GOOD MORNING: “The Young and the Restless’ ” Melody Thomas Scott, the socialite-turned-stripper Nikki Newman, is starring in her own version of court TV today as she appears in L.A’s Superior Court in Van Nuys on behalf of her personal charity Save the Earth Foundation in its suit vs. Niagara Drinking Water. The latter’s the bottler and distributor of the water under the Save the Earth label and one of its watering sites is CBS TV City where “Y&R” tapes and where — according to Thomas’ suit — the water was impure. Scott has been an environmental activist since she co-founded the charity in 1989. Meanwhile, her real life — from her abandoned birth by her 16-year-old parents — is the subject of “Intimate Biography” on Lifetime TV. Fortunately she grew into a successful actress and a happy marriage and family with producer Edward Scott. “Y&R” co-star Eric Braeden is skedded to also appear in court on behalf of Scott’s suit today … The bonding of the nation since 9/11 continues to be evident in increasing showbiz tangents. The latest evidence “American Glory,” a DVD from Pat Boone’s Gold Label which, in addition to its patriotic tunes, includes a separate music video filmed on location at historic sites from Williamsburg to Ft. McHenry. “I haven’t seen this kind of patriotic fervor in years,” Pat said. The DVD is also featured on various PBS stations as a pledge drive offering. Coincidentally, Pat recorded his first album of patriotic songs 30 years ago. It was called — “American Glory.” Songs on the current disc include “I’m Proud to be an American,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and, of course, “America the Beautiful,” “God Bless America,” and “The Star Spangled Banner.” And it was 40 years ago that Boone starred with Ann-Margret in “State Fair” — and to celebrate this anniversary Boone, 67, and his white bucks are hitting the state fair trail once more.
ONE SUCCESSFUL OUTLET OF SHOW BIZ in these tense times continues to be — Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show On Earth — in its 132nd edition. I caught up with producer Kenneth Feld and wife Bonnie here during the Southern California stands. He explained it’s the desire — and need — for family togetherness that continues to make the show successful wherever it plays. Of course, it may also be due to its stars, now headed by international clown David Larible, “the prince of laughter,” and the death-defying acts. But also it’s handsome 26-year-old ringmaster Kevin Venardos who told me he was in “Guiding Light” when guided to take this unique role which he fits with his stirring voice. And there’s another Feld-produced show that continues to be an SRO attraction. That’s of course, the Siegfried and Roy show in their 14th year at the Mirage in Vegas where they’ve played to 10.5 million. The effervescent Roy (Horn) told me they have no plans to retire. They taped a commercial for M&M launching a new cookie line. There are plans for yet more commercials for the daring duo and their cats. He and partner Siegfried (Fischbacher) had given an interview Sunday night at the Mirage for a documentary on N.Y. society’s grande dame C.Z. Guest. The daring duo will be in N.Y. Sept. 23 as grand marshals of German-American Day … On behalf of Coca-Cola, Muhammad Ali will appear at Olympic Legacy Day Aug. 12 in Atlanta. Commercials he has taped for Coke will be airing during the World Series. And among his 250 annual appearances will be one in South Africa to meet with Nelson Mandela.
WHO’S DOING THOSE HYSTERICALLY funny commercials for the (May 2) arrival of “The Producers” in L.A. — who else? Mel Brooks, of course … Paula Prentiss returns to the stage in “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife” at the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, Mass., Aug. 12-24. Co-staring are David Hedison and Marj Dusay. Prentiss’ husband, director Dick Benjamin, is busy final-editing (the newly ended) “Marcie X” … Frank Bowling, former vice president and general manager of the Hotel Bel-Air has opened his own hotel marketing, consulting and representation office in BevHills. First client — you guessed it, the Bel-Air. He also represents New York’s posh Palace and Paris and London are upcoming … Lalo Schifrin is celebrating his 70th birthday with a date at the Blue Note, July 23-28. The Hank Mancini Institute’s concert series opener on July 27 at Royce Hall (UCLA) is dedicated to Institute founder, the late Jack Elliott who died a year ago. Patrick Williams is the new artistic director who will perform along with Elliott friends Dave Grusin, Lee Ritenour and Roger Kellaway. Claus Ogerman composed an original composition in Jack’s honor, which will be performed by flutist Hubert Laws. Jack Jones’ concerts July 27 and 28 at the Suncoast in Las Vegas are a sellout … Selma and Jerry Lawrence celebrate their 65th wedding anni July 30 — they’re 88 and 90 years old respectively. Jerry was a star in early L.A. TV and radio — including KTLA, KCOP and KFWB … Susan Blakely and Steve Jaffe celebrated their 20th wedding anni at Crustacean. They’re planning a winter start of their film, “Dudes” … Director Paul Alter and Lorraine Cole were married June 17 in Las Vegas … A memorial to the Palm’s Louis “Gigi” Delmaestro will be held at 10 a.m. Aug. 6 at the Saint Brendan Catholic Church, 300 S. Van Ness Ave. in Hollywood.