HBO’s Monday night after-party for “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge” at Chasen’s will be remembered as one of the final fiestas held in the legendary restaurant before the site is bulldozed to make way for a Bristol Farms supermarket. Of course, this generated a number of pungent comments, including this bon mot: “What is Bristol Farms but a Trader Joe’s with attitude.”
As for the legendary Dandridge, tap maestro Fayard Nicholas said he met the actress-singer-dancer in 1938 with his brother Harold while they were rehearsing a Cotton Club revue with Cab Calloway and the two spotted “two skinny little girls” — Dandridge and her sister Vivian. However, it was Harold who got the girl.
Nicholas said what he remembers most about his former sister-in-law was how “if you’d be talking and she’d be listening and not saying a thing and all the time you’d be thinking ‘Oooh, she is gorgeous.’ ”
Among those on hand to see Halle Berry be gorgeous in the film were HBO execs Colin Callender and Chris Albrecht, director Martha Coolidge, co-stars Klaus Maria Brandauer, Brent Spiner and Obba Babatunde, plus 1,000 guests including James Coburn, Lionel Richie, Gloria Reubin, Paul Sorvino, Angela Bassett, Lorna Luft and Daniel Grover.