Lypsinka on Love: Make It a Triangle With Moi!

Lypsinka (John Epperson) as the goddess persona of Joan Crawford.
Lypsinka (John Epperson) as the goddess persona of Joan Crawford. (Josef Astor -- Courtesy Studio Theatre)
By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Lypsinka -- embodiment of feminine glamour and power! Who better to give love advice this Valentine's Day? We caught up with the goddess (or rather the man behind the makeup, John Epperson) after Saturday's gala at the Studio Theatre, host to Lypsinka's "The Passion of the Crawford." So please advise: How do we know if a man really likes us?

"People use my show as a litmus test to see if they want a second date," Lypsinka said. "Most straight men are afraid of a man in a dress, though they needn't be. If a guy likes the show and has a sense of humor about it, then he's worthy of a second date."

Hmmm, okay. . . . How can we make him like us?

"Straight men want to have sex, and straight women want to have romance -- flowers, candy, shopping, a restaurant and going to the theater. And you have to give the man what he wants. The great thing about my show is that it's only 70 minutes long and you can do all those things in one night."

Wait: Is this Lypsinka talking or actor Epperson? She sighed. "John Epperson is so cynical -- his attitude is relationships don't work, and go to the theater by yourself."

On a happier note, Epperson told us Christina Crawford -- daughter of Joan and author of the original dysfunctional family memoir "Mommie Dearest" -- was so thrilled by his performance that she gave him . . . a decorated wire hanger. "I guess," he mused, "that would not make a good Valentine's Day gift."

In Defense of Romance

Nothing like Valentine's Day for sharing your love story with the world. Bill and Janet Langhart Cohen (yes, another book from the prolific Cohens) are celebrating their 11th anniversary today with the release of "Love in Black and White: A Memoir of Race, Religion, and Romance." Bill Clinton, who picked Cohen to be his defense secretary, is hosting a book party for the couple tomorrow in New York.

The white politician and the African American broadcaster wanted to track the journey that eventually brought them together. "It's a love story about how America has evolved," he told us yesterday. "Forty years ago, we would not have been able to get married. We would have been arrested."

The two met in 1974 when Langhart hosted a Boston talk show and Cohen was a congressman from Maine. They reconnected in 1990 (he was divorced, she was widowed) and were engaged within a year -- but she refused to tie the knot for fear their interracial romance would cost him votes. "I had proposed several times," he said. "She didn't want to hurt my career. It was not a concern to me."

Like all good love stories, this has a happy ending: marriage, books and a Maltese named Lucy."It's been a great romance and continues to this day," said Cohen.

Oliver North's Museum Peace

That little spat between Oliver North and the Smithsonian? Everyone kissed and made up -- and now North has permission to film in front of the Enola Gay and can talk about nuclear weapons, reports our colleague Jackie Trescott. The Smithsonian originally rejected his request to film in front of the historic bomber for a Fox News docu-series, claiming the production wanted more than "incidental use" of the plane and the site; North countered that the decision was fueled by the Smithsonian's deal with Showtime, which limits access of independent film crews.

But yesterday the two sides sat down and the application was accepted, said Claire Brown, National Air and Space Museum spokeswoman.

"We are respectful of the needs of the institution," said series producer Pamela Browne."And they understand the lighting and equipment we need to do a long-form documentary."

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