Philip Glass, the 64-year-old composer of the minimalist
behemoth Einstein on the Beach, is suing one of his longtime collaborators for
fraud. On Oct. 5, an attorney for Mr. Glass filed a complaint against the composer’s
manager and producer, Jedediah Wheeler, in State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
The court papers allege that Mr. Wheeler “pocketed” $156,000 of Mr. Glass’s
earnings “and refused to return those earnings as promised.”
Back in 1984, Mr. Wheeler’s company, International
Production Associates, produced the first revival performance of Einstein on
the Beach at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The show lasted five hours and
boasted a big cast and expensive special effects. Mr. Wheeler went on to
produce much of Mr. Glass’ work, as well as the now-defunct Serious Fun
festival at Lincoln Center.
In recent months, however, Mr. Glass has spent a good deal
of his time fighting with Mr. Wheeler. The composer first brought legal action
against the producer about a year ago, seeking $156,000 in allegedly unpaid
earnings. He was granted summary
judgment, including attorneys’ fees.
But in the suit filed on Oct. 5, Mr. Glass alleged that when
he tried to collect the money, “IPA virtually [had] disappeared.” Before the court had time to rule, Mr.
Wheeler allegedly had “formed at least four new corporations” called
Extremetaste Ltd., Luna Group Ltd., River Paw Creations and Mudan Ting Ltd.
These corporations allegedly employed the same people and used the same
address, telephone and fax numbers as IPA.
Mr. Glass’ suit charges that Mr. Wheeler “transferred …
assets of IPA to Extremetaste … [and other IPA successors] for the purpose of
evading the payment of IPA’s debts to Glass.”
Reached for comment, Mr. Wheeler said, “It’s a matter
between Mr. Glass and me. I’m trying to resolve this as equitably and amicably
as possible.” He also spoke wistfully of better times. “At the end of the day,
Philip Glass and I had a very productive work period together,” Mr. Wheeler
said. “I find all of this inexplicable, in truth.”
Mr. Glass declined to comment. His attorney, Russell Smith,
said only: “It’s something the courts-or the parties involved-will have to
“It is true that people in need turn not to the ballet or
oil painting, but to poetry,” said Billy Collins, the United States Poet
Laureate, addressing the crowd that had gathered at “In a Time of Crisis,” a
poetry reading and charity benefit at Cooper Union’s Great Hall on Oct. 22.
But for the swarming L.L. Bean set that came to watch,
poetry quickly lost out to celebrity gawking: Susan Sontag, for one, and her
longtime companion Annie Leibovitz, who was sitting in the second row.
A young man in a denim jacket approached the leonine Ms.
Leibovitz and laid his hands on the 52-year-old’s newly flattened belly. “It’s
gone! It’s gone!” he exclaimed.
In May, Ms. Leibovitz had announced she was pregnant, which
resulted in a small wave of speculation about her age and the unnamed father.
At Cooper Union, Ms. Liebovitz gave up no clues. “It’s
living outside of me now,” she replied to the man.
Sources familiar with the situation said that Ms. Leibovitz
gave birth to a baby girl on Oct. 16 via Caesarean section. The child’s name is
Sarah Cameron Leibovitz.
When the show got underway and Ms. Sontag took to the stage,
she began by ruefully addressing the controversy she’s stirred since the
publication of her controversial screed in the Sept. 24 issue of The New Yorker
devoted to the Sept. 11 attacks.
“I’ve been having a lot of feelings this month,” Ms. Sontag
said, adding that the most continuous of them had been grief. She mentioned the 10-year-old son of Mullah
Mohammed Omar, who was reportedly killed in a bombing raid. She urged people
not to feel bound by one emotion, but to “accept the contradiction and
multiplicity and not feel they have to be reduced in communal shout,” and
clarified her “contempt and disapproval of the Taliban regime.”
After the reading, one admirer asked Ms. Sontag how she was
dealing with her immolation in the tabloids. “It’s still going on,” she said.
“There’s a sign on a bar on 17th Street:
‘Fuck Susan Sontag.’” She looked worried and a little proud. “Somebody tried to
explain it to me. Like maybe it was because I’m a woman.”
-Rebecca Traister and Ian Blecher
“I made that lady say ‘Pootie Tang’!” the comedian Louis
C.K. said shortly after facing the crowd of media heavyweights at the American
Museum of the Moving Image’s annual fall awards ceremony on Oct. 17-and,
indeed, one of the highlights of the evening’s festivities was listening to
some of the evening’s high-minded speakers refer to the title of the character
and movie that Mr. C.K. created, wrote and directed.
The museum’s director, Rochelle Slovin, introduced Mr.
