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Bingo's Back, and It Even Has a Cause

August 03, 2000|BOOTH MOORE

Bingo is back in a big way. Stonewall Gourmet Coffee Co. in West Hollywood brought the game into vogue for the hip set two years ago when it began hosting Bingo Thursdays, complete with a drag queen caller. Well, the coffee shop folded last month (thanks, the owners say, to construction on Santa Monica Boulevard). But the game goes on a few doors down at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, raising money for charity.

Bingo has also begun to attract a devoted following Monday nights at the Tempest Supper Club in West Hollywood. Sarah Johnson, 27, started her weekly party to raise money for the Lost Studio in Hollywood, where she studied acting.

Her bingo bashes attract 50 to 70 people weekly who pay $1 a card to play. And for $20, guests can buy glittery T-shirts designed by Johnson's friend, Beth Wilkas, 27, that read: "Bingo Rocks."

Typically, Johnson plays rock 'n' roll tunes from the 1970s and 1980s, but last Monday, actors Jeff Goldblum and Peter Weller dropped in to play a few sets with their jazz combo, the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Friday August 4, 2000 Home Edition Southern California Living Part E Page 3 View Desk 1 inches; 23 words Type of Material: Correction
So Cal Confidential--An item in Thursday's column misstated Michael Ovitz's association with the Hamasaku restaurant. He is an investor. Toshi Kihara is the owner.

Johnson said she learned to love the game from her grandmother, Helen Knight, 70, who lives in Tacoma, Wash. "There are so many clubs out there that offer the same thing," Johnson said. "It's fun to play games and be a kid again."

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Former super-agent Michael Ovitz has a new project on his plate: a sushi restaurant called Hamasaku in West L.A. Hollywood heavyweights (or should we say lightweights?) Calista Flockhart, Oliver Stone, Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber, and Annette Bening and Warren Beatty have dropped into Ovitz's joint, the restaurant's publicist says, adding that the ambience is "nonsceney." Right.

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As if the kitchen diva isn't already scary enough, Wireless Flash reports Martha Stewart will be releasing a CD called "Martha Stewart Living's Spooky, Scary Sounds for Halloween."

Is that the sound of Stewart shrieking about mismatched napkin rings?

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Five college-age smokers have holed themselves up for a week in a Jackson, Miss., apartment for a twist on the reality program craze: They're all trying to kick the habit. The pack-a-day strangers' daily battle of the butts is being Web-cast live at http://questionit.com/coldturkey through Saturday.

Visitors to the site can vote daily on ways to tempt characters to light up or ways to help subdue their cravings (such as massages).

The promotion was organized by Question It, a teen anti-tobacco campaign in Mississippi. Survivors will walk away with $625 in prize money each. Oh yeah . . . and cleaner lungs, too.

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