GOOD MORNING: Richard Gere comes to bat as a one-time baseball great who supposedly socked in 3,000 base hits — only to be revealed, in his comfortable retirement, as being three hits short. Gere touches base at Touchstone in “3,000 ,” written by first-time, 26-year-old scripters Keith Mitchell and Eric Champnella. Ironically, Gere’s Touchstone hit “Pretty Woman” was originally titled –“3,000″– as in $3,000 for Julia Roberts’ socko services … Jay Leno, back in L.A. after his week in N.Y., says he “learned a lot” from the experience. “Up to this point I felt I was on Johnny’s show (here),” said Jay. He enjoyed the proximity of N.Y.’s audience. “For years I worked in clubs. I liked the idea people were only 3 1/2 feet away from me — I didn’t realize what I was missing — no curtains.” He may alter the local set as a result. And Leno would like to make another stand in N.Y. … A dozen Republic Pictures employees felt the impact of the merger with Spelling — when their offices were shuttered last Friday and locks changed. They were back Monday getting all their (personal) things … Bruce Willis’ producer on “Dollar for the Dead” will be — his brother David W., co-producer on Bruce’s “The Color of Night.” David also worked on other Willis’ pix. Bruce, John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson joined “Pulp Fiction” director Quentin Tarantino on stage at the Palais in Cannes as “Pulp” was awarded the Palme d’Or. Today Bruce is off to a rock concert for troops in Seoul. He’ll be dined at the U.S. Ambassador’s home as a thank-you … Frank Sinatra missed Saturday and Sunday shows at the Foxwoods casino/hotel in Connecticut due to a sore throat. But he expects to be OK for this weekend’s stand at the MGM Grand, a return date after his New Year’s Eve inaugural in the hotel’s main showroom. Proof Sinatra has no intention of slowing down — he’s booked his first date in Manila, June 28-July 1. And he’s completed all his vocals for the “Duets II” album.IT’S THE FIRST TIME IN 30 YEARS I never changed a word in the first draft of a script,” Bob Evans admitted to Joe Eszterhas. “You broke my virginity,” said Evans. Joe retorted, “I’m the only one who could break Bob Evans’ virginity!” This was part of the repartee at the engagement party given by Evans, Melissa (Prophet) and Craig Baumgarten, and Guy McElwaine at the Baumgartens’ for Joe and Naomi Baka, who will wed July 30 in Maui … Evans added, “I’d rather have five contracts with Joe than with any star or director.” And he proceeded to unreel the names of stars who are getting seven-figure salaries — and then listed their box office flops. … Since August, McElwaine noted, his client Eszterhas delivered “Showgirls” for $ 3 million-plus, “Jade,” for $ 2 million-plus, “Foreplay” for $ 3 million-$ 4 million plus gross percentage, “Gotti” for $ 3 million-$ 4 million. On hand were Frank Price and Ben Myron (“Foreplay”), Sherry Lansing and Billy Friedkin (“Jade”), Paul Verhoeven (“Showgirls”), plus Alan Ladd Jr., Philip Noyce, Ted Kotcheff, David Kirkpatrick , Jim Wiatt, John Goldwyn, etc. Also Joe’s attorney Sam Fischer, who asked Joe to write his remarks, but Joe wanted his usual fee. And Naomi’s brother, Jeremy, who sang and played his wedding tune for ‘em, “Two People Together,” plus a satirical song, “Big Bad Joe”… Eszterhas admitted he still writes on his Olivetti — and ordered a dozen of their typewriters and boxes of ribbons — as he fears production on ‘em will cease and he won’t convert to a computer. THE LADIES OF SHARE bared it all (almost) for their 41st Boomtown burlesque-themed show, this time at CBS’ Stage 46, converted to a music hall. The evening raised another million bucks for their many charities, president Abbe Lane (Mrs. Perry) Leff told me. The sensaysh show included strippers, fan dancers, clowns. Comics, you name ‘em, starred alphabetically: Loni Anderson, Nell Carter, Phyllis Diller, Charles Durning, Richard Klein, Denis LaCombe, Shelley Long, Lorna Luft, Tom Poston and Robert Yacko (who subbed at the last minute for Kelsey Grammer, who said he was exhausted from work on “The Innocent” telepic). Also Jonelle Allen, Cyndi Gossett and Marion Ramsey, who were terrif in the “You Gotta Have a Gimmick” striptease number from “Gypsy.” Gary Smith winged back from Tonys rehearsals to exec produce. Shirley Turteltaub was named SHARE member of the year … No need to tell Pia Zadora “break a leg” before she bowed Monday night at the Westwood Playhouse in James Tomkins’ “Love in a Graveyard.” Zadora already fractured her right leg in a home accident. Sally Struthers and Richard Zavaglia co-starred in the one-nighter … Paramount marketing VP Jerry Meadows today holds a reading on the lot of Hart Monroe’s screenplay “Young Men Dressed in Silver” to an all-agency audience for potential future film production.
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