David Geffen, in person, at the Geffen? (Kudos, Annette Bening!)
As a free service of the Ministry, we'd like to read that tea leaf for you: It was a starry, starry night.
At the opening of Joanna Murray-Smith's "The Female of the Species," Annette Bening headed up a cast that also included David Arquette and Julian Sands. And, of course, Hollywood begets more Hollywood: supportive spouses Warren Beatty and Courteney Cox-Arquette came with Arquette's sister, Rosanna. Patricia Arquette was also spotted, as was NBC Universal honcho Ron Meyer.
Kirk Douglas showed, and later got lost in a cloud of autograph hunters waving "Spartacus" soundtrack record covers. So did former Geffen actress Sharon Lawrence, "Let's Make a Deal's" Monty Hall and Peter Jacobson, a.k.a. Dr. Taub from "House M.D." They showed up, that is -- no "Spartacus" for them.
At the after-party at Westwood's Napa Valley Grille, Greg Germann of "Ally McBeal" chowed down on cheese and salads with Dennis Boutsikaris, the Ministry's favorite psychotic TV psychiatrist. Both are Geffen grads.
To be sure, it's high Annette Bening season. The Geffen opening came on the heels of her triumph at Sundance, where audiences reportedly were wowed by her new gay marriage film, "The Kids Are All Right." (Julianne Moore plays her spouse.)
But even sweeter than all that applause? A cake shaped like the set -- the author's study -- complete with sugary books titled "Madame Ovary" and "Foreplay is Forearmed."
-- Irene Lacher
[For the record, 9:20 a.m., Jan 12: A previous version of this post gave Richard Ruskell's last name incorrectly as Ruskin. And while we're fixing that, we've also added a picture of the "fantastic cake."]
Photos: Annette Bening, Courteney Cox-Arquette and David Arquette, top, on opening night of "The Female of the Species" at the Geffen. Left, the cast of the show, including Arquette, left, Julian Sands, Merritt Wever, Bening, Josh Stamberg and Mireille Enos. And right, Bening with chef Richard Ruskell. Yes, that's a cake! Credits: Jordan Strauss