From the pages of

A Very Creative Party
by Martin Lewis
(First published August 17, 2000)

You know you're attending a hot party when the valet parking people apologetically head drivers off at the pass - and ask them to self-park on an adjacent street. Wednesday night's Creative Coalition party hosted by George magazine and Miramax Films' Harvey Weinstein to honor Christopher Reeve certainly lived up to its advance buzz as the must-attend party of the convention. The bipartisan organization - which mobilizes celebrities to become informed and then speak out on major issues, mobilized 'A' list stars, politicians and glitterati to attend this fundraiser for spinal cord injury research.

Guests ranging from Michael J. Fox, Jon Stewart, Selma Hayek and Jennifer Love Hewitt to Senator Bob Kerry gathered on the expansive lawns at the Beverly Hills home of affable producer Laurence Bender ("Pulp Fiction") and heard moving words from the much-cherished Christopher Reeve - who was a founder member of the organization.

Later a fired-up trio cranked out Hendrix and Beatles tunes as waiters circulated with petite calorie-drenched patisseries. TV anchors such as Chris Matthews and Bill O'Reilly - who regularly lambaste "Hollywood" (a word almost as demonized as "liberal" in the angry talk-show host lexicon) - showed remarkable restraint in staying so long at a party steeped in the very trappings that they regularly condemn as shallow.

There was the inevitable Arianna sighting. I now have a theory that the Huffington millions have been invested in a cloning project that pumps out Mattel-styled Ariannas for every occasion. One to host the Shadow Conventions. Model #2 does the talk show circuit - while the third Arianna-Barbie attends every party. ("Play with your Arianna-doll as she swings leftwards...!" )

Two stars were especially magnetic at the gathering. Creative Coalition president Billy Baldwin in the host's kitchen - good-naturedly posing for photos requested by impossibly-svelte girls (though some appeared to be fully-mature women in their late teens) - while simultaneously juggling intense conversations and phone calls about political issues with friends and colleagues.

And actress/activist Martha Plimpton in deep conversation with Coalition Exec. Director Robin Bronk by Bender's swimming pool - which was inexplicably heated to a temperature hotter than the average bath. The impish Plimpton decided to take advantage of the Bender pool and turned it into a foot bath for convention-weary feet. Plimpton is a spry fireball who appears to have missed the memo to her generation telling it to be flip and ironic. As party guests sidled over to chat with her she exuded a 60's idealism as though the Letterman-Kilborn years of anti-care and anti-cause had never been.

As guests finally exited the party past 2am - some even having to retrieve their own cars (an unheard-of trauma in Bev. Hills) there was a sense that the spirit of Reeves, Balwin and Plimpton had infected people. It was ok to be passionate and care again.

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