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‘Lambs’ screening packs MoMA

Film's Cruise, Streep, Redford on hand

THE MUSEUM OF Modern Art was packed to the rafters Sunday with celebs of every stripe, eager to see Robert Redford’s new film “Lions for Lambs,” a stellar polemic on our current political mindsets. (The stars, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep and Redford himself, who also directed, were on hand, however briefly.) Here’s just a taste of honey: Jeanine Turner… Barry and Diane … Ashley Banfield… Anna Deveare Smith… Glenn Close … Stanley Tucci … Dick Cavett… Neil Simon … Adam Duritz from the Counting Crows … Alan Cumming … Timothy Hutton… Christine Baranski…Manny Azenberg … Eve Ensler … Kenneth Cole … Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick. (After 19 years of marriage, they still set off sexy sparks, just sitting and talking to each other.) … The famous ones clogged the aisles — chatting, finger-waving, blowing kisses, dishing sotto voce, leaning dramatically over seats to embrace each other. And yet, this VIP event started pretty much on time. … Cruise was said to be off to a Tavern-on-the-Green party for his wife, Katie Holmes.

CANCER RESEARCH benefited from the nerves of Denise Rich who waited for her daughters and grandkids to arrive to go onstage with her at their G&P Foundation Angel Ball. The girls arrived in time, but mama almost had a nervous breakdown. LL Cool J had to give her a glass of water. This party had one of the wildest most vociferous red carpets ever walked; also, the loudest and most inattentive crowd ever in a ballroom. But who cares? It raised $5 million in a great cause … The Landmarks Conservancy on Oct. 30 was a bit less profit-making, but raked in more than $750,000 at Cipriani 42 Street with people like Jessye Norman, Gerald Schoenfeld, Peter Duchin, Liz Smith, Patti LuPone singing to the VIPs who included Lauren Bacall, her son Steve Bogart, Pidie and Sidney Lumet, Alexandra Schlesinger, Mary and Mike Wallace, Mica Ertegun and Annette and Oscar de la Renta. Hit of hits was actor Nathan Lane who killed the people while saluting Bacall of whom he said he was deathly afraid.

NOW THAT the great Kate (Hepburn, that is) and her letters, photos and notes have landed in the hands of the N. Y. Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, do you ever wonder how such a treasure trove came to New York City? Let’s give credit where it’s due — to Louise Grunwald, the widow of Time giant Henry Grunwald. It was Louise’s valiant efforts for the library that convinced the Hepburn estate to choose New York rather than Bryn Mawr, Hollywood, Connecticut or anyplace else for these priceless treasures from Kate’s stage career. (Her movie effects have already gone to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in Los Angeles.) … Hulaween, as Bette Midler calls it, was the occasion for people like the distinguished Ellen Levine of Hearst to dress up like a Crayola crayon and hit the Waldorf. Such a gang and Bette worked the room like the pro she is, going table to table, calling people unprintable politically incorrect names, forcing them to ante up for the N.Y. Restoration Project. The divine one received a white lei from Mayor Mike Bloomberg. He congratulated her for plans to plant cherry trees along the Henry Hudson Parkway. They raised $2.5 million.

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