GOOD MORNING: Andrew Lloyd Webber, feeling fine, winged into New York to rehearse four of the songs for his upcoming musicalized feature version of “Whistle Down the Wind,” which his company will finance. He’s set no deal as yet for distribution, etc. While in N.Y., he’ll also finalize the “Sunset Boulevard” settlement with Faye Dunaway, as predicted here Dec. 12 … Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are prepping “Puff, the Magic Dragon” as a live-action feature for 20th and Peter Chernin. The producers need between eight and 12 months to prepare the f/x pic, which could conceivably start this year — before they plunge into “Jurassic Park II” in the summer of ’96 at Universal. They are now completing “Congo” for Par and “The Indian in the Cupboard” for Par/Col. This week, they head to Costa Rica for volcano sequences in “Congo”– one of the mountains, Irazu, erupted during Kathy’s look-see there last year, and another boom is possible … Terence Stamp, who was Golden Globe-nominated for an amazing star turn as the transsexual Bernadette in Gramercy’s “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” next stars as a violin-playing sex therapist, a tantric master, in Triumph’s “Bliss” for first-time director Lance Young. Stamp is not concerned with a novice rein’er, noting “Priscilla” was only director Stephan Elliott’s second feature. Besides, Stamp twinkled, “At this point (65) in your life you only want to do things that you want to do — things that you like.” “Bliss” should fill that bill — he says “I have offers from all my friends who want to visit me on the set — filled with beautiful women!” A retro of his films including “Billy Budd” and “The Collector” continues at the Laemmle Sunset 5 through Thursday.
THE SONG IS ENDED but the memories linger on. Friends around the world were saddened to learn of Loulou Gaste’s death Sunday at his home outside Paris. His beloved wife, Line Renaud, was at his side. We spent many joyful, music-filled hours with them both in France and in L.A. on their regular visits. (They also have a home in Las Vegas.) He died peacefully, Line told me, at 8 ayem. “Eight was his lucky number,” she reminded, “and he lived to his 88th year.” Although he was weakened by cancer, Loulou was able to respond to Line as she farewell lullaby’d him, singing his “I’d love to fall asleep and wake up in your arms …” She asked him for a sign he heard her and he whispered “Yes” and fell into his final sleep. They had been together 50 years. He discovered the young girl from Armentieres when she was 16 and they married five years later … Services Thursday at the St. Honore D’Eylan church in Paris will include speeches by Jacques Chirac and Charles Aznavour, and Nana Mouskouri flies in from L.A. to sing “Ave Maria.” The giant church organ will tone a medley of Gaste songs including “Feelings” (“Pour Toi”). Before turning to songwriting (1,200 of ’em), Gaste was a top jazz and Dixieland guitarist and banjoist and played in Josephine Baker’s band, as well as founding Ray Ventura and His Schoolkids. He wrote for Yves Montand, making him a star at the Music Hall … Gaste was a Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur, Officier des Arts et Lettres and honored by the Ministry of Education. This small man with a big heart maintained great strength and a great sense of humor up to the end. Line said calls of condolence have been pouring in from all over the world. Add ours, mademoiselle from Armentieres.
CONCERN FOR SECURITY shifted the wedding of “Martin’s” Martin Lawrence to the former Miss Virginia, Patricia Southall, from the 3rd Baptist Church in Portsmouth, Virg., to the Norfolk Waterside Marriott Saturday. Invited guests ( 800-plus) outnumbered the church capacity, and at the Friday rehearsal more than 2,000 fans turned out. And a fracas at Martin’s bachelor party at the Professional Club (Martin was not involved) created added concern for security at the wedding, whose site was shifted hours before the ceremony. All turned out fine, thank you, and the couple is on a Bahamas honeymoon — he’ll be back at work Thursday … Marsha Hunt is guest speaker for the Motion Picture Screen Smart Set’s Wednesday lunch at the Hotel Nikko — the first lunch for new president Marlene Willis, Bruce’s mom. The hard-working ladies of the set’s Cinema Glamour Shop raise funds for the MPTV Fund’s Hospital … Bob Keeshan, aka Captain Kangaroo, stars in a TV infomercial for TV Time, a system for parents to control kids’ TViewing. Keeshan tapes here Thursday. His managers Ray Manzella and Dennis Brody set the deal with Terry Finn’s IN-FINN-ITY Prods. exec producing. Shelley Fabares stars with Keeshan …”Wheel of Fortune’s” Pat Sajak and wife Lesly welcomed their second child, daughter Maggie Marie, Thursday in Annapolis, Md., where the Sajaks have a home.