NAMES & FACES
Fountains of Wayne
Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, presumably in town to watch his team beat the Washington Capitals yesterday, toasted the New Year at Morton's steakhouse on Connecticut Avenue, the restaurant's publicist Linda Roth tells us.
Gretzky, part owner of the Phoenix Coyotes, arrived at Morton's around 9 p.m. with a party of 18. By the time they left -- before midnight -- he and his group had feasted on a variety of seafood, steak and three $675 bottles of Opus One.
"That's how you knew that were celebrating," Roth said of the group's high-end bottle-popping, which helped contribute to the $4,000 tab and tip of $850.
During the evening, a group of children came over to the Canadian's table for autographs, Roth reports.
Was Morton's management bothered that he used the restaurant's menus to sign his name and "99," his NHL number?
Nope, Roth says.
"It's the Great One. It's Gretzky."
And you thought Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction was bad.
Yesterday, a troupe of dancers in skin-colored bodysuits had Japanese national broadcaster NHK apologizing to viewers of its New Year's Eve music special for what seemed to be a full-scale skin-fest.
The dancers, who appeared to be naked except for skimpy bikini bottoms and feathered headdresses, covered the stage during a performance by singer DJ Ozma, prompting about 250 viewers to phone in and complain.
"The dancers were wearing bodysuits, but we apologize for any misunderstanding," a presenter announced toward the end of the 57th annual "Red and White Song Contest."
"I guess it looked a bit too real," local media quoted the singer as telling reporters after the show, which regularly tops viewer ratings on New Year's Eve in Japan.