Miami plays host to slew of parties

IN MIAMI, there will be a battle royal on New Year’s Eve, with four big parties luring stars and celebrants. Jennifer Hudson will host the Setai Hotel’s “Beyond Paradise” bash … “Entourage” star Adrien Grenier and his Honey Brothers band hold sway at the Hotel Victor … Actress Shannon Elizabeth is slated to countdown to 2008 at the Sagamor’s fete … And Kim Kardashian, whose claim to fame is — claming she’s famous — will star at the champagne-drenched gala over at Mansion, another deluxe Miami Beach hostelry.

THE GREAT, the grand, the impossible, the improbable, the talent-saturated Elaine Stritch opens at the Carlyle in a new version of her show “At Liberty” Jan. 1 through Jan. 19. It costs $125 for her performance and a delicious dinner is separate, costly but worth it. Once in a lifetime! It’s easy for me to say this; I have known Miss Stritch since 1953 and she was already a big star back then. What’s more we were born on the same date, Feb. 2, with other groundhogs like Barry Diller, Farrah Fawcett and Cady Huffman. … Paul McCartney will produce a couple of tracks on Lulu’s upcoming album. Lulu, nearing 60 but looking 35, is set to record at the Abbey Road studio.

SHARON STONE, right before Christmas, appeared at AmFAR’s Cinema Against AIDS event in Dubai, sponsored by Dubai’s fledgling International Film Festival. She managed to roust up $600,000 for a Rauschenberg painting, and put on the block her own 1961 vintage Lincoln Continental. The car’s value was $50,000. Sharon stood beside the vehicle, and would not surrender till the bidding peaked at $400,000.

JACKIE BISSET, who will be seen in “Death In Love” at Sundance next month, is an under-sung actress. She was (and remains) a great beauty, who never quite caught the box-office wave, at least not in the United States. Perhaps she was too beautiful, and emerged in an era — the late 60s — when quirky was more in fashion, and there was no studio system to coddle her allure. But she kept working, and has more than 70 features to her credit. Bisset has not gone overboard beating back the hands of time, and is much more interesting as a performer now, than she was in the perfection of her youth at the height of pointless fame, wearing that fabled wet T-shirt in “The Deep.” The star was born in Surrey, England. Like Julie Christie, Jackie has never married — though she has been romanced by the best of them — and remains a splendid independent.

PS Happy New Year from Liz and company — Denis, Mary Jo, Diane and Rachel.

(E-mail Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com)

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more