‘Victor’ cast rallies around Andrews

GOOD MORNING: “There’s a problem in the wings,” the stage manager of “Victor/Victoria” (at the Marquis theater), warned the cast following the curtain of the Sunday matinee. ‘It’s dangerous to move,” he cautioned everyone. Whereupon the entire cast, crew, ushers, box office personnel, Blake Edwards and Tony Adams gathered about Julie Andrews as Michael Nouri then read his poem, expressing everyone’s feelings: “Once in a while, if we’re lucky, someone comes along to remind us of the better parts of ourselves, someone who reflects the nobler aspects of who we are, someone who through courageous example demonstrates that when you are willing to stand alone for what you know is right , you find out who your friends are. Standing alone, yet now surrounded by your true friends, you know that you need never again stand alone. Your reward is beyond any award, beyond any earthly measure, your reward for being true to yourself is being surrounded by what you truly are.” The company wanted to give Julie an award of their own and presented her with a Tiffany crystal bowl engraved, “Jooles (her pet name), you are our crowning jewel. With endless love and admiration, your ‘Victor/Victoria’ Family” And the crew placed a 5-foot-tall mock-up of the Tony logo — the mask of comedy and drama — on her dressing room wall! Co-star Tony Roberts, who reminds he’s been in 19 B’way shows, said, “In all my experience, I’ve never seen such a disparity between the press and the public. Every single night — a standing ovation (for the show) even when Julie wasn’t in it (and was replaced by Ann Runnolfson). This show comes in as a winning horse every night. And since Julie’s refusal to accept the Tony nomination, her appearance on stage is like — Charles de Gaulle coming back from the War!”… Set to create the look of this year’s Tony awards is five-time Emmy Award-winning production designer Roy Christopher, who admitted to me, “It’s mayhem — I can’t start building the sets yet. The tension is mounting.” He’s asked for more money for the sets — saying he might do those from the nominated-yet-departed “Swinging on a Star” and “Chronicle of a Death Foretold.” What about Julie Andrews’ nomination seg? And space for 75 past Tony winners in this 50th anni Tonys? Christopher discusses it with exec producer Gary Smith again today.

BOB SAGET RED-EYED back from Vancouver, where he directed, exec produced ABC’s “For Hope,” a two-hour telefilm loosely based on his family’s tragedies — saved by being able to cope, thanks to their ability to seek the humor in life. “My parents used humor — when they were so close to grief. And they are thrilled this is being made. But I was scared a little,” admits Saget. One of his sisters died of scleroderma, the other of a brain aneurism. Dana Delany, who plays the scleroderma victim, went through six hours of prosthetic makeup and, in one 12-hour filming day, could do nothing more than wink an eye as the dying victim. Polly Bergen plays her mother; Harold Gould, father; Henry Czerny is the Bob Saget-like character (a sitcom producer-screenwriter); Tracy Nelson, his wife; Chris Demetral, Dana’s son. The Brillstein-Grey telepic is also exec produced by Brad Grey. Benefit premieres will be planned for the Scleroderma Research Foundation. Among many who suffer from the incurable disease are Polly Bergen’s and Jason Alexander’s sisters. Saget arrived back in L.A. just in time to tape the season’s finale “America’s Funniest Home Videos” $100,000 payoff show (airs May 19 on ABC), and to confab on a new script of his WB feature for Jerry Weintraub, “The Shop Teacher.” The multitalented and handsome Saget would star. He described himself as “a PG-13 guy trapped in a G-rated body!”

IT WAS A WHIRLWIND WEEKEND for David Carradine, who made presentations in Milan and Cannes, then in San Diego received a Special Achievement Award and now starts “Word of Honor” for director Sidney Furie, and will be spokesvoice for Coca Cola’s Olympic campaign … David Geffen, whose gift put his name on the former Westwood Playhouse, now donates $5 million to the Museum of Contemporary Art, which will rename the Temporary Contemporary building the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA … John E. Oliver, vet film and TV music supervisor, died Saturday from injuries sustained in an equestrian accident in Griffith Park. Oliver’s film credits range from “Funny Lady” to the current “My Fellow Americans.” He was well-liked and respected by artists and business reps … It’s that time of year again and Thursday, Jonathan Tisch hosts the annual “TV Selling Week Power Breakfast” at New York’s Regency Hotel with all three web toppers, agency heads and ace producers on hand. Tisch then wings here Friday for confabs at Universal on the two new hotels at Universal City Florida, part of the park’s $2 billion expansion … Mildred and Sherwood Schwartz will receive the Golden Heart Award from the American Heart Assn. on Saturday at the Heart to Heart Gala at the Regency Club.

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