A Thriller Evening at Neverland We Hate to Miss

Sep 1, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Our invitation to Michael Jackson’s Sept. 13 gala at his Neverland Ranch near Santa Barbara, Calif., in honor of Brazilian painter Romero Britto, coinciding with his 45th birthday, must have gotten lost in the mail. But then, we probably couldn’t scrape up $5,000 for a pair of tickets, even if it does include dinner, carnival rides, visits to the petting zoo, games, magic acts, a tractor-trailer full of stuffed animals, a painting by the artist and a “goodie bag” valued at $1,000. The organizers emphasize that it is a charity fund-raiser. Sort of. If tickets sell out, it will bring in $1.25 million, of which $250,000 will be split among several children’s charities. The other $1 mil, according to spokesman Stuart Backerman, will cover expenses. Of course we believe them when they say none of that is for Mr. Jackson, despite his widely reported financial problems. We’re guessing that extra mil must go for some very expensive steaks, and an extra helping of whatever kind of chow keeps those zoo giraffes happy.