Philip Glass Takes Former Manager and Producer to Court Again

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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


-Ian Blecher

Baby Leibovitz

“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

Pootie Party

“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

you’re crazy!”

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

Mr. Michaels.

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.”

-Frank DiGiacomo

Rama -Lama-Ding-Duong

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.

-Elisabeth Franck

The Transom Also

Hears …

… 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.


Philip Glass Takes Former Manager and Producer to Court Again