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Gentlemen Prefer Their Twinkies Well Packaged

April 21, 2002|MARK EHRMAN

Invited to: Party to celebrate GQ magazine's Movie Issue and kick off the monthlong "GQ Lounge" at the Sunset Room.

Ladies first: "I thought there wouldn't be a single woman here," says a pleasantly surprised Martin Landau, though few among the bevy of babes would have predicted he'd show up. Indeed, while Selma Blair believes "the magazine has a lot of dignity and doesn't have all the glossy, waxy girls in it, you know," the publication's bash is another story. "I'm single and there's some cute boys here," says Tara Reid, flirting with running back Eddie George of the Tennessee Titans. "Not Another Teen Movie" star Jaime Pressly (nice pinstripes, btw) says she's a huge fan of highlight act Angie Stone, and Garcelle Beauvais shows herself in support of the silent auction to benefit the Fulfillment Fund for economically disadvantaged students, though the table is hard to find in the crush of beautiful people. For "Talk Soup's" Aisha Tyler, well, "I've been in Esquire and I've been in Maxim, the father of all men's magazines," she explains. But how does that account for her presence here? "Well, you know what?" she answers, "I think they want me."

A man's business: "I was in town doing some stuff for "The Scorpion King" video game. And I got a call. You know that thing, the my-people-call-your-people," says pugilist thespian the Rock, who represents one bookend on the continuum of Hollywood dudeness in evidence tonight. Sensitive actor types a la Gary Sinise and the Brothers Wilson also represent, as does I-vant-to-be-left-alone celebrity phenom Tobey Maguire. "I've been reading GQ since I was 16. Can't you tell?" says a wool-and-cashmere-garbed Chi McBride, who's taking a break from "Boston Public" by reclining with stogie and highball in the Calvin Klein booth. The much-hyped "GQ Lounge" turns out to be cross-promotional hoo-ha--parties and clubs held in an environment of cool-retro Altoids dispensers, movie trailers and what-have-you--in short, a live magazine in the round, complete with ads. P. Diddy (trailing the party's biggest posse) drops a little promo of his own vis-a-vis those ultra-fly pink-on-gray pinstripe threads he's busting. "Yeah, you never heard that combination," goes the word from the guy everyone still calls Puffy. "It's special for Sean John, exclusive Diddy style."

Celeb Quotient:***

Big stars flutter everywhere like loose subscription cards.

Wow Factor:***

R&B princess Angie Stone's power set kicks off rager with long shelf life; the "GQ Lounge" concept, however, only looks good on paper.

Grazing Level:***

Tasty mini crab cakes and wild mushroom in filo dough teasers followed by a main spread of lamb chops, salmon medallions and lobster wontons make the ambient advertising easier to swallow.

*Rating Scale: 1=ho-hum 4=yowza

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