Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My Evening With the Purple One

Prince has somehow remained the same age for 15 years

As Emmy parties go, in my 11 years (!) covering the annual event, I'd have to say it was one of the best (if not the best) I've ever attended. This year's Entertainment Tonight Emmy party (co-sponsored by People) boasted a musical performance by Prince -- who played for a full 90 minutes.

What's more, the overly cautious fire marshal closed the party's doors (at the Mondrian Hotel's Skybar) way too soon, as Variety's party wrap up notes. That meant for a much less crowded audience than you'd expect (there was easily room for another 100, maybe 200, people, and the place still wouldn't have felt packed). For those of us who managed to make it in, it meant getting up close and personal with his Purple Badness. Joe and I managed to work our way up toward the front by the end of the show.

Of course, being so close to Prince on stage upped the wow factor -- but the performer still puts on a great show, even if you're not within spitting distance. Most of the songs were unfamiliar, but still funky enough that you didn't care. And every once in a while he'd throw in a familiar crowd pleaser to keep the crowd pumped -- "Kiss" (changing the lyrics from "You don't have to watch Dynasty to have an attitude" to "Desperate Housewives"); "If I Was Your Girlfriend"; "Seven"; "Cream"; "Purple Rain"; and others, ending the show with a truncated version of "Let's Go Crazy."

On stage, Prince's backup singer/dancers (who were either twins, or dressed to look like twins) made enough of an impression that I began to mentally pitch the reality show "Who Wants to Be a Prince Back-up Singer?" (I mean, you gotta admit, he always seems to find hotties who can dance and carry a tune quite well). Meanwhile, a few feet away from me in the crowd were Seal and Heidi Klum.

Because we caught the full 90 minutes of Prince, we never made it to any other of the Emmy events. But it was worth it -- I'd never seen Prince live, and had always wanted to. Not a bad way to finally check that off my "to-do" list.

(Prince photo: People mag. Not from the Sunday night ET/People party, however.)

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