THE SETTING: It was a
notorious hangout for strippers, a place
members of New York sports teams could
drink (and pick up the scantly
clad). It got a reputation as a rock club
where David Bowie or Iggy Pop
might jam. Parties were rowdy, fights
broke out and neighbors of the
China Club, at Broadway and 75th Street
complained. So Danny Fried, the
owner of the club, moved it downtown to
268 West 47th Street, at Eighth
Avenue, cleaning up the club's act, so to
But for the opening party last Wednesday
night, the old devotees (a
cross between the casts of "Goodfellas"
and "Tommy") seemed to follow,
along with a smattering of the fabulous.
THE BUZZ: No one could figure out how the
guest list was put together.
Upstairs in the disco, guys from Little
Italy reminisced about the old
China Club ("no fish tank" was one
complaint). In a V.I.P. section, Rod
Stewart and Christy Turlington sat with
friends. Downstairs, amid
paparazzi, 20-something Broadway
Jason Raize, 22, who plays the lion in
Disney's "Lion King," sat with
eight friends. "I don't want to say this
too loud, but we're really the
up-and-coming Broadway generation," he
said. "We're really the brat
pack of Broadway."
His friend Felicia Finley, 25, who plays
April, a prostitute, in "The
Life" agreed. "It's like we can't believe
we're on Broadway. We call
each other from our dressing rooms. I
can't believe we even have
Mr. Raize said: "The fame is really coming
at us all at once. And it's
hard to know whom to trust. We can count
on each other."
Dressed as a lion, he waits each night for
Ms. Finley, who is dressed
as a prostitute (with a tattoo on her
rear), to call.
"I call Jason from my dressing room when
he's about to go on, just to
say hi," Ms. Finley said. "I need to say
hi. You know, we're both
basically naked on stage."
"Do we all really need to know that?"
Deedee Lynn Magno of "Miss
"It's like we're family," Mr. Raize said,