GOOD MORNING: Mia Farrow readies to face the cameras, movie that is, as she departs Friday for Ireland (she has an Irish passport!) to start “Widows Peak.” Farrow’s anxious to return to acting. And Joan Plowright, who stars with her and Natasha Richardson, tells me she’s anxious to work with Mia — they’d discussed teaming in the pre-Woody Allen days. Farrow, who was to have co-starred in Mike Nichols’ “Wolf” with Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer until the Woody court case KO’d her, admitted part of the appeal of “Widows Peak” for her was Plowright’s appearance. Farrow is expected to take three (maybe five) of the younger children with her, others joining later … Plowright, who was Oscar-nominated for “Enchanted April,” has, since Oscar time, completed a cameo in “Last Action Hero,” the role of Mrs. Wilson in “Dennis the Menace” and a starring role in “A Pin for the Butterfly,” filmed in Prague. Plowright said she’d be happy to return for a sequel of “Dennis.” I asked her what (late) husband Laurence Olivier would have thought of his “Hamlet” film clip in “Last Action Hero” and her role in it as well? “Larry would have loved it,” she laughed. In the Schwarzenegger movie, Plowright tells her young class: “You might call ‘Hamlet’ one of the first action heroes. And he (Olivier) was the greatest actor of the century. Some of you might remember him from the Polaroid commercials, or as Zeus in ‘Clash of the Titans’ “… In “Widows Peak” Plowright’s the “outrageous lady of a manor house which dominates a community of young widows — including Mia Farrow and Natasha Richardson — who get involved with my son (Adrian Dunbar).” The finale between Farrow and Richardson is a big surprise. Stay tuned for more on Mia and company … Just back from Romania locations on “Nostradamus,” producer Edward Simons says his Allied Entertainment pic cost $ 7 million-$ 8 million to make over there — and looks like $ 20 million. He claims the movie “has an ‘Amadeus’ look — (which is) why I did it. ‘Amadeus’ is the one film I would have liked to produce.” Well, at least he’s got F. Murray Abraham as one of his stars. The country (Romania) is “depressing,” he observes, but everyone cooperated to the fullest with artisans creating beautiful costumes, sets — in natural, medieval settings. Simons next starts the sequel to “The Lawnmower Man” with Piece Brosnan again starring.
IT’S “REGIS AND CRISTINA,” Ferrare, that is, for a week starting July 19 as Kathie Lee Gifford begins her maternity leave. Then, Joy (Mrs. Philbin) sits in on the morning ABC’er. Cristina and Regis got along great when they co-starred in the recent Perry Mason “Talk Show Murders.” Ferrare also got word from CBS that they’ve picked up the option for a second of her “Shame on You” specials. And ABC is discussing Ferrare’s own talkshow … She laughingly told me she’d been on the “Back to the Future” ride at Universal Studios Hollywood. “It’s great,” she reported, “but the last thing I needed was to get in a DeLorean again!” (The cars on the ride are — DeLoreans.) Friday, more than 100 (real) DeLoreans and their owners convening from five states wheel up to the entrance of U’s hilltop … Frank Sinatra was back at Capitol Tuesday, for another recording session, wrapped up seven more tunes, which are heading for the duet route … In advance of its B’way bow next January, “The Life” musical with tunes by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Ira Gasman and book by both, will be album’d by a dozen stars. Each song will be treated like a single on the EMI disc. Among those to warble on the album produced by Mike Berniker: George Burns, Liza Minnelli, Lou Rawls, Jennifer Holiday, Bobby Short, Joe Williams, Dionne Warwick , etc. Cy’s hoping this platter will be as lucky for the show as — the 14 sides that preceded the bow of “Sweet Charity”! Joe Layton will direct “The Life” on B’way. Coleman’s just back from London where he produced the London cast album of “City of Angels” (First Night label), having earlier produced the U.S. (Sony) version with Berniker.
GREAT REMINISCENCES at the bow of the Hollywood Bowl’s season, Tuesday night: As (very dramatic) conductor David Zinman launched the orchestra and brilliant 24-year-old pianist Nelson Goerner in Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Joe Sinay reminded me, “That’s Freddy Martin’s theme.” Many’s the romantic night we heard him start his shows at the Cocoanut Grove with his version … And Irwin Winkler reminded the 1937 “A Star Is Born” with Fredric March and Janet Gaynor opened with a scene in the Hollywood Bowl … Among first-nighters in the full moonlit night were Mona and Karl Malden in the munching and musical crowd at the Bowl — which was not packed as usual for a season opener. Another sign of the times … Hollywood and Beverly Hills are going all out to toast the stand of “The Will Rogers Follies” at the Pantages (bows next Wednesday). Hollywood Boulevard will add to its Sunday Market Fests July 25 with a country-western bash on the boulevard. And in BevHills, activities include the reenactment of Will Rogers’ inauguration as first Mayor of BevHills (Dec. 21, 1926), with Jimmy Rogers and the show’s stars, Keith Carradine and Dee Hoty.