When I first interviewed and met this month’s cover star, Anna Paquin, in 2009, I was drawn to her character Sookie Stackhouse on HBO’s True Blood.
On the show, Paquin plays a self-sufficient, Southern belle soothsayer by day, and the sultry love interest of every can’t-take-my-eyes-off-him male lead by night—the stuff sexy soap operas that require a total suspension of reality are made of. And who better to bring on the night for this, our Nightlife Issue, than her?
Soon after our interview, she flew to the Hamptons from L.A. to host an event with me. She was no wild-eyed Sookie with a Southern drawl, but instead the Oscar-winning star with a slight New Zealand accent, an elegant daytime incarnation of the character she created. Good-natured and good-humored, she opened up about her favorite pastime—biking along Venice Beach with her now-husband and True Blood co-star, Stephen Moyer, and how the sensual scenes of the show brought them together. We were asked to wear nametags at the event, and Paquin promptly wore my sister Andrea’s all night, and we giggled at the confusion of her fans who approached and then withdrew once they realized the name did not match the face with which they were familiar. Paquin reveals more of the woman, wife and mother-of-twins she has become since then, as well as her post-natal svelte figure, in our cover story “True Star.” But she’s still as playful as ever.
Another feature feat in this issue—Sandi Goff Farkas and her PoNY foundation that helps give life to original playwriting, a dying art in the city. One of her playwright discoveries is Tommy Smith, whose one-act play, Zero, reveals an only-in-New York relationship between a doorman and a tenant in this month’s Fictionist section. Even
more exciting, Smith’s play will be in production June 8-29 at the Ensemble Studio Theatre.
Another event I’m particularly looking forward to is Kate’s Kids, a benefit concert presented by my friend, the incomparable Rufus Wainwright, along with his sister Martha, on June 26 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The concert is in honor of their mother, Kate McGarrigle, featuring special guests Norah Jones, Emmylou Harris and Mark Ronson, among others. It will be preceeded by a screening of the documentary Sing Me the Songs That Say I Love You: A Concert for Kate McGarrigle on June 25, and both events are to raise money for the Kate McGarrigle Foundation, which benefits sarcoma research. When I asked Wainwright about the events, he seemed ecstatic to be honoring his mother along with family and friends. “[Sing Me The Songs] is a fantastic film featuring the whole family, and a bunch of others,” he says. “For the concert, we’re going to perform some of my mother’s material, but we’re also going to try to demonstrate her legacy with songs that she taught us, and songs that we think she would like.”
I expect these heartfelt tributes will go down as two of summer’s most unforgettable events.
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