May '08: The Manolo riots

The "Sex and the City" premiere in New York goes sour when thousands of angry fans are turned away.

By Judy Berman
May 29, 2008 12:15AM (UTC)
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Since this month marks the 40th anniversary of the riots of May '68, it seems fitting there should once again be an uprising in the streets. But what went down in midtown Manhattan Tuesday night didn't have anything to do with students or workers -- or anyone who objects to commodity fetishism. Like almost every other major event in New York in the past few weeks, the hullabaloo was all about "Sex and the City." New Line Cinema staged a glitzy premiere for the film at Radio City Music Hall but made one tiny mistake: It distributed about 8,000 tickets for a venue whose capacity is 6,000.

"I've spent five months looking forward to this. I'm angry and frustrated," Jen Ferguson, who flew in from British Columbia, complained to the New York Daily News. Her parents shelled out more than $4,000 in airfare and reserved rooms at the Plaza in anticipation of the event ($4,000! That's practically the cost of a designer handbag!). But the seats were first-come, first-served, so Ferguson will be stuck crying into her hot towel and drowning her sorrows in a complimentary Flirtini as she flies, first-class, all the way back to western Canada.


Seeing as "Sex and the City" has the power to incite a riot only four years after the TV series' demise, I have to wonder what kind of havoc "90210" fans will wreak when that show gets the spinoff treatment this fall. I will be watching for one reason and one reason only: the fabulous Tori Spelling, who has spent the past eight years poking fun at her famous family and running a bed-and-breakfast that doubles as a reality show. Go ahead, scoff, but I loved her even before "90210," in the role of a lifetime as Screech's geeky girlfriend, Violet Bickerstaff, on "Saved by the Bell."

Judy Berman

Judy Berman is a writer and editor in Brooklyn. She is a regular contributor to Salon's Broadsheet.

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