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Meryl Streep took a break from her non-stop work sked to celebrate her (57th) birthday, June 22 home in New York. She’d wound Utah locations for “Dark Matter” a day earlier while also making appearances for “The Devil Wears Prada.” She’d ditto’d for “The Prairie Home Companion.” Meryl’s enthusiasm for these films first became evident when she and Lily Tomlin duetted on the Oscar show to toast Robert Altman. Now the kudos for Streep have segued to her “Prada” performance with Oscar talk already in the wind.

Another birthday celebration is upcoming: the indefatigable and ever-effervescent Kitty Carlisle Hart celebrates her 96th birthday during her September 26-30 stand at Feinstein’s at the Regency. As always, she’ll be a sellout. And at Feinstein’s on Oct.9, appearing with singers Karen Benjamin & Alan Chapman, will be 90 years young Ray Evans, performing “The Livingston and Evans Songbook.” Evans, with (late) partner Jay Livingston wrote (three) Oscar-winning movie tunes (seven nominated) plus music for TV and B’way shows. Ray recalls the stories behind the songs for the singing duo. When I was making my studio reportorial rounds back in the ’50s, I often visited with Ray and Jay when they wrote some of their songs in a small office with an upright piano in the music building at Paramount. The songs included: “Que Sera, Sera,” “Mona Lisa,” and “Silver Bells.” Are you singing along?

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  1. Kitty invited my wife Francine and I to her 95th birthday celebration at the Lincoln Center last year. It was great seeing everyone there. Encountered Mike Wallace on the trip to NY; he was also attending Kitty’s bash.
    As for Ray Evans, we ran into him at an ASCAP meeting last year, where he reported being annoyed that ASCAP as well as BMI were sending him royalty checks. I told him that, if he liked, I could transfer his ASCAP checks to my account, and I wouldn’t even charge him for the service! (He said he’d consider it . . . ).

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