The combined ages of all those at the party approached a half millenia. It could have been Hugh Heffner’s wine cellar, there was that much vintage in the room. Last Saturday a select few were invited to celebrate the birthday of DIVA legend Monique Kelly. Turning the big 60, Monique transformed a small private room into a secluded piece of magic. Knowing her audience she even had pink gels on all the light to add that soft and alluring touch.

The room was full of history, DIVA legends side by side once again, recounting their “Good ole Days”. From the first time Capriccio’s burnt down to the forth or fifth time it strangely caught on fire.

I sat next to Honey West and Maxine Du Barry, who had us “Young Girls” all in stitches as they told us stories of when Shirley Bassey came into Les Girls and stopped the show because she didn’t want one of the girls to mime to her voice, or pulling Carlotta aside because she loved the way she moved her hands and eyes during her performance. Carlotta gave Shirley a lesson and you can still see it in the way Bassey performs today.

The girls recounted how many ostrich feathers would go into just one headdress and backpack and how much it would cost today. The best milliners, dress makers, producers and choreographers produced these shows that were equal to anything you would have seen in the theatres around town.

One time Honey descended from the roof with a rope ladder, dressed as Carmen Miranda with the biggest head dress you have ever seen, swishing around the tables – all in 6 inch heels.

At some point in the night everyone tried to get the inside goss on what was happening with Carlotta’s movie. We still don’t know who is going to play her and when it is all happening. But talk has it that the fabulous Courtney Act is in line to play Carlotta – though Vanity’s name has been thrown around – and word on the street says they may even go “TransAmerica” style and get a girl to play the part.
Carlotta was not giving anything away.

But as much as the Carlotta movie will be fabulous, I would love to see a Monique Kelly movie, and dish all the real dirt on what actually did happen with the girls and the gangsters of the Cross.

I left the lunch with a happy glow – it was refreshing to be around people from different generations but who really are the same.

Happy Birthday Monique, you are a true legend, a true lady, and I look forward to working will you each week.


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