Beyoncé was among the celebrities feting star Yankees infielder Alex Rodriguez at his recent 30th birthday party held at her beau Jay-Z‘s New York City sports lounge, 40/40. The Destiny’s Child singer was one of 300 partygoers to stroll down the white carpet at the event, also attended by Yankees Derek Jeter and Jason Giambi and NBA star Allen Iverson.
She was “looking gorgeous as usual,” a source tells us of the star, who hung out in the custom-made casino room and feasted at a sushi bar where Megu chefs made spicy tuna and salmon avocado rolls. “It was probably the best party we’ve ever thrown at the 40/40 club,” says the source. “It was really classy.” The Cristal and Dom Perignon were flowing and Dominican cigars were hand-rolled by an expert.
Later, a cake shaped in the numbers “3” and “0” was brought out for Rodriguez. And the sports star danced side by side with Jay-Z as “Encore,” the rapper’s duet with rockers Linkin Park, blasted from the speakers. As for Beyoncé, she was “hanging,” says the source. “She’s really good at blending in.” Now that would be a first.
For Benjamin Bratt, who’s starring in the upcoming World War II movie The Great Raid, the hardest part of having to do a stint in boot camp to research his role wasn’t the physical exhaustion from the rigorous training – it was the meager menu. “The food sucked. I just want to be very clear about that,” the actor told us at a WWII memorial event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
To combat their cravings, Bratt’s costars Joseph Fiennes and James Franco “developed a bartering system” during their basic training in the Australian outback. “I would always trade in my canned Vienna sausages for peanut M&M’s.”
And Fiennes probably had the roughest undertaking: For his part as a prisoner of war, he had to lose 15 lbs. At times, “We were given a bowl of rice and a cup of water to survive for 12 hours,” he says. “It was tough, but it brought the group together. Really, we were like family.”
Caught in the Act
• Ashlee Simpson, having lunch with a pal at Chinese restaurant Chin Chin in Studio City, Calif. The singer enjoyed a meal of steamed pot-stickers.
• Dancing with the Stars’s Rachel Hunter, hanging out with a group of female friends at a Starbucks in Santa Monica.
• The O.C. star Eric Balfour, surfing at Nicholas Canyon Beach in Malibu. At one point during his water ride, a female surfer’s board went careening toward him when she fell off it. Luckily, no bones were broken and the two exchanged niceties.
• Charlize Theron and fiancé Stuart Townsend, dining with friends at Japanese hot spot Nobu in Malibu.
• By TIFFANY MCGEE, KRISTEN MASCIA, JESSICA VOELKER and CLARE KLEINEDLER