GOOD MORNING: Tim Daly, in his 25th-floor Seattle hotel room Wednesday ayem, wondered why the seagulls were slamming into the windows of his room! Then the big quake struck. Daly went rolling about his bed. “The building was swaying, the Venetian blinds kept shaking for a minute and a half,” he said. “I looked out at Mount Rainier and I kept thinking — it’s gonna erupt!” He walked down the 25 floors — elevators had stopped — and got into a car taking him to “The Fugitive” location, 25 miles north of Seattle. I spoke to him later when he arrived on the set and he reported seeing no damage en route and all was OK on the stage. “I think television overinflated it. Of course, I feel sorry for anyone who was injured,” he allowed. Daly, nominated for a SAG Award (dramatic actor in a series), says, “It is really an honor” and he will attend. The series wraps April 15 and they are awaiting word on a pickup. He has several offers pending and is producing two Showtime projects; one is a new version of “Bang the Drum Slowly,” in which he’d also star. His wife, Amy Van Nostrand, is in rehearsals of “New England Sonata” to bow in their hometown, Providence, R.I. … John Lithgow wound the final seg of “3rd Rock From the Sun” Jan. 23 and wasn’t going to do anything until October rehearsals for the musicalized “Sweet Smell of Success,” bowing Dec. 1 in Chi en route to B’way (Feb. 2002). But he’s agreed to join the hefty cast of Par’s “Orange County” as the father of Colin Hanks (Tom’s son). Catherine O’Hara plays Hanks’ mom. Others not previously noted in the cast include Garry Marshall, Kevin Kline and Chevy Chase. Lithgow’s also agreed to head another hefty cast in a memorial to David Dukes, March 8 at USC’s Bing Theater. The evening also will boast Annette Bening, Rene Auberjonois, Stacy Keach, George Wendt and Alex Kingston in staged readings of George Bernard Shaw’s “Overruled” and Edward Albee’s “The Zoo Story.” Dukes died Oct. 9 at 55 while in Seattle working on the “Rose Red” mini. This tribute will help raise funds for the David Dukes Memorial Scholarship Fund at the USC School of Theater … Tonight at the USC School of Cinema-TV, the Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts, a state-of-the-art facility, will be unveiled with alumnus Zemeckis joined by George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, etc.
RUSSELL CROWE SHIFTED FROM TOGA to casual wear as he entertained the fashion world for Milan’s fashion week when he fronted his group, Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts, in a benefit concert at the Rolling Stone Club, hosted by Giorgio Armani. (Guess what Crowe will wear to the Oscars?) He is lead singer and guitarist of the group, which plays, as he described it, “narrative-based songs that have a connection with reality.” (?) The celeb-packed audience at Armani’s party included Sarah Ferguson; proceeds of the evening went to her charity Children in Crisis. Crowe and the band played “Somebody Else’s Princess” and he dedicated it to her. They played again Tuesday night at the San Remo Italian music fest. He and group continued on to perform … Meanwhile, at Armani’s BevHills, Wanda McDaniel (Mrs. Al Ruddy), who has headed Armani’s entertainment communications division for more than 10 years, has set Jennifer Meyer to join her division. Jennifer’s an alumna of Glamour mag and daughter of Ron Meyer and ex-wife Ellen, who is married to Rabbi David Baron … At his soon-departing Sunset Blvd. Spago, Wolfgang Puck taped a menu for his TV’er (airs March 23) for you to serve while watching the Oscars: Jewish pizza, roast veal rack with blood orange sauce, wild rice and apple cherries and petit fours. There’s no Oscar party (as yet) at the BevHills Spago, but DreamWorks will have its party there March 24, and Puck will be cooking up a storm at the Board of Governors gala feast following the awards at the Shrine.
MORE GREAT MUSICAL NEWS for B’way: “George Gershwin Alone” will bow April 17 at the Helen Hayes. Hershey Felder stars and wrote the sensaysh show, which played repeated pickups at the Tiffany on the Sunset Strip and is now in yet another extended date at West Palm Beach through March 18. The show is produced by Richard Willis, Martin Markinson, Felder and HTG Prods. … Gary Busey, who suffered multiple injuries in a motorcycle accident Dec. 4, 1998, and went on to be an influence in passage of the Traumatic Brain Injury Act, sez he will continue efforts of the act with the new administration. Busey feels like he’s got a new beginning: He lost 31 pounds, lectures at prisons (recently at Rahway), and is “dedicated to my career.” He starts “Slapshot 2” next month. He was dining at chef Jim Abbey’s Western-motif’d Reata restaurant on Rodeo Drive and talking films for the Oklahoma Film Commission with Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin along with Dwight Yoakam and Bridget Fonda, Gray Frederickson and Binford Stanley … Shelley Berman headlines the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters’ Nostalgia Night tonight at their Hollywood HQ … Musician Graham Nash, who is also a photog, wings in from his Hawaii home to launch the Nash Editions/Epson America digital fine art printing show at Bergamot Station’s Patricia Correta Gallery … “Boston Public’s” Fyvush Finkel, who guests Monday for his fifth “Politically Incorrect” gig, says, “I wonder what political kook they’ll put me up against this time. He (she’s) usually so far out it’s a cinch to argue sensibly against him (her).”