The Scene: More than 1,000 people--more bodies than seats--showed up at the Cinerama Dome on Monday night for the premiere of John Singleton's new film, "Higher Learning." Before the film--a tale of multiculturalism hitting the skids at a fictitious college campus--the director told the audience, "Don't be afraid to talk to the screen. If you want to react, then react." Afterward, the action moved to a party at the Palace.
Who Was There: Plenty of film and music biz heavies and enough celebs to keep the flash units popping at a fast clip. Among the familiar faces were cast members Ice Cube, Tyra Banks, Omar Epps, Michael Rapaport and Mista Grimm. Also present were Molly Ringwald, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Eddie Murphy, Sean and Marlon Wayans, Bill Duke, Snoop Doggy Dogg and the guy you once knew as Prince.
Chow: Food imitated art as revelers helped themselves to a spread of cuisines that spanned the globe. The self-service buffet included sushi, pizza, chicken satay, egg rolls, hamburgers and grilled vegetables. There was also a sumptuous dessert tray and an open bar.
Entertainment: Performances by artists Ice Cube and Mista Grimm interspersed with deejay-generated dance music.
Most Over-Prepared Guest: Sitting in the aisle for the screening, clad entirely in purple, was the man once known as Prince. Not only did His Purpleness bring his own security contingent, but he sat on his own thick cushion, custom silk-screened with his logo-cum-moniker.
Quoted: "I think everybody will come out of the theater thinking something different," said Tyra Banks, Singleton's significant other and supporting actress. "Some people are going to be amused. Some people are going to be offended. Some people are going to feel like it's about time. I just want everyone to feel something."