THE RAINBOW Room celebrated a real star last week when event planner Preston Bailey tossed a party for his new book “Inspirations.” His friend Jennifer Holliday came to lend support — and to sing. Yes, she blasted out “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” for Preston’s guests just as she did when she won the Tony Award 25 years ago. She told the partygoers she is rooting for Jennifer Hudson, today’s bigscreen “Effie,” to win an Academy Award. Holliday says, “What I thought would be a dreadful experience has turned into a blessing. People are re-discovering the wonderful music and my part in bringing it to life. I’m so happy to have created something that has moved into a new century. And thanks to people watching my version of ‘Dreamgirls’ clips on Youtube, I have hope.” … Lorraine Bracco is almost finished with “The Sopranos.” “It’s so sad to be winding down. We have become such a family. But I am working on my Bracco Wine, and I’m developing something for Lifetime and I’m reading scripts.” Lorraine was out plugging the Campbell Soup push for the American Heart Assn. She even had the talented Michael Vollbracht’s red dress for the Bill Blass label with her. Lorraine is encouraging all women to wear red for February and fight the disease. Feb. 5-15 many items will be auctioned off on http://www.goredwithcampbells.com.
LIFE AFTER REGIS? Kathie Lee Gifford recently starred to SRO crowds as “Miss Hannigan” in the Christmas presentation of “Annie.” But now Kathie Lee has a new effort. She has written music and lyrics for the dramatic story of Aimee Semple McPherson who fascinated and scandalized the U.S. back in the 1920s. “Saving Aimee” opens at the new MAX theater on April 10 and will be directed by Eric Schaeffer. “Saving Aimee” will star that terrific star of “Mamma Mia!” — Carolee Carmello. … On Sunday, the 59th Annual Writers Guild of America Awards happen at the Hudson Theater, 145 West 44th St. Tina Fey plays host and special awards go to Lorne Michaels, Andrew Bergman, Joan Didion and Gail Lee. This one’s black tie. Call 718-224-4133 … On Feb. 13, the Winter Dance Celebrates Gold at the Museum of Natural History with Ben Stiller presiding and big names assisting. This attracts more than 700 young sophisticates (I didn’t know New York had that many.) There’ll be a silent auction with goodies from Dolce & Gabbana, golf at a Trump classic or in Briarcliff Manor, etc. Call 212-496-3495. … On Feb. 15, the Bailey House Auction & Party at the Puck Building will be raising dough for the homeless and persons living with HIV/AIDS. Movers behind this are ABC News exec Jeffrey Schneider and architect Jeffrey Povero. Simon Doonan of Barney’s fame acts as auctioneer and Stefan Beckman has designed a dream room for charitable hordes to ogle. Famous names are on board and great photos by Robert Mapplethorpe, Weber and Ritts will be up for bids. Best of all, you might win an opportunity to attend the season finale of “Dancing With the Stars.” Go to http://www.baileyhouse.org/auction. … The Nat’l Arts Club wants you on Valentine’s Day at its Red Ball and all-star cabaret wearing a costume or a black or red tie. Call 212-475-3424.
(E-mail Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com)