TV Museum bash a comedy hit

THE MUSEUM of TV & Radio under the effective work of its dynamic movers and shakers, Pat Mitchell and Christy Carpenter, really put over their party the other eve. We got to leave the Waldorf and be home by 10 p.m. Howard Stringer of Sony was the honoree because he had a long honorable career before big business as the head of CBS News. There were many talented people up onstage, most of them funny. Tom Brokaw did the emcee honors with his usual aplomb. Adam Sandler was hilarious reading make-believe letters from Howard to Penthouse through the years. Alan Alda was more serious and thoughtful. Barbara Walters was a little sentimental; Howard is one of her best friends. A film segment with Pete Peterson was hilarious. Lesley Stahl, however, walked off in a prize performance, offering outtakes from her recent “60 Minutes” with Howard, interspersing this with wonderful stuff from the James Bond movies. Lesley is a serious journalist but I think she missed her calling. Standup comedy awaits.

DIRECTOR Susan Stroman was at “Company” the other night applauding leading man Raul Esparza. He’s her choice to play Dr. Frankenstein in Mel Brooks’ next Broadway insanity. Two of B’way’s brightest lights, Kristin Chenoweth and Sutton Foster, are probably coming on board for this zany musical and I’m sure I don’t know how Kristin plans to divide herself into triplets to play all the roles she seems to have in future works. (Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” premieres in Seattle this summer and opens in November at the St. James Theater.) Kristin, now starring in “The Apple Tree,” is supposed to kick off the “Encores” series for May 10-14 with an original idea, offering 50 years of revue music. For that she’ll sing the famous Gershwins’ “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise.” … Harry Connick Jr. escorted Vogue’s Anna Wintour to the Marc Jacobs show last week. Then on David Letterman, he said how much he enjoyed being out with her: “She’s shy and is nothing like that character in ‘The Devil Wears Prada.'”

JONATHAN RHYS Meyers finishes shooting “The Children of Huang Shi” (with Yun-Fat Chow and Radha Mitchell) in China on Thursday. He’ll rest briefly before beginning promotion of his upcoming series, “The Tudors,” in mid-March. A small group of joined Showtime execs Faye Katz, Richard Licata and Stuart Zakim recently in the intimate 28th floor screening room at 1350 Avenue of the Americas for a peek at this sexy version of the young life of Henry the VIII. Believe me, this is not your mother’s King Henry. Rhys Meyers, who plays the monarch, is not the corpulent, redheaded despot of most interpretations. He’s dark-haired, muscular and his frequent bed hopping doesn’t make the audience feel sorry for the ladies of the court who must submit. Quite the contrary. He’s a selfish beast, of course, but … you know how those royals were/are? Sam Neill, Jeremy Northam and Henry Czerny add their talents to palace intrigue. Natalie Dormer promises to be a bewitching, tragic Anne Boleyn, the woman for whom Henry defied the pope. After the screening the audience was fed a lavish buffet that might have satisfied the rapacious appetite of the real Henry. Over endless cheese tartlets, mini-sirloin burgers, huge shrimp and goblets of wine, everybody raved about the sets, the costumes and most of all, the hypnotic effect of Jonathan’s impossibly blue eyes and pouty lips. There was also surprise at the sexual content. One guest said, “You know, I think Showtime has been allowed a few more ‘thrusts’ than we get in the movie industry. I’ve sat through endless meetings with the ratings board. And it actually comes down to that — six is an R, eight is an X.” “The Tudors” begins its reign April 1 on Showtime. … Mad TV’s Scott King is writing a TV pilot for two Broadway treasures — Nathan Lane and Kristin Chenoweth. The pilot, written by, is loosely based on … Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa.

(Email Liz Smith at

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