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PASSING THROUGH

A Rock Star-Studded Cast

When the gig is a Film Premiere, You Rush the Stage at the After-Party

April 01, 2001|MARK EHRMAN and movies and parties and scelebrities

OCCASION: The premiere of "All Access," an IMAX concert film, at Universal CityWalk, with after-party at the nearby Rhumba Room.

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BRINGIN' IT ALL BACK HOME: Louder than the Jurassic Park ride is the horde of shrieking teeny-boppers--especially the Beatle-ific hysteria that greets the arrival of Matchbox 20's Rob Thomas--outside CityWalk's IMAX Theater. This proves part of the premise behind this film, that nothing excites fans more than getting up close to their favorite pop stars. It's a "simple idea. Take the best film format in the world, combine it with the best live music and we would create magic," explains co-producer Peter Shapiro during a round of speeches that extends the screening time of the 64-minute film to full feature length. Apparently, the experience about to be unleashed on audiences is more than simply business as usual; brother and co-producer Jon describes the impulse to transfer live rock performances, interviews and bits of backstage banter to larger-than-life IMAX format as "humanitarian." While B.B. King, the Roots, George Clinton, Macy Gray, Mary J. Blige and Thomas plus Matchbox 20 drummer Paul Doucette--half of the film's acts--do show up, aside from Moon Unit Zappa (published author and fiancee of Doucette), no other recognizable names turn out for, you know, the cause.

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WE'RE WITH THE BAND: "Dope," pronounces Gray after the credits roll. "I got a big old head, and it looks really big in the movie!" Low post-screening attrition makes for a convivial after-party with some Grammy-caliber guests. At first, there's only the Matchbox 20 posse on the dance floor. "We're working on a boy-band/girl-band kind of thing," says Thomas. The Roots take the stage. Clinton joins them, shaking his Trix-colored dreads, rapping with the band. King plays some hoochie-coochie blues on his guitar, Lucille. Gray sits on the stage looking as if her own performance is imminent, but it never materializes. Blige doesn't even telegraph that hope. The soul diva stands on a bench in the corner booth, hidden behind sunglasses, a hanging TV monitor and a burly companion--literally above it all.

CELEB QUOTIENT:

About half the film's "cast," and that's it.

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WOW FACTOR:

Never mind the movie--George Clinton and B.B. King jammin' in a small nightclub? Hey, down in front!

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GRAZING LEVEL:

Drinks, oily finger food and no M&Ms. Van Halen would have trashed the joint.

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