Streep wraps Ephron’s ‘Julie & Julia’

Tune's 'Turn of the Century' draws raves

“LICENSED TO confuse!” says English reporter Liz Hunt of the new James Bond movie “Quantum of Solace.” But she goes on to tell us that the London opening was positive for “the omnipotence of Daniel Craig’s 007…and for the high octane action sequences.”

Critic Hunt says Bond’s deadpan wit has been “neutered” and Judi Dench as M, now appears more like his “anxious grandmother.” But the film with the mystifying title has been shot “in dramatic locations.”

I sense a palpable hit!

* * *

SCUTTLEBUTT has it that the movie “Julie & Julia,” written and directed by Nora Ephron about the late cooking maven Julia Child, is finished and wonderful. (It’s based on the book by Julie Powell). And its star, Meryl Streep is said to be “unbelievably fabulous.”

But wait minute! Meryl has another Oscar-turn coming any minute in the film adaptation of John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer-plus-Tony stage play “Doubt.” If you’ve seen coming attractions of Meryl emoting as the fearsome Sister Aloysius Beauvier against Philip Seymour Hoffman as Father Flynn — well, then you know why nobody Oscar-wise wants Meryl competing against herself this year.

“Julia” is coming out in August 2009.

* * *

HAVE YOU ever gone back to see a Broadway show and found it better than it was opening night? This happened when I took a 10-year-old to see “Young Frankenstein” because he’d loved “Spaceballs” and become a Mel Brooks fan.

“Young Mr. Steen” as he likes to be called onstage — Roger Bart and company — have turned this into a fast-paced laugh riot. All the cast replacements are simply terrific. That total original, Christopher Fitzgerald, Tony-nominated as Igor, has grown larger than the Monster. He had the cast, which should be jaded, in hysterics. The sex jokes go right over the heads of pre-pubescents. So here’s one where you can safely take the kids. And I had a helluva good time too.

* * *

IN CHICAGO if they still bothered to dance in the streets, they’d be ditsy over Tommy Tune’s new musical “Turn of the Century.” The Sun-Times gave it a rave, calling it “a snowglobe beauty with the appeal of Fred and Ginger escaping from reality back in the Great Depression.” (Wow!)

Jeff Daniels and Rachel York are at the Goodman Theater through Nov. 2 and then the powers that be search for a Broadway house. “It’s so beautiful and I’m so proud of it,” says Tommy. And, as I keep telling you, he is the only person in theater history ever to win 9 Tonys in four different categories.

Critic Hedy Weiss says of “Century” — “the most sophisticated stagecraft…zany musical anachronisms are a big part of the fun…Tune’s altogether magical staging possesses a touch of the eternal…a welcome Valentine for a time of broken piggy banks.”

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