C.K.’s performance, and she seemed to take a little gulp of air as she got to
the Pootie Tang part of the comic’s curriculum vitae. Ms. Slovin did finally
blurt out the title, though, and the crowd-which included former and current
HBO chief executives Michael Fuchs and Jeff Bewkes, Oxygen creator Geraldine
Laybourne, late-night talk-show host Conan O’Brien (who was one of the
evening’s three honorees), his fiancé Liza Powell, and his producer Jeff
Ross-erupted in laughter and applause.
But perhaps the best utterance came from the Motion Picture
Association of America’s chief executive Jack Valenti, who was also honored
that night. The fireplug-like Mr. Valenti referred to the film as “Poot ‘n’
The goateed Mr. C.K. didn’t do any cable or broadband jokes,
but he certainly seemed to have tailored his act to the crowd. “Wouldn’t you
much rather people thought you were crazy rather than stupid?” He asked the
crowd, which in previous years has counted Ted Turner among its number. “Stupid
is the worst thing people can think about you,” he said, but added: “If you’re
crazy, people respect you.
“That’s why, if you ever do something in public and you feel
stupid, go for crazy,” Mr. C.K. said. “Say you’re a guy shopping at the Gap.
And you’re asking a lady about a shirt you like, and you realize it’s a woman’s
shirt you’re asking about …. She’s looking at you like you’re stupid.” Mr. C.K.
scanned the crowd. “So, you know what you do?” he said. “Just take a shit on
the floor right there. She won’t think you’re stupid anymore. She’ll think
After AMMI’s chairman of the board, former NBC president
Herb Schlosser, honored Mr. Valenti, and a high-spirited MTV Group chairman Tom
Freston fêted MTV Group president Judy McGrath, Saturday Night Live executive
producer Lorne Michaels gave Mr. O’Brien his award.
In his acceptance speech, Mr. O’Brien recounted how, in the
months leading up to the September 1993 premiere of his show, he desperately looked for some guidance from
Then, late that summer, Mr. Michaels called Mr. O’Brien up
and said he wanted to speak with him. “I thought, ‘This is it’-this is a true
story-’Lorne’s going to tell me what to do,’” Mr. O’Brien said. The two walked
to a Beverly Hills deli. “At the
end of the meal, Lorne pushed the plate away from him and he leaned back, and I
thought, ‘This is it,’” Mr. O’Brien told the audience. “He said, ‘Conan,
there’s something you should always know …. Always leave a 20 percent tip or
you’ll read about it in the New York Post.”
On Oct. 16, the scene at Donna Karan’s new store on Madison
Avenue and East 68th Street fell somewhere between a slumber party and The
Witches of Eastwick when the fashion designer hosted a party for painter Anh
Duong. The event celebrated the launch of Anh Duong (Self) Portraits, a
collection of paintings by and of Ms. Duong, interspersed with photographs of
Ms. Duong and glowing tributes to Ms. Duong written by the likes of Bob
Colacello (“Anh Duong is the Frida Kahlo of the 21st century”).
In the main space downstairs, a West African band played
with gusto and lots of tam-tam pounding, a dark-clad dancer took tentative
flamenco steps near them.
“Oh! Here’s my girlfriend!” Ms. Karan said, as fashion
designer Diane von Furstenberg materialized in a cloud of sugary perfume, a
pair of green velvet jeans and a sleeveless fur jacket. Ms. von Furstenberg
said she had come because she and Ms. Duong are “very, very intimate” and she
“loves, loves her work.”
The event photographers called for a photo op, and Ms. Von
Furstenberg, Ms. Duong and Ms. Karan languidly spread out together on a large
brown bed in the store that was topped with a pile of brownish fur cushions.
Ms. Duong wore a revealing black gauzy number, and Ms. Karan was draped in black
shawls and wraps. After a few snaps, the three graces writhed a bit, then
called out to the art dealer Tony Shafrazi, who stood on the sidelines watching. “Toh-neeeee,” they cooed. “Get
ii-iin! We need a guy in here!” After a few moments of hesitation, Mr. Shafrazi
took a little backward jump onto the bed full of lolling women. And as Ms. von
Furstenberg caressed his cheek, Mr. Shafrazi flashed his Cheshire cat’s grin
and looked, at any moment, like he might begin to purr.
The Transom Also
… That TV viewers of the Yankees’
victory over the Seattle Mariners on Oct. 22 got an added bonus in the seventh
inning. Shortly after a Fox reporter interviewing Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and
his son Andrew in the stands told them that the Rangers had lost that night,
Hizzoner’s son could be heard bellowing a particularly robust “Bullshit!”
It’s unclear whether Andrew’s remark was in response to the
hockey team’s loss.
… That on Oct. 19, Bill and Hillary Clinton had dinner with
Jerry Seinfeld and his wife Jessica Sklar at Tribeca Grill.