"SISTERS, SISTERS/There were never such devoted sisters, " So went the Irving Berlin song, delivered in the movie "White Christmas" by Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen (And later reprised in the same film -- by Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby!)
SPEAKING of sisters, on Oct. 14 and 21 at Birdland, the Actor's Fund presents the annual "Nothing Like A Dame" event. This benefits The Actors Fund's Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative. It is always one of New York's most fun happenings. This year, it's gonna be even more so!
The event is called "Lorna's Pink Party." That's Lorna as in Lorna Luft, daughter of Judy Garland. Miss Luft's "special guest" on these two nights will be her sister, Liza Minnelli. This is the first time in 20 years the siblings perform together. I know. I know. I'm a little breathless myself. (Lorna has a great big trumpet of a voice, made for Broadway musicals. She doesn't sound much like Liza, or their mom, but Lorna's is an impressive instrument.)
Others on board are Ann Hampton Callaway, Jim Caruso, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Marcia Strassman, Liz Callaway, Kelly King, and but of course, Miss Phyllis Newman herself, the driving force behind this terrific night.
Call 212-221-7300 ext. 133 for tickets. Hurry! This is one for the ages.
WELL, I can't really quibble with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences giving honorary Oscars to Angela Lansbury, Steve Martin and costume designer Piero Tosi and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Angelina Jolie.
But, and you know where I'm going: Doris Day, Doris Day, Doris Day!!!! What on earth can be keeping the Academy from honoring this iconic movie actress and singer -- the top female star, in terms of her tenure at the box office, for a decade. (Betty Grable is a close tie.)
For shame. Long ago I figured they wouldn't because Day refuses to appear in public. At least nothing that public. But Oscar went to Mary Pickford at home. They could go to Doris.
But perhaps -- in fact it's more than likely -- Miss Day herself is unconcerned. She fills her life with work for her Doris Day Animal Foundation. Doris has put a few items up on eBay, to raise money for her cause. There are two signed copies of Universal Studios' 100th Anniversary book (with Day and Rock Hudson on the cover). She's signed four copies of her "Doris Day Songbook CD" and also put her signature on two sets of Doris and Rock Barbie dolls, in their original boxes, in pristine condition. So go to eBay and do something nice for Miss Day and her animals.
As for Oscar. Well, I suppose it's nice to have a little golden guy around the house. But a golden retriever cuddling on the sofa is much more satisfying.
The Good Daddy!: Who is evidently the all-around high testosterone superman of our vitiated masculine times?
I'd say, observing his many jocular ever-present commercials and ads that he's Alec Baldwin. He is soon to be seen with his own show on MSNBC Friday nights at 10 p.m. And this is a good actor, a real star and he deserves the big success that has finally come to him.
Although he lets himself in for more than his share of celebrity punishment, I don't really think there is a kinder, nicer gent around. I've known Alec through his rises, his falls, his understandable temper, his heartbreak and his tenacity.
Now he looks positively beatific in a photograph with his love, Hilaria, and their new baby girl, Carmen, in her arms.
Alec, I have always admired and (think) I understand you. Much happiness, my longtime friend, in your new life and success.
You don't have to worry about being a good father. You just need to be allowed to function as one, warts and all. You'll be great!
I am totally in your corner.
One can't cope with all the 100-year history of Vanity Fair this month, but there is one little "interview" about someone more timely (that is, of the present) that should not be overlooked. It is titled "In the Details" by David Kamp and he tells lots I didn't know about this multi-talented guy Neil Patrick Harris.
Yes, he's the one who plays the cad on "How I Met Your Mother" and he also is television and Broadway's go-to guy when they don't get Hugh Jackman. Harris will emcee the Sept. 22 Emmy Awards show and has already helmed another one, which was great. He has overseen the Tony Awards four times, jumping through a hoop and being more talented than those receiving awards. Young Harris is married to famous chef David Burtka and they have twins -- a boy and a girl. He has the legit "Rent," "Cabaret" and "Assassins" to his credit and he'll be seen next spring in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." (This was an off-Broadway outing that has found the respectable nod from big biz Broadway.)
My personal NPH anecdote was his nod to "The Muppets." He notes that Crazy Harry, his favorite, has disappeared. "I think they've put him in the back, now that the world has changed. Probably realized that the 'Let's set off bombs' Muppet was possibly not good for children."
Patrick says if he had made a sham marriage back in the '50s in order to fit in, he'd have picked either Doris Day or Cyd Charisse.
NOW, LISTEN, do I steer you wrong very often? If you have never seen the award-winning musical "Kinky Boots," here's how to see it in person with a big VIP celebrity audience on Sunday, Nov. 3. You will be having a ball and also doing a good deed in a naughty world. This performance will benefit the Actors Fund.
Just call 212-221-7300 ext. 133. Or email: tickets(at)actorsfund.org. Or visit http://www.actorsfund.com. I guarantee if you go to the Hirschfeld Theater, 302 West 45th Street, off Times Square, you will have a great good time!
(E-mail Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com.)