Taking Page from ‘Paradise’
We loved “Bridgerton” with English actor, age 34, Regé-Jean Page. We may love more of “Bridgerton” but it’s without English actor, age 34, Regé-Jean Page.
Too gorgeous to be upstaged by bare bosoms and long drawers, he’ll now flash his handsome bones and voice on a TV documentary.
“Surviving Paradise: A Family Tale” explores — ready? — Okavango Delta, which even travel agents don’t book much. It’s a real place. Give or take a bush it’s 2,000 square miles, which is in the Kalahari Desert, which is flat, which is in Botswana, which is in southern Africa, which is known to Regé, who lived in the nearby neighborhood of Zimbabwe. It’s lush. Even I explored its Victoria Falls and Zambezi River.
Isolated by a desert, Netflix pictures this refuge patch of oasis tended by inhabitants and filling their every need. Perfect world. Great and small animals live intertwined. The film explores blueprints for maintaining perfection despite fearsome extremes of drought, famine, flood, maybe even socialists. Although inhabitants hand their secret formula for survival onto descendents, they then find it hard to keep their Eden intact.
The March 3 doc runs 78 minutes. He narrates.
Law & disorder
1996. Angel Diaz shot and killed a cop. Gov. Pataki pursued the death penalty. Bronx DA Robert Johnson, anti-death penalty, sued saying the Gov lacked that authority. The NY Court of Appeals ruled the governor’s authority supersedes any other. Diaz eventually committed suicide.
Came Manhattan DA Robert M. Morgenthau who preferred life without parole. When Scott Schneiderman killed another police officer Pataki, Mayor Giuliani and the police union all urged him to seek execution. The Court of Appeals eventually ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in New York.
Lange’s long road
ARTIE Lange. Comedian. The name’s not mumbled in Bergdorf’s — but it’s known to Howard Stern, Mad TV and halfway houses. He’s battled heroin, cocaine, his weight’s doubled and he just announced he’s taking a break. I never met him. I mention this in case someone might want to know.
Copacabana club dances once more
The Copacabana nightclub which opened 1940 had several incarnations — East 60th, West 57th, West 47th, near the Javits Center — closed in 2020, victim of the pandemic. Immortalized in songs, movies, books and those who sometimes stashed their guns with the hat check chick, it had more lives than the Bidens.
In olden days when guys wore fedoras and the chicks wore out the guys, a big deal was the late midnight show. Types in large jewels, big pockets, long furs and short tempers would roll out of there 2 a.m. after applauding chorines and stars like Martin and Lewis, Barry Manilow, Frank Sinatra, Carmen Miranda, Joey Adams, Danny Thomas, Harry Belafonte, Tony Bennett, the Supremes.
That was then. Now is not. A version reopens this Saturday. Different clientele. Then Champagne buckets. Now beer bottles. Owner John Juliano, 91, found a space called Casa Events at 625 W. 51st St. Its boss nightlifer Ruben Rubin Cabrera says their Copa will offer complimentary salsa before the joint opens each night. Wow!
And where is it? Right off the West Side Highway where the Copa’s previous owners might’ve tossed stiffs who were slow springing for the tab.
Only in New York, kids, only in New York.