under $300 and, more importantly, they fit neatly in the bottom of your bag. “I’m a gypsy,” she said. “I live in the bathroom of Virgin Atlantic!”

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