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Teen Celebs Turn Out for Bop Bash Touting Pop's New Kids

June 22, 1989|BETTY GOODWIN

Teen dream Kirk Cameron wasn't there (although his three sisters were), and Tiffany was a no-show. Otherwise, a Who's Who of teen-age Hollywood--from Soleil Moon Frye of TV's "Punky Brewster" to "Growing Pains' " Jeremy Miller--turned out for a party Tuesday night feting the hot new teen singing group, New Kids on the Block, who are as wholesome as the Osmonds.

Still, just in case things got out of hand, party organizers had hired five beefy security guards in addition to the two who just look after the New Kids. (Also stationed outside was a phalanx of Chuck's parking valets who stood idle most of the time--half of this crowd wasn't old enough to drive.)

But as guests downed virgin mai tais, Coke and cases of designer water, it became clear that young Hollywood knows its P's and Q's. Pubescent entertainers arrive with their publicists or their parents in tow. They make eye contact and say "thank you" to reporters. They talk about the "Batman" premiere and their own upcoming work. Savvy Keith Coogan, 19, who appears in "Cousins" and "Adventures in Babysitting," says: "Coming this summer I'm in 'Cheetah and Friends' from Disney Films. Well, I gotta plug it. That's what I'm here for."

In fact, just about the biggest shocker of this party was David Faustino, 15, of "Married With Children," who walked in holding a plastic cup from McDonald's, where he had eaten two burgers and a large order of fries before arriving. "I thought it might be like anchovies and stuff like that," Faustino said of the party fare. (Actually, it was fajitas, hamburgers, hot dogs and baby pizzas.)

The event was hosted by Bop and the Big Bopper magazines. Julie Laufer, the magazines' 26-year-old editor, held court in her parents' Woodland Hills home, which had been equipped with a disco floor and a battery of speakers on which New Kids' hit song, "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)," replayed all evening long.

In the crowd were Rain Pryor, 20, of "Head of the Class;" Jason Marsden, 14, of "The Munsters Today;" 12-year-old Brandon Call ("Formerly of 'The Champ' and 'Santa Barbara,' " trumpeted his mother, Elyse); sisters Danica and Crystal McKellar of "The Wonder Years"; members of the pop group The Boys; 13-year-old modeling star Mila Jovovich, and Josh Harris, 10, of "Dallas."

Laufer, in a pink leather suit, predicted that New Kids will be bigger than the Osmonds. "I think they'll go beyond that just from the signs we've seen," she said knowingly.

Her brother, Scott Laufer, 28, president of Laufer Publishing, envisions greatness even beyond that of Kirk Cameron, star of "Growing Pains" and perennial Bop cover boy. "They'll be at least three times hotter than Kirk, at least for selling magazines," he said. New Kids grace Bop's July cover, which is on its way to becoming the biggest seller in Bop's history, with anticipated newsstand sales of 250,000.

About two hours late, three black Cadillac limousines snaked up the street carrying the Kids and their entourage. Although this was supposed to be the first chance for the five members of the Boston-based group to mingle with stars (they're in town to open for Tiffany at the Universal Amphitheatre on Sunday), they kind of stuck together.

New Kid Jordan Knight, 18, said he didn't watch TV at all--"I know it seems kind of funny, but I don't"--and so he didn't recognize anyone.

But Donny Wahlberg, 19, who wore a suit cut off at the knees, spats and white socks, ponytail and three earrings, said his head was elsewhere. "Lately, I've been in a deeper thought," he explained. "I mean, I appreciate having parties thrown in my honor. I enjoy it. But my main concern, and the group's main concern, is creating a better atmosphere for the youth of America. I'd rather make a better world than be rich and famous."

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