Elton John is planning a return to Broadway as a composer with Bernie Taupin, and partner/husband David Furnish as producer. Furnish confirmed this last night at a glittery black tie fundraiser for the Elton John AIDS Foundation here in New York at Cipriani downtown. The only thing I know is that the musical will be an original book, with new and old songs by Elton and Bernie. Of course, this team has had mega success with “Billy Elliott,” and Elton had a hit years ago with “Aida.” No word yet on who will direct, but Stephen Daldry can’t be so far away.
Meantime, the EJAF– one of the very best foundations– was celebrating several things including a major donation from Lady Gaga via Yoko Ono. Gaga won of Yoko’s LennonOno Peace Prizes that came with a cash award. Gaga immediately donated the money to EJAF. Furnish told me how pleased and grateful he was. “We have a wonderful relationship with Lady Gaga,” he said.
Anderson Cooper emceed the event last night (for the sixth straight year) which later was set to feature a performance by Stevie Nicks. But in the crowd were New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who was an honoree; Matt Lauer, Brooke Shields, Tony winner Judith Light, Lance Bass, Courtney Love, Julian Schnabel, Alan Cumming, Cheyenne Jackson, Ingrid Sischy and Sandy Brandt of Vanity Fair, and Viacom chief Phillippe Daumann.
And who stopped by? Madonna’s legendary publicist, Liz Rosenberg. Elton and Madonna have buried the hatchet. Anyway, Sir Elton and Liz are friends from waaay back. “I love Elton, I’m not fighting with him!” exclaimed a widely smiling Liz.
Everyone loves Elton John, kids. The people came in tuxes and gowns through a monsoon rain storm that would not let up. I was very happy to see old pals Bill and Tani Austin of the Starkey Hearing Foundation, which does reciprocal work with EJAF. You can read all about the foundation and see why it’s so effective at www.ejaf.com. They issue regular reports about their many grants and proved to be incredibly effective. Elton and David, and foundation director Scott Campbell have done a great job with lots of transparency (unlike some other groups): http://ejaf.org/2012-grants/
PS I don’t know why, but for weeks the same Elton John song has been in my head. I think it’s because it was on the Pnau remix album. Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyBJoj1zK_4