ONE OF this nation’s greatest writers, 110 years ago, wrote a cross-dressing farce which was to be seen simultaneously in NYC and London. The writer was Mark Twain and his production of “Is He Dead? A New Comedy” never happened. But now it has, thanks to producer Shelley Fisher Fishkin (who found the play among Twain’s papers) and Bob Boyett, David Ives and Michael Blakemore. This show is knocking them dead with laughter at the Lyceum Theater. (Old Mark even saw a comedy in that very theater 99 years ago!) Master Mark Twain’s grand event boasts a magical performance by Norbert Leo Butz. He is merely sensational – just as he was when he won the Tony and every other award for “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.”
WILL IT shock any of you to learn that Quentin Tarentino is hot to remake the 1966 Russ Meyer campy soft-porn classic, “Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” (Three tough busty chicks travel through the desert, stirring up trouble and testosterone along the way.) Tarantino wants his version to be even raunchier, natch. His first casting choices are Kim Kardashian, Eva Mendes and — oh, please! — Britney Spears. What, no Lindsay Lohan? LL loves 1960’s cult-trash. She wants to re-make Ann-Margret’s “Kitten With A Whip.” Lindsay could become Quentin’s new muse. Look what he did for Uma Thurman.
OH, AND soon comes a new biography on Richard Burton, written by Michael Munn. In it, he places two more famous women in Burton’s always busy bed — Lana Turner, with whom he made a movie, and — but of course — Marilyn Monroe. Everybody’s dead, so it’s impossible to confirm. Lana encouraged intimacy with her leading men. She was a movie queen and that was part of her function, as she saw it. But Burton doesn’t seem like Monroe’s type. Certainly not in his cocky early Hollywood days — before Elizabeth Taylor elevated him to superstardom. Marilyn preferred the sensitive type. That’s what she found, even in Frank Sinatra, who was gentle and kind with her.