Barbra plans more shows in States

GOOD MORNING: Australia was not Barbra Streisand’s swansong live concert. She is now thinking about one — or two more in the fall, either in N.Y. or L.A. They would, of course, precede release of her New Year’s Eve video which is in final editing. In Australia, Barbra played four rave concerts (two each) in Melbourne and Sydney to 100,000, one Sydney date in the rain. She just donned a hat and went on. She and husband Jim Brolin then took off on a Far East vacation to wind in Hong Kong … Jack Nicholson is next paged by pal Harry Gittes and his producer-partner Michael Bessman to star in “About Schmidt” for Col. It’s scripted by “Election’s” Oscar-nominated (best adapted screenplay) Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor. The pic, from Louis Begley’s novel, is about a widower whose daughter is about to marry “a boob.” Payne will also direct — as he did “Election,” which won the WGA’s best adapted award, the N.Y. Film Crix best screenplay, five Indie Spirit nominations, and an L.A. Crix Circle award. “Schmidt’s” about a man at the crossroads of his life,” describes Payne, “he’s retired from working for Mutual of Omaha” — and Omaha’s where Nicholson would shoot the pic. (He’s now in Vancouver starring in Sean Penn’s “The Pledge” for WB). Payne goes the solo route with his next pic, “Sideways,” a non-published novel by Rex Pickett that Payne and Michael London have bought and set at Artisan. This one’s about a failed actor and his pal, a failed novelist. No one you know.

REACTION FROM GARY COOPER’S DAUGHTER Maria Cooper (Mrs. Byron Janis) to the news here Tuesday that “High Noon” is to be remade: “It’s courageous.” A photo of Cooper and Maria on the set of “High Noon” covers Maria’s book, “Gary Cooper Off Camera — A Daughter Remembers” (Abrams) . I told Maria her father looked older than 51 when he made the film. She explained he had ulcers and was really suffering — especially in the post-wedding scene when he had to lift his bride, Grace Kelly, and place her on a backboard — in take after take. You remember, Grace Kelly was not a Size 2 … Why is Jerry Seinfeld’s last filmed American Express commercial still not on the air? It was completed last year and thought to bow on the Super Bowl telecast.. There are reports legal action is delaying airing because of some inclusion. The ad agency Ogilvy & Mather has not returned calls and Jerry’s manager George Shapiro believes it’s some “corporate content” problem. Is Jerry concerned? “No, he just moves on,” says Shapiro. Seinfeld was/is paid by the year on his contract — 10 days filming a year for AmEx. Monday night, Jerry “moved on” — played two clubs in N.Y … That’s shoe biz: there’ll be a new kinda camera on Oscar’s “red carpet” — this one’s a “carpet cam” to catch the fancy footwork, the shoes ladies will be sporting this year. And Stuart Weitzman will be discussing that tape when he guests on — you guessed it — Joan Rivers’ commentary on clothes of the Oscars, next week. Weitzman is in town this week to tickle the foot fancies of such beauties as “American Beauty’s” Mena Suvari who asked that her Weitzman shoes be adorned with Swarovski crystals. Dining with Weitzman at Morton’s Monday was Bobbi Eakes of “The Bold And the Beautiful,” who donned his shoes when she was Miss Georgia in the Miss America contest. Weitzman, whose shops range from Madison Avenue across the country, will open one on Rodeo Drive in September.

DREAMWORKS’ STEVEN SPIELBERG, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen host a private dinner for Bill Clinton and Al Gore to benefit the DemNational Committee and Demo candidates “across the country” April 15 at Greystone in BevHills — $25,000-$100,000 … Geffen and NBC’s president of West Coast Programming Scott Sassa and his wife Ellen were dining together Monday at Morton’s. They’re longtime friends, and Sassa reminds NBC has several large projects at DreamWorks … Michael Douglas and his celeb golfing buddies (Sidney Poitier, Chris O’Donnell, Andy Garcia, Joe Pesci, James Woods, Thomas Gibson, Kyle MacLachlan and Kenny G,) raised over $500,000 at the second annual Michael Douglas & Friends Golf Event at Ocean Trails Golf Club benefiting the Motion Picture and TV Country House and Hospital … Merv Griffin and friends turned up to raise $500,000 at the La Quinta Arts Festival of which Merv is lifetime chairman — and No. 1 entertainer. Performing along with Merv were: Carol Channing, Jack Jones, Michael Feinstein, Mort Lindsay, Judy Johnson, Carol Hughes and Michael Andrews’ 18-piece Swingerhead Band. Afterward, Merv sailed away to the Bahamas on his new 165-foot yacht … Dolores and Bob Hope toast the LPGA at their Palm Springs home Thursday … Peter Chernin will tribute Arnon Milchan March 29 at the Acad’s bow of the 16th annual Israel Film Festival. Milchan receives the fest’s Lifetime Achievement award. Ashley Judd and Joel Schumacher present the award to Milchan — for whom both have toiled, “Heat” and A Time to Kill,” respectively … Nancy Malone wound directing the “Diagnosis Murder” “Two Birds With One Sloan” seg and partied the company at the Santa Monica Pier Carousel … Denise Nicholas takes time off writing her Civil Rights, 1964 novel, to star in a new play, “The Ohio State Murders” by Adrienne Kennedy at the American Rep. Theatre at Harvard, March 31-April 16.

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