there's something special about this woman's fine frenzy
We were sitting at a hockey game in the L.A. Forum with our April Playmate. We were watching the scoreboard. It looked like the mother ship in Close Encounters, a four-sided array of lights that flashed out scores, shots on goal and occasional greetings. The beast had just spelled out a Kings Forum welcome to Insane Lorraine. Insane is Lorraine Michaels, alias Miss April. Outrageous. Lorraine is a loyal fan of the L.A. Kings, and for a good reason. She plays a real-life version of the Jill Clayburgh role in Semi-Tough, sharing an apartment with her boyfriend, Glenn Goldup, and Charlie Simmer, two members of the Kings. "Their idea of shopping is to come back with necessities -- beer and toilet paper. If I weren't there, they'd starve." At every home game, you'll find Lorraine in the "rude" seats, a section occupied by season-ticket holders who like to provide an impassioned, sometimes profane commentary to the action on the ice. The night we met Lorraine, she was sitting with Goldup's six-year-old daughter. When a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins tried to graft his forearm to Simmer's throat, Lorraine began to get angry. As the referee ignored the foul, her Irish temper began to flare. When Simmer tried to correct the situation with a swift uppercut, the referee woke up -- to give Lorraine's roommate a penalty. Too much. Lorraine covered her young companion's ears and joined the crowd in a chant: "Bullshit! Bullshit!" Outrageous. We could see how she got her nickname. "I've had it for years. I'm a scrapper. I'll do just about anything to boost someone's spirits. When someone is depressed, I go bananas. I was an Air Force brat. I lived in 22 states. I've been the girl next door to more people than I can count. When you move that much, you learn to go full tilt with people. You may not see them tomorrow." That attitude is expressed in a variety of tiny gestures. To get her guests in the spirit, she will buy them Kings T-shirts or pennants. In the bar after the game, she makes sure that everyone sitting at her table has been introduced. Complete strangers get a touch of Lorraine's spirit. The license-plate frame on her car proclaims: "Sit on a happy face." It's all part of the campaign to establish her own character. For all her energy and eccentricity, Lorraine is a serious, competent woman. She worked her way through three and a half years of college in New Mexico before moving to Los Angeles. She landed a job with an insurance office in Westwood, earned her casualty and fire license and, within a year, was running the office. She subsequently changed jobs and started working as a teller at a savings and loan, where Daina House (Miss January 1976) saw her and suggested that she try out for Playmate. A year later, Lorraine showed up at Playboy Studio West. The results are in front of your eyes. She also took a part-time job with West Coast Photography Editor Marilyn Grabowski, checked out the world of Playboy and made her move. In November, she became the newest member of The Singing Playmates. Onstage she is animated and sexy, with moves that would knock your socks off. It is immediately obvious that she is having fun. "There's only one problem with my life right now. Hockey and music don't mix. The day after a home game, my throat is so hoarse from screaming that I sound like Darth Vader. If the season doesn't end soon, I could be in real trouble." We are sure she can work it out. As she drives us back to the city, Lorraine punches the buttons on the car radio, finally settling on a country station. The sound of Eddie Rabbitt's I Love a Rainy Night fills the car and Lorraine begins to sing along. "I love this tune. Listen to the lyrics. 'I love a rainy night/ it's such a beautiful sight/ I love the feel of Lorraine on my face/ I love the feel of Lorraine on my lips.'" Right. Insane Lorraine strikes again.
Photography by Arny Freytag