Halloween, Hollywood Style
Halloween's not just for kids these days. It's hip to be haunted, especially in and around Los Angeles, where celebrities love to get into the modern equivalent of the costumed ball. If you're within striking distance of Hollywood this All Hallow's Eve, here are a few haunts where famous faces might turn up -- although, behind the makeup and masks, you probably won't recognize them.
After a one-year hiatus, spookiness returns to posh Holmby Hills, where Hugh Hefner will host another one of his legendary Halloween parties at the Playboy Mansion. If there's only one Halloween party you attend, this one should be it. The catch is, you've got to have a personal invite from Hef. (A few Internet ticket brokers are selling duckets to the bash for around $850 apiece, but a Playboy official tells us these are probably fakes, and even if they aren't, you won't be admitted unless your name's on the guest list.)
The Playboy party is a celebrity magnet. The last party, held in 2002, was attended by Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Kevin Spacey, Kelsey Grammer, Heidi Fleiss, Jim Belushi, Jimmy Kimmel, Craig Kilborn, Jamie Foxx, Paris Hilton, and lots of others. Playboy won't release this year's guest list, but we have it on good authority more than 1,000 people have been invited, including Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, James Caan, Bill Maher, and the Osbournes. That's a pretty good start.
Costumes are mandatory at the Playboy mansion, but what does everyone do, other than drink, eat and ogle Playmates? A Playboy source tells us Hefner has assembled "three separate spooked cemeteries, a haunted house filled with live and undead horrors, a museum of horror memorabilia, a terrifying redwood forest adventure, and some 70 actors in ghoulish costume. The mansion itself will activate its two giant fire-breathing rooftop gargoyles and a monster will attempt to scale the mansion's stone walls throughout the evening. Inside the party, the guests will feast on sumptuous buffets and be plied with special drinks by body-painted servers. It's a pretty amazing night." Amazing indeed.
The world-famous West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval (www.weho.org/halloween) is only a few miles from the Playboy mansion, but it might as well be light years away. Anything goes at this Halloween street party, which runs from 6 p.m. to midnight on Santa Monica Boulevard, between La Cienega and Doheny. There are celebrities here, too, but they are of a decidedly lower echelon -- and proud of it!
Self-proclaimed "D-List Diva," actress Kathy Griffin (you might remember her from "Suddenly Susan," or maybe "Pulp Fiction," or a host of B-movies) will be crowned Queen of the Carnaval. Meanwhile, performing live on stage are a few 1980s-era acts, whose names you might recognize (Klimaxx, Jody Watley) or maybe not. As always, there will be a big costume contest, a makeshift parade, and drag queens in abundance!
The club scene on Hollywood Boulevard is often graced with the presence of the famous, and Halloween should be no exception. One of the biggest and longest-running Halloween parties in Tinseltown is the 17th Annual DASK Procutions Masquerade and Costume Ball (www.daskproductions.com), held within the combined quarters of Ivar and Cinespace at 6356 Hollywood Boulevard. This one has 20 bars, dancing, live bands, psychics, Cirque Du Soleil style acrobats, performance arists, body painting artists, and "erotic and exotic costumes." All for thirty-five bucks.
What Halloween costumes are the most popular with celebrities? Last year, with the "Pirates of the Caribbean" hype, it was all swashbucklers, but this year there's no prevailing trend. "Pirates are still popular, they are always popular, but not like last year," says Danny Stein, co-owner of Cinema Secrets (www.cinemasecrets.com), a pro make-up and costume dealer well known in Hollywood. And even thought it's election season, Stein says not even Bush and Kerry are popular choices. "Nixon is probably still more popular, because he's more recognizable," Stein said. That's saying a lot.
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