Vecchio taking on Wolfe-Bernstein affair

PEOPLE ARE talking about Tom Vecchio’s script “Aline & Wolfe,” all about the tormented love affair between Tom Wolfe and the older socialite Aline Bernstein back in the late 1920s/early ’30s before the author’s untimely death at age 38. Aline had been responsible for encouraging and directing Wolfe’s manic genius and his writing. After their final breakup and his death, she never came to terms with the loss. Described as “Iris” meets “A Beautiful Mind,” the package has been optioned by Gene Kraft Prods. Diane Lane has expressed interest … Madonna the English-style matron, dutiful wife and strict mother of three, is quietly shooting a short film in London. Directing, not acting, put away the knives. It’s a comedy called “Filth and Wisdom.” She is also finishing up her next album. This probably means that by the time Madonna turns 50, in August 2008, she’ll celebrate her half-century out on the road again.

“I JUST want you to know, these 36-D’s are mine. I haven’t had a boob job. I am five and a half months pregnant.” That’s Traci Lords, who concealed her pregnancy while filming her latest movie for Lifetime. “But now I’m starting to show. And my husband is happy with the changes in my figure.” Traci and Jeff Lee just celebrated their fifth anniversary. “I kind of thought the children thing was off the table. Now I’m expecting a boy. We’re stunned and thrilled.” I asked the name of her recent movie. She said, carefully, “‘Point of Entry.'” Traci, who has risen astonishing from her long-ago “adult film” days, started laughing. “Well, I suppose you could say ‘point of entry’ got me here in show business, in every way.” Some years ago, photo ace Harry Benson photographed Traci and me partying in L.A. This girl has come a long way. She is a real survivor with a real success story. JILL AND BRAD Grey provided a statement regarding their separation. “We have been together since we were in college and it’s our hope that we will be able to work things out for our sake and the sake of our three children.””… Paul McCartney gave a great one word answer to “Nightline’s” Cynthia McFadden the other eve when she told him she’d waited 37 years to ask her question. “Did Yoko Ono have anything to do with your breakup with John Lennon?” McCartney gave an emphatic “No.” He did not elaborate further … ABC anchor Charlie Gibson told Union College graduates in Schenectady: “Compassion. Honesty. Fairness. Trustworthiness. Respect for others. If those things are not the bedrocks of your life, you will suffer for their absence in time. And I would wager you won’t much like yourself.”

THE N.Y. City Center’s Encore series remains the town’s hottest ticket. Performance runs are brief, done on a shoestring and the classics they revive are unbeatable. Now, the veteran Arthur Laurents will direct his own icon “Gypsy,” which will run July 9-29 and star Patti LuPone as Mama Rose. Laura Benanti will play Louise (the Gypsy Rose Lee character) and Boyd Gaines, who has won three Tonys, is to be Herbie … Tony Bennett, 80, and longtime girlfriend Susan Crow, 47, are planning to meld legally. (They’ve been together 18 years.) They’ll do it at City Hall on Thursday — so I hear. … I’ve read everything extant on David Chase’s ending of his phenomenal “The Sopranos” and registered the mass audience dismay that they didn’t get either blood and guts or a happy ending. … So long as Tony, Carmella, A.J. and Meadow are left alive, there could be a major motion picture down the line. These same Sopranos, grown older, wiser or the same. It is a multi-million-dollar idea. It takes a lot of guts to kill your babies. Chase evidently didn’t want to do that and I believe he was right.

(Email Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com)

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