Simon blows his own horn

GOOD MORNING: Just when I thought I knew all there was to know about Neil Simon — through his plays — he tells me he’s writing his autobiography. He figures it will take him three years. He’s up to page 78 and has only reached his first play, “Come Blow Your Horn.” Simon’s got 28 plays to cover plus the movies –“interspersed with my life,” he laughed. He writes about his life at the time of each play. No, he hasn’t talked to publishers — and won’t until he’s completed the book. He says he’s enjoying the non-fiction so much, he’s already thinking about writing a novel. You wonder where he finds the time. Simon’s heading back to B’way Sunday for Monday’s start of rehearsals on his next play, “Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” based on hilarious times with writers on Sid Caesar’s “Your Show of Shows” in 1953-54. There are seven writers in the play — based on the 28 during that period. He’s invited the originals to the Nov. 22 opening at the Richard Rodgers theater (it follows the Duke U. bow Oct. 16). Caesar, Larry Gelbart and Mel Tolkin have already read it — and they love it. Simon’s also busy writing a new, non-autobiographical movie script (untitled) for which Ray Stark’s already committed … Yolanda and Tony Quinn were back together Thursday as she joined him in Las Vegas for the opening of his art show at the Thomas Charles Gallery. Wolfgang Puck flew to personally supervise the party last night and luncheon today for 350 lovers of lover-artist Quinn … Touchstone’s “It’s Pat” has been shooting six days a week for six weeks to spring its star, Julia Sweeney, the androgynous “Pat” of “Saturday Night Live,” to return to the show. On Saturday, she films a sequence being interviewed by Sally Jessy Raphael. And Monday, Sweeney completes the movie at 8 p.m. and catches the red eye for N.Y., where she joins the “SNL” cast at its annual pre-season retreat at Mohunk, N.Y. In the movie, she reprises her TV character and is pursued by suitors Dave Foley and Charles Rocket. Foley plays Christopher/Christine and, says Sweeney, “He’s better at being androgynous than I!”

IT’S MURPHY’S LAW, lamented director Herb Ross as he made his bow as an operatic director last night with the L.A. Music Center Opera’s “La Boheme” downtown at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion while his MGM movie “Undercover Blues” preemed at the Bruin in Westwood. Ross said one day’s shooting on the movie cost more than the entire opera. Saturday, he wings home with wife Lee Radziwill to East Hampton, Long Island. And he says there’s no Daryl Hannah/John F. Kennedy Jr. wedding at their house, as rumored. “I’m crazy about Daryl,” he reminds — she worked for him in “Steel Magnolias” in 1989. “And we became great friends.” Meanwhile, Hannah and Kennedy are leaving L.A. to attend the weekend wedding of Ted Kennedy Jr. and Dr. Katherine Anne Gershman … Ross returns here to direct “Boys on the Side” with Whoopi Goldberg and Drew Barrymore for New Regency. He tells me he’d like to tackle more operas, like “La Rondine,””La Traviata” and “The Merry Widow.” His experience with this first opera outing was a complete joy, he reports. He credits all involved and especially conductor Placido Domingo, who bicycled between batoning “Boheme” and singing rehearsals for “A Masked Ball.” Ross talked with Joe Smith about vidcassette taping for global opera lovers … The walls of La Chaumiere in the Century Plaza Tower were bursting with guests well-wishing Seth Baker on the 10th anni of his Beverly Hills 213. Attorney Gloria Allred was getting a major share of attention on the Michael Jackson story — while in another part of the party, Lee Solters was getting equal time, as he readies to depart Saturday to rejoin Jackson at his Moscow concert. After the cocktailers departed, Frances Bergen and Craig Stevens stayed to dine together.

PRESIDENT CLINTON WILL BE HERE Oct. 4 as special guest at “A Salute to California’s Chairmen” (of congressional committees). Edie and Lew Wasserman and Louise and John Bryson chair at the Oct. 4 BevHilton dinner … Hollywood Women’s Political Committee exec director Margery Tabankin, guiding light of politically involved Hollywood, heads to Harvard for three months as a fellow in residence at the John F. Kennedy School of Government …”The Crusaders” came close to missing their satellite promo show Thursday when their stage door would not open. The Fire Dept. saved the day … Morgan Creek/WB’s “True Romance” cornered the town’s young romantics at the Mann’s Chinese preem. Cast members on hand included Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette (with her mom, sister Rosanna and brothers Alexis and David), Chris Penn (with dad and brothers Sean and Michael). Plus Brad Pitt, Samuel L. Jackson and Grace Zabriskie, director Tony Scott, writer Quentin Tarantino, Michael Rapaport.

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