'Positivity' Vibe At Hollywood 'Spice World' Premiere

'Baby Spice shook my hand!' squealed a 12-year-old fan.

HOLLYWOOD, CA -- On the red carpet outside Mann's Chinese Theatre last night, Sporty Spice

(a.k.a. Melanie Chrisholm) told Addicted To Noise: "It's all about escapism."

Sporty was talking about the Spice Girls' movie, "Spice World," but she could

have been talking about her surroundings at the flick's world

premiere.

England had arrived in Spice style right in the heart of Hollywood. There

were British Beefeaters and Bobbies, dancing around as they guarded the

walkway. And, of course, there was the double-decker bus moving down Hollywood

Boulevard. But it was no ordinary bus; it was the Spicemobile. And you'll

never guess who were standing on top of it, waving away in pop-star

preeminence.

The female Fab Five of the '90s, the Spice Girls themselves: Sporty

(Chrisholm), Baby (Emma Bunton), Posh (Victoria Adams), Ginger (Geri

Halliwell) and Scary (Melanie Brown).

Dressed alike in white suits, they could have passed at first glance

for some strange mutation of Robert ("Addicted To Love") Palmer's backup band. A closer look showed

that each one had her own thing going on, however, as different undergarments

stuck out beneath their jackets (just how far being determined by cleavage).

But the real persona-differentiating factor was the shoes they wore -- sneakers

for Sporty, platforms for Baby, pumps for Posh, swanky galoshes for Ginger and zebra-striped somethings for Scary.

"They're about being cool girls and expressing your individuality," said an

extremely excited 7-year-old named Lorri Grier, who was one of the many

fans there to catch an in-person glimpse of the Girls. Primal idolatry resonated big

and loud. There were girls, lots of girls, lots of very young girls (and some

boys), wearing out their little larynxes as if there'd never be any need for

them again. They could have been the same girls who were in the audience for "The Ed Sullivan

Show" that time -- if it was 1964 instead of 1998, if the Beatles had worn bras. That's what we're supposed

to think anyway. Considering Columbia's rather blunt attempt to push "Spice

World" as a '90s version of "A Hard Day's Night," the fan fervor was a given

plus.

And the Girls worked it. Once off the Spicemobile, they headed straight for

their fans. "Baby Spice shook my hand!" squealed 12-year-old Chanel George,

whose parents had flown her in from Delaware for the event.

Directed by Bob Spiers, "Spice World" is a self-conscious and effervescent

look at an international phenomenon that just won't quit. Set during the week

before the Girls' first live show in England, the film chronicles the bizarre

adventures innate in a Spice week -- manager demands and tantrums, paparazzi harassment, dance lessons, nightmares, alien encounters and so forth.

Though the press tip sheet listed such big wigs as Steven Spielberg, Gwyneth

Paltrow, Spike Lee and Bruce Willis as expected attendees, very few stars

showed up. However, there were a few pleasant appearances. Mary-Kate and

Ashley Olsen, the twins from "Full House," came holding hands and wearing

matching suits to show their Spice support. Sarah Michelle Gellar (a.k.a. "Buffy

the Vampire Slayer") also made an appearance.

The Spice Girls didn't seem to be too affected by the no-shows. "This turn-out is amazing," Posh Spice told Addicted To Noise, when the Girls

had finally left their fans to do the required premiere press-run. "There's so

much positivity here, and we love positivity." [Fri., Jan. 23, 1998, 9 a.m. PST]