By Stacy Jenel Smith
Hip, happening Hollywood Halloween 2003. It all starts at the annual, outrageous West Hollywood Costume Carnavale, where you and about a half million of your closest friends can show off your fabulous costumes, dahling, whilst milling about on Santa Monica Boulevard. The event has grown every year, with a Mardi Gras atmosphere and every campy drag getup you can imagine -- and many you can't. Celebrities - Leonardo DiCaprio
, Anna Nicole Smith
were among those present in 2002 -- and irregular folks alike are sure to be on hand for this year's doings.
The main stage entertainment will be Mya. On another stage will be The Pussycat Dolls. The latter, in case you weren't aware, are the group of strip tease artists known for their frequent celebrity guest strippers, which have included Carmen Electra, Christina Aguilera, Christina Applegate, Nikki Hilton and Cris Judd. Nobody will confirm that there'll be celebrity strip tease guests Halloween night, but c'mon, we know there will be.
You'll also find star turnout on Hollywood Boulevard -- specifically, at The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, where a Halloween bash is being planned. And it just might be that not all the stars present at the Roosevelt are among the living. The place is famous for being haunted by Montgomery Clift, Carole Lombard and sex symbol-of-all-time Marilyn Monroe, who reportedly has shown herself on a number of occasions in a full-length mirror at poolside, where MM used to spend a lot of time.
Monroe's body is entombed at the Westwood Village Memorial Park -- site of an annual memorial on the anniversary of her death in August, where countless impersonators come to pay respects. The Hollywood Forever cemetery, next to Paramount Studios -- site of the summertime outdoor screenings/picnics that became the rage this year -- is said to be haunted by the spirit of Clifton Webb, among others. (See www.eeeek.com/hollywoodcemetery.html
, or www.seeing-stars.com/died
for more details on Hollywood hauntings and where to find dead stars.)
Normally, Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion is the Number One Halloween party destination in L.A. In the last couple of years, for example, the Playboy turnout has included Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu, Kelsey Grammer, Kevin Spacey, Leo DiCaprio (who must really dig getting around on Halloween), Tobey Maguire, Jim Belushi and Playboy regular Bill Maher, who came dressed as the cover of his latest book, proving you never, never, never stop promoting yourself in Hollywood.
The party featured a 3-D haunted house and more than 50 actors in movie quality monster costumes going around scaring people. There was a body bag room complete with zombies. And of course, there were naked girls in really elaborate body paint as various exotic animals.
However, this year, with the mansion being busy with Playboy 50th anniversary events, Hefner is foregoing his Halloween fest, and will be heading out with his girlfriends to a party at L.A.'s Club Bliss instead.
At least locals can look forward to the mansion grounds being transformed into a graveyard. Halloween-loving Hef still does plan to do that, and have headstones for himself, his family and his girlfriends with little sayings on them.
If you want something REALLY scary, there's a big costume fest coming up the night before Halloween being thrown by Lion's Gate and E! in connection with (Aieeeeeeeee!) the DVD/video release of Anna Nicole Smith's first season of reality TV show episodes.
And what costumes are in this year with the hip, happening Hollywood contingent? Well, blame "Pirates of the Caribbean's" Johnny Depp, because according to the famous Western Costume Company, which has provided costumes to the studios for 90 years -- pirates are THE hot dress-up thing for 2003, arrgh. "And also wenches. Wenches are very big," adds a store rep.
Outside of that, well, we keep hearing about "Terminator" and governator getups -- Schwarzenegger is very popular as a Halloween muse this year. Which reminds us, it was just a couple years ago that Arnold himself was out doing trick-or-treat rounds with his and Maria Shriver's children near their Pacific Palisades home. So you can never be sure whom you might run into collecting candy with their kids on Halloween night around Hollywood.