SHARON STONE has been in Cannes doing her fabled auctioneer stuff for AmFAR’s Cinema Against AIDS event — sponsored by the Weinstein Company, Bold Films and MAC cosmetics. Stone tells pals she will travel to Dubai and Rome later this year; she’ll spearhead AmFAR’s plans to launch glittery fetes in those cities. Thinking on the great work of AmFAR, on June 5 at the Rainbow Room — David Barr, Dr. Barbara Starrett and yours truly will be honored for our AIDS efforts by Peter Staley and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. My big bonus? I’ll get to sit with the handsome AmFAR leader Kenneth Cole and his wife Maria, with our mastermind Dr. Mathilde Krim and with my talented pal Liza Minnelli Tickets? Call 212-806-1636.
SAT NEXT TO the charming Laura Sillerman at lunch in Michaels this week and she slipped me a lot of “inside dish” about her famous husband, Robert F.X. Sillerman, who is Mel Brooks’ producer partner on the coming musical “Young Frankenstein.” Laura told me Roger Bart has the lead role of the scientist who makes a man out of spare parts and that the popular Megan Mullally of “Will and Grace” will be in the cast. I nodded and told her that all this “inside dish” had already been reported by the Post’s quick-on-the-trigger theater man, Michael Riedel. She seemed shocked. She did say she thought Mel Brooks had written all his new “Frankenstein” music in the mode of the late Cole Porter. So maybe that’s something we didn’t know. Incidentally, I found out that producer Sillerman also owns 85% of Elvis Presley, also masterminds the public conscience and reputation of Muhammad Ali and his CKX Company owns television’s important “American Idol.” I definitely have to sit with Laura more often, only quicker than Michael Riedel. And as long as I’m on the subject, isn’t Roger Bart just the best idea anybody ever had? Instead of hiring a movie name like Will Ferrell or Mike Meyers, they picked a handsome, gifted leading man who does comedy and can actually sing. Bravo to Brooks and Sillerman.
NATHAN LANE proves again what a master he is of every word and nuance. His remarks before giving the National Corporate Theater Fund award to the legend Elaine Stritch were a life-saver for the Tavern-on-the Green evening where regional theaters were saluted. Nathan brought things up to super pro par, saying he is a “Stritchoholic” and adding, “Al Gore has also told me she is indirectly responsible for global warming, because wherever she goes, things tend to heat up.” His story of Stritch waltzing into theaters without paying, and only “Mamma Mia!” saying no to her, was priceless.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT HBO presented its premiere screening of “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” based on Dee Alexander’s 1970 bestseller about the brutal displacement of Native Americans in the late 19th century. Aidan Quinn, Adam Beach, August Schellenberg and Anna Paquin star in the film. (Miss Paquin, who won an Oscar for “The Piano,” in 1994, at age 12, has avoided the pitfalls of too much, too soon. She thrives, quietly.) The premiere was at the American Museum of Natural History up on NYC’s West Side. Advance word? Everybody make shelf space for Emmys.
OSCAR WILDE’S great tale of forsaking one’s soul for perpetual youth, “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” will have another re-incarnation at the 19th Annual New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Film Festival (May 31 to June 10). Duncan Roy directs a “modern twist” on Oscar’s story of a boy, a painting and a Botox frame of mind. Wilde’s narcissist hero has already been re-invented onscreen as a woman, a vampire and a fashion model. And there was the famous adaptation in 1945, starring Hurd Hatfield and Angela Lansbury. The star of this one? Young and sexy David Gallagher who fans know as Simon, the oft-tempted son-of-a-preacher man on the long-running series “7th Heaven, “which finally went to its reward this year. In the TV show, David’s character was allowed to question what was good and what was bad, but in the end he always chose the path of … what his parents told him. After 11 years of sometimes-reluctant do-gooding on “7th Heaven,” David runs the fast track to hell in “Dorian.”
(Email Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com)