Planning to check out singer-songwriter Jason Mraz on tour this summer? In case you can't get one of those elusive backstage passes, allow us to fill you in on some of the items you would find there. "It's a weird thing, but I don't eat a lot of solid food, so I have to have protein powder on the road," Mraz tells us. "It gives your digestive system a break, and allows (the nutrients) to go directly to my bloodstream." Another must-have: "I travel with this little stuffed chicken," he says. "I believe that it's the reincarnation of a (stuffed) duck that my mom gave me when I was kid. Everywhere I go, I take it with me – in my backpack, at hotels. I use it for lower-back support on the plane. And now that I'm single again, I snuggle with it." Now you know.
A Different Kind of Tour
Meanwhile, if you want to see Moby this summer, your best bet is to follow Sen. John Kerry's campaign trail. "Essentially I'm at the Kerry campaign's beck and call," he told us at a recent screening of the documentary The Hunting of the President, held at New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. "If they call me up and ask me to do something, I'm there for them. So throughout the summer and the lead-up to the election, if they want me to go and play concerts, if they want me to do anything, I'm happy to do whatever they want me to do."
And from the it's-hard-to-date-when-you're-famous file, "Boys are weird when you're you," singer Dido told us recently at an event at Sirius Satellite Radio's New York studio. "It makes other people behave funny, whereas I still have the same reactions that I've always had. People being so cool about it – almost being mean just to make the point they're not impressed. It's all bit of a learning curve."
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We asked Dame Julie Andrews (currently starring as the voice of the queen in Shrek 2) for her quick takes on a few hot topics:
The South Beach Diet: "Atkins is better"
P. Diddy on Broadway. Would you work with him? "Sure"
Cameron Diaz: "Delicious"
Antonio Banderas: "Equally delicious"
Prince William: "Wonderful hunk. The dishest prince I've ever seen"
Being a grandmother: "The nicest thing is that my grandkids don't know me as Mary Poppins, but just (as) Grannie Jules, and I've gone up in their estimation since doing Shrek (2)."
How many times you've seen The Sound of Music: "Not as many as people think. Three or four, something like that. Really to sit down and watch the whole thing? I don't do that."
By ANNE MARIE CRUZ, IVORY CLINTON, LIZA HAMM and MARGI BLASH