Lively aud helps raise funds for GLAAD

NEW YORK — There was no break for intermission and no curtain calls, but otherwise, the Ziegfeld easily could have been mistaken for the Shubert Theater at the Dec. 18 Gotham preem of “Chicago.”

The charmed audience clapped throughout numbers and even stayed put during the entire crawl of credits, a rarity when a long buffet line looms.

A benefit for GLAAD, the classy after-party was held at Brasserie 9½, where Fosse-style waitresses served themed desserts such as Velma chocolate cakes and Roxie sugar cookies as the show’s soundtrack looped endlessly in the background.

Producer Neil Maron attributed the successful adaptation to director-choreographer Rob Marshall: “If you’re going to translate a stage show to film, it can’t be static. I think this works because we had a director who was also a choreographer. Choreographers can often make the best directors.”

Co-star John C. Reilly, who hit the trifecta in premieres in a fortnight (he’s also in “The Hours” and “Gangs of New York”), was inspired to choose favorites. “This one was the most fun because such a good time was being had by the viewers. All these people from the studio are walking around in a daze saying, ‘I’ve never seen a movie do this well with an audience.’ They’re dumbfounded.”

The one to beat in turns of elation seemed to be producer Marty Richards, who has been with the show since its original run in Gotham 28 years ago and needed no prompting to share his feelings, “Tonight has been the whipped cream on the top of my sundae,” he exclaimed. “I know studios worry about this and that, but I have had my dream come true tonight. I need nothing more. I’ve seen so many old friends here, including my ex-leading lady and my ex-leading man, Chita Rivera and Jerry Orbach. What more can you ask for?”

Fete teemed with recognizable faces from the pic, among them Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Queen Latifah, Christine Baranski, Taye Diggs, Dominic West and Susan Misner; plus producers Meryl Poster and Craig Zadan, scribe Bill Condon and composer John Kander.

Guests included Joan Collins, Kim Cattrall, Neil Patrick Harris, John Leguizamo, Molly Shannon, Frank Langella, Star Jones, Caroline Rhea, Billy Zane, Anne Hathaway and Marisa Berenson.

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