Insider

UPDATED 09/04/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/04/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT

Even Hogs & Heifers, Manhattan's famously bra-strewn honky-tonk, can't top Julie Cypher's 36th birthday on Labor Day, which will precipitate a party that has become a popular ritual marking the end of summer. The annual bash in L.A. attracts famous folks who toast Melissa Etheridge's companion of 10 years and let their hair down with wild, bra-baring zest. Cypher keeps her guest list secret because, she told me, "it's a private, intimate environment where you can cut loose and go crazy and dance with abandon." The Practice's Camryn Manheim, who plans to attend the soiree, which draws men and women, says that if there is a contest for bra size, she's a shoo-in: "I'm big, so I'm definitely going to win."

Leeza Gibbons has her hand out—for a good reason. As spokeswoman for AllStarCharity.com, an online auction site whose proceeds go to celebs' designated charities, she doesn't mind wrangling donations. Seated next to Pierce Brosnan at The Who's recent L.A. concert, she asked for one of the actor's James Bond watches. And yes, 007 promised to send a timepiece he wore in one of the films. Later Gibbons asked Roger Daltrey for tickets and backstage passes for the rock group's upcoming New York City concert. She has even given away her own clothes on the site but recently turned down a fan's request for a pair of her unwashed socks, explaining, "I draw the line at selling old socks, even in the name of charity!"

Meg Ryan, Laura Dern and Carrie Fisher feigned envy when Dan Finnerty, an actor-singer who fronts the campy Dan Band, brought JAG's Catherine Bell up onstage on Aug. 17 during his rendition of "I've Never Been to Me." The SRO performance at the Mint in L.A. attracted major celebs to see Finnerty and the popular Australian singer Kate Ceberano.

Valerie Harper and her husband, producer Tony Cacciotti, are helping to renovate the Ivar, a 50-year-old Hollywood theater that needs air-conditioning, among other things. In October Harper will be on its stage in her critically acclaimed one-woman show All Under Heaven, in which she plays more than a dozen roles in a story based on the life of Pearl S. Buck.

Making an R-rated movie is one thing. Sitting through it is something else. Just 10 minutes into last week's L.A. premiere of Jennifer Lopez's box office smash The Cell, actors Colton James, 12, and Jake Thomas, 10, who have pivotal roles in the flick, left the theater to hang out in the lobby. Bob Thomas, Jake's dad, must have been relieved—he planned to cover his son's eyes during the scary parts.

Fast take: A week after Catherine Zeta-Jones gave birth to their son Dylan, Michael Douglas was still passing out cigars during an L.A. gala thrown by the Creative Coalition and George magazine to benefit the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. As for the origin of the cigars, Douglas said, "They're not Cuban. I wouldn't be that much of a fool."

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