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RSVP / INTO THE NIGHT

Party Mood Turns to Chaos in Las Vegas

June 30, 1997|BILL HIGGINS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Scene: The party hosted by Showtime's Matt Blank at the MGM Grand before the Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield ear-bite debacle. There was a tremendous Hollywood turnout for the much-anticipated rematch (and an equal amount of disappointment over the result). The night was, said director John Singleton, "the Oscars with blood."

Who Was There: Such a crush of stars that Paul Reiser said "it would be strange to be here and not be famous." Among the guests: Madonna, Michael Keaton, Sylvester Stallone, Roseanne (who sat ringside beside John Kennedy Jr.), Michael Douglas, Val Kilmer, Ed Norton, Shaquille O'Neal, Donald Trump, Dennis Miller, Jesse Jackson, Matthew Broderick, Laurence Fishburne, Sherry Lansing, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen.

Why They Came: Screenwriter Martin Bergman called the whole excursion, "the naughty boy weekend--real punches, real drinks and fake breasts."

Quoted: Roseanne, on her fascination with the sport: "In a weird political bent, boxing is like chess. It's physical chess, working-class chess. It's all about strategy, but it's physical. So it's less refined, but I think it takes as much intelligence."

Dress Mode: Vegas is a separate fashion universe where Divine Brown is clothing coordinator. Women who wear Donna Karan at home suddenly feel the urge for lime green hot pants. Westside dentists start wearing baby-blue silk pajamas with lizard skin cowboy boots. "It's like when you go to Hawaii and you wear a Hawaiian shirt," said Jennifer Tilly. "You want to blend in."

Best One-Word Description: Courtney Love came into the party after watching the female undercard fight between Christy Martin and Andrea DeShong. Her comment was, "Ovarian."

The After Affair: Guests who wandered into the MGM's casino after the fight met with a chaotic scene. At reports of shots being fired (later explained by hotel executives as a shattering champagne bottle) and guns being drawn (police officers wrestled a man carrying a revolver but later released him), hundreds of panicked guests ran through the casino, knocking over blackjack tables and diving behind slot machines. This happened repeatedly. Finally the casino was closed, the room cleared and reopened hours later. One studio exec, trying to describe the fight weekend ambience, summed it up by saying, "the basic motif is 'Day of the Locusts.' "

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