Crystal having a ‘Nice Day’ after Tonys

GOOD MORNING AFTER: Did you wonder, as I did, after watching Billy Crystal’s gag opening as “host” of the Tonys, whether he’s thinking about hosting the Oscars again? After the stardust had settled Monday morning , I asked Crystal his thoughts about returning to star status in movies — and, of course, to his superstar status as host with the most at the Oscars. “I don’t even want to think about it,” he exclaimed en route to a David Letterman guestint. But he is readying his filmed return, “Have a Nice Day,” for New Line. He’ll play “a messenger from the other side — who’s about to be an angel — who comes to take the president. We bargain for time.” Crystal says the film’s “funny — yet about priorities.” He’s talking to “large names” as the president. And Billy’s given more thought about taking his Tony winner, “700 Sundays,” to London. He would first like to head out to Boston, Chicago, SanFran, L.A. and Toronto. As he winds down his B’way run, he reflected, “This has reconnected me with my work.” … And I talked with another winner, “Spamalot” producer Bill Haber en route to Monday night’s Save the Children gala. His “thank you” remarks were cut off — due to the clock — and he wanted to thank the 300,000 theatergoers who had come to the show since its March 17 bow. He also offered a big thank you to CBS’ Les Moonves “for hanging in with the (low-rated) Tonys for a decade.” Haber’s legit future includes “History Boys,” “Women in White” and three “surprise” dramas plus a 2007 start for a big musical — “Betty Boop.” … While “La Cage Aux Folles” delighted the Tony voters with its win for revival of a musical, it’s a tough nut with a giant weekly breakeven of more than half a million-$. Producer Marty Richards is planning a film return with “The Life” which he, Cy Coleman and Sam Crothers brought to B’way in 1997, same year “Chicago” was enjoying its B’way revival — and the start of Richards’ plans to bring it to the screen.

DVD IS THE BY-WORD this week: Monday night in N.Y., HBO partied (at English is Italian on 40th and 3rd Ave.) the cast of “The Sopranos'” on the release today of the complete Season 5 on DVD. While most of the cast was on hand, Emmy-winner Drea De Matteo (Adriana) was on location in South Carolina with “Walker.” On the DVD, she admits her love scenes with James Gandolfini “took a long time to do. They were pretty rough. I was so intimidated in having to get romantic with Jim, felt a little crazy. It was exciting though. But definitely scary.” She also tells how David Chase sprung the news to her of her “death.” Chase was with his troupe at the party … And on Saturday, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment partied the release (today) of “Stripes.” Ivan Reitman and the cast were on hand for a tribute at Los Alamitos with 2,000 soldiers present for a show including the USO troupe Liberty Belles. Reitman said “Stripes” actually boosted Army recruitment – that was in 1981. Guests included Arnold Schwarzenegger, who worked with Reitman in “Twins,” ” Kindergarten Cop” and “Junior” … Add more GOPoliticos: former President Gerald R. Ford and Vice President Dick Cheney presented Betty Ford with the 2005 Gerald R. Ford medal for Distinguished Public Service at the Lodge in Rancho Mirage … “The Young and the Restless'” Eric Braeden hosts the 2005 10th Congressional Flag Independence Day Concert June 28 at the Cannon Caucus Room of the U.S. House of Representatives in D.C.

TRISHA YEARWOOD GAVE a special performance as she accompanied William Austin, head of the Starkey Hearing Foundation to Merida, Mexico, where they individually fit 300 children with free hearing aids. Austin has given away 120,000 hearing aids to the underprivileged in countries across the globe … Herbie Hancock and Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller were honored with the Golden Score Award and President’s Award, respectively by the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers, on Saturday at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Linda Hopkins brought down the house with “Three Time Loser,” Sally Kellerman with “Is That All There Is?” and Corky Hale with “Loving You.” … Peter Levinson has signed a deal with St. Martin’s Press for his book, “Panache: The Artistry of Fred Astaire” … Thursday is a busy night: the Sidney Sheldon Scholarship Award for Playwriting will be presented at UCLA; Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman Jim Gianopulos receives the Help Humanitarian Award at the Teddy Bear Picnic at the BevHilton Hotel; and the American Society of Young Musicians holds its Spring Benefit Concert & Awards show at the House of Blues.

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