GOOD MORNING: “It’s like guerilla filmmaking,” Hank Azaria says Showtime’s “Huff” troupe was told as they readied to start filming Monday night in Tijuana. “It’ll be some ‘run and shoot,'” he added, “but it will add flavor to the terrific script by Bob Lowry.” The story: Huff’s brother goes to Mexico to get illegal treatment. Azaria also elaborated on what Sharon Stone scooped to me as her guest shot opening the “Huff” season: “She’ll be in three of the first six shows and I know we’ll try to get her back for more — she plays an epileptic addict and is mentally challenged.” Who wouldn’t want to see more of Sharon? … Azaria returns to “Monty Python’s Spamalot” at Thanksgiving … The Shubert Theater, where “Spamalot” is SRO’ing daily, today finds its wall in Shubert Alley adorned with a billboard sporting likenesses of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” stars John Lithgow, Norbert Leo Butz and Sherie Rene Scott tossing thousands of dollars in the air with the copy line reading, “WINNER! BEST MUSICAL! 2005 Tony Awards” — but beneath, in much smaller type: (“ALMOST”). I asked “Spamalot’s” Bill Haber’s opinion of these flackery shenanigans. His answer: “Slightly dishonest.”
LEONARDO DICAPRIO, sporting a bandage over the side of his head, was out and about L.A. the night after the Friday-4-ayem bottle-heaving party at the home of Rick Salomon (of Paris Hilton videotape fame). DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire sat discreetly in a back corner at the Improv Saturday night to catch Sarah Silverman’s show. She’s Jimmy Kimmel’s girlfriend — but he wasn’t on hand to catch the funny and sexy Silverman. DiCaprio spent Sunday (Father’s Day) in L.A. and is back in Boston today to continue lensing Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed” … The invitation reads, “Tom Cruise invites you to a special screening of ‘War of the Worlds,’ Monday June 27 at Grauman’s Chinese.” It’s a “fans’ screening.” Among those “fans” invited is Cruise’s “mother-in-law” in the film, Ann Robinson (73) — who co-starred in the original (1953) “War of the Worlds” with Gene Barry. In the current version she and Barry are grandparents to Dakota Fanning. Thus, Robinson says she now considers herself Cruise’s “mother-in-law” and is anxious to meet Katie Holmes … “War” also preems in N.Y. at the Ziegfeld Thursday, and Sunday for cast and crew at Universal’s CityWalk … Joel Grey winged to L.A. to celebrate Father’s Day with daughter Jennifer and granddaughter Stella, and tonight he toplines “When Oscar Met Tony,” a poolside chat alongside Bill Condon and George C. Wolfe at the Four Seasons as part of the L.A. Film Festival.
WE ARE DEEPLY SADDENED by the death Saturday of Ruth (Mrs. Joe) Sinay. Their home has been a heart to showbiz and countless civic organizations for decades, and her smile brightened any room in which she appeared. It’s no wonder the services at Hillside at noon today are called “a celebration.” In addition to family speakers, those skedded to participate include Norm Crosby, Jan Murray, Jack Carter and Red Buttons. Ruth and Joe were married 45 years, and she traveled the world with him on behalf of Variety Clubs Intl., of which he was president. She was also an active member of the American Film Institute Affiliates. She founded the Children’s Behavior Modification Clinic and trained many doctors, then in medical school, who have become familiar in the treatment of showbiz names. This unassuming, brilliant and giving woman will be sorely missed by all of us whose lives were touched by her. As Joe sadly says, “She woke up every day with a smile on her face.” That smile will be missed by so many of us … Roger Ebert, excited about receiving his star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame Thursday, hopes his late Buena Vista TV partner Gene Siskel, who died in 1999, will also get a star. Ebert will be partied Thursday night by the Peninsula Hotel and Illinois Film Commission … At the Hollywood Bowl’s opening concert Friday, Frank Sinatra Jr. performs two of his father’s favorites, “Old Man River” and “The Way You Look Tonight.”