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RSVP / INTO THE NIGHT

A Raucous Bash Helped Set Things Off the Right Way

November 06, 1996|MARK EHRMAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Scene: What a racket. Hollywood Boulevard was chock-a-block with shrieking fans as a line of early '60s, low-riding Chevy Malibus wound their way to Mann's Chinese Theater on Monday night, each one jettisoning another handful of celebrities. The occasion for the high-decibel hoopla was the premiere of New Line's "Set It Off," a lead-splattered romp about a female posse who set off on a bank-robbing spree. The good-natured rowdiness continued throughout the screening--with audience members yelling back at the screen--and then onto the mega-fete that took place afterward at the Colonnade across the street.

Who Was There: More than 1,000 people with stars culled from all sectors of the entertainment galaxy. The movie's cast members who attended included, Vivica A. Fox, Jada Pinkett (with beau, Will Smith), Blair Underwood, Queen Latifah, Kimberly Elise and John McGinley. Also on hand were the film's director F. Gary Gray, Wesley Snipes, Magic Johnson, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Warren G, Sinbad, Coolio, John Singleton, Quincy Jones, Ice Cube, Mario Van Peebles, Jamie Foxx, the entire Wayans family and the cast of "Living Single."

Chow and Pastimes: There was palpable fire marshal paranoia as guests elbowed their way into the Colonnade where they had the choice of the Daily Grill's buffet (done up like a bank teller counter) of turkey, mashed potatoes, meatloaf and salad or the more soulful Dulan's buffet of fried catfish, fried chicken, corn bread and yams. There were also dessert tables and a cigar bar. Each of the Colonnade's rooms had some kind of entertainment going on from poetry reading to torch singing. The evening's hot ticket, however, was the performance of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony in the main hall.

Accessories: Despite the on-premises availability of hand-rolled cigars, more guests seemed to have their mouths pressed against cell phones (the deafening din notwithstanding) than flaming stogies. Person-to-person schmoozing was also rampant, and the flutter of note paper was everywhere as phone numbers were exchanged along with promises to get in touch.

Entre Nous: "This one here," said Jada Pinkett, wrapping her fingers around the arm of co-star Queen Latifah, "she really ripped. And the sad part is, I didn't think Latifah could do it. I didn't want her for the role. And she proved me so wrong. It's always nice to be proven wrong because then it reminds you that you don't know anything."

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