GOOD MORNING and congrats Grammy nominees: Pierre Cossette, who will exec produce his 27th Grammy TV show (Feb. 26), promises, “It will be unlike any award show produced in America.” It will emanate from Madison Square Garden, with Walter C. Miller producing and directing and Ken Ehrlich also producing and writing. Said Cossette, “I’ve had this dream for years: to do it in Madison Square Garden or the L.A. Pond, the L.A. Sports Arena. We have to go full-out, and yet also create an air of intimacy” in the 18,000-seater. To go “full out,” the possibilities include production numbers from the show-album nominees: “Riverdance,” “Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk,” “Rent,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” and ” Victor/Victoria.” For dramatic moments, consider the announcement of the winner for historical album: nominees include the again rehab-hospitalized Mel Torme and released-from-the-hospital Frank Sinatra, for their respective collections on Rhino and Reprise. Torme is also nominated for liner notes; he and Sinatra were understandably moved by the nominations. Cossette and the production team are also contemplating show possibilities for the Beatles’ nominations, including musical video (longform) for “The Beatles Anthology” as well as shortform for “Free as a Bird.” Of course there’s plenty of room for laughs in the spoken comedy album category. Dove has three of the five nominations in the spoken word for children category. One is for Carl Reiner’s reading of Mark Twain’s “The Prince and the Pauper,” which is Reiner’s first nomination since “The 2,000 Year Old Man” with Mel Brooks. Dove’s other two in this category: Michael York’s reading of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” and Melissa Manchester’s reading of James Thurber’s “The Wonderful O.” Meanwhile, Dove’s book, “Once More With Feeling,” the sequel to “You’ll Never Make Love in This Town Again,” hits the number six spot on the L.A. Times Best-Seller list, Sunday.
TOM WERNER, OF CARSEY-WERNER who was a principal owner (from 1990-94) of the San Diego Padres and is still a partner says, “I would be interested in buying the Dodgers, on the condition I could move them back to Brooklyn. Mayor Giuliani would like that,” he added, laughingly. Seriously, folks, Werner is batting 1.000 with six successful TV shows this season. … The White House screens “The Member of the Wedding” today, sponsored by the Office for Women’s Initiatives and Outreach, co-sponsored by Girls Incorporated, of which Hillary Clinton is honorable national chairwoman. Following the screening will be a panel discussion on improving the quality of life for girls. Donna Shalala, Secretary of the Dept. of Health & Human Services, will be on hand. The USA Network version of Carson McCullers’ novel airs Jan. 29. Anna Paquin and Alfre Woodard co-star. David Rintels scripted and produced, wife Vicki is exec producer, Fielder Cook directed. … Tonight, Rodney Dangerfield heads a list of comedians in a benefit for friend Stanley Myron Handelman at the Laugh Factory. Handelman’s recuped from a long illness. Call the Laugh Factory for ducats ($20). … Danny Welkes is recuping at home following triple bypass surgery at Cedars-Sinai. … “Family Matters'” JoMarie Payton-Noble will have an “affair” with the butler in an upcoming seg. The butler will be played by her real-life husband Rodney Noble, making his acting debut. … David Leisure proposed to makeup artist Patty Bunch on New Year’s Eve on the slopes in Park City, Utah. She said shuss, I mean yes. … Some fans go to extreme lengths; this one went to extreme heights: “Young & Restless” star Kate Linder, who flies the friendly skies of United as a flight attendant (15 years-plus), had her United badge with her name on it stolen by an overzealous fan over the weekend. Un-friendly.
SIX YEARS LATER and after around $100 million at the box office, “Forever Plaid” which was first financed on a credit card ($26,000) by playwright-director Stuart Ross is back at the Canon; it has a $150,000 advance and it looks to add heartily to its coffers during the open-end run. The show is produced again here by Joan Stein and Veronica Chambers. Two of the original cast, David Engel and Larry Raben, are back and joined by Paul Castree and Neil Nash, alums of other “Plaid” companies. There have been over 46 troupes directed by Ross, plus 200 in stock and amateur productions! There are currently companies in San Diego, Las Vegas and Chicago; Toronto closed after four years. Upcoming are Milwaukee, Seattle, Australia, Germany, Brazil, Prague, England. It’s an international hit and the quartet here is particularly talented. It’s a delightful night at the theater. Among those applauding was Bea Arthur, who played the Canon boards in “Bermuda Ave. Triangle” (but she won’t rejoin Renee Taylor and Joe Bologna in the show in N.Y. or here, if it returns). Also there: Jean Stapleton, Carol Channing, Harvey Korman, Bernie Kopell, newlyweds Ellyn Williams and Hal Needham, Norman Fell, Bob Mackie, James Doolittle Down at Palm Springs’ Givenchy hotel, Rhonda Fleming and husband Ted Mann duetted to entertain guests, including Shirley and Jay Livingston, Nancy (Olson) and Alan Livingston Wynn and Ray Evans New Year’s Eve-partied music and art lovers Veronique and Greg Peck dined friends and family at home. The Pecks are honored at the annual Red Ball, Feb. 11 at the Plaza. edit from the bottom pliz..