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Big crowd makes for awkward ‘Striptease’

GOOD MORNING: First, the good news: Industry curiosity about “Striptease” brought out a turnaway crowd of hundreds at the Academy preem and party Wednesday night. Now, the bad news: Industry curiosity about “Striptease” brought out a turnaway crowd of hundreds at the Academy preem and party Wednesday night. You get the picture. When you descended the Acad’s grand staircase post-screening, you were greeted by a solid mass of humanity making it impossible to seek or see an exit in case of emergency and, less importantly, to do the usual shmoozing and newsing. Hundreds were turned away from the Acad’s SRO Samuel Goldwyn Theater and directed to a screening room upstairs, and across the street to the Laemmle Music Hall, which, in turn, was filled to over-capacity. All of these seemingly second-class citizens were, however, told by studio (Castle Rock) security to retain preem tickets, and were invited to return to the Acad for the post-party, thus joining the horde already descending from above. This is not the first time overzealous screening-party hosts have created a dangerous situation, which forces the BevHills Fire Dept. to close the doors. The Acad’s exec director Bruce Davis told me he intends “to act on it,” to notify future studio bookers, caterers, etc. at the Acad — he, too, has been greeted by the sight of immovable humanity, post-screenings. Among guests “trapped” in the “Striptease” crowd and unable to exit easily, Jenny McCarthy, with Ray Manzella — and after they eased their way past the crowd and cameras inside, they were chased by paparazzi down Wilshire, said Manzella. McCarthy (MTV’s “Singled Out” hostess) is so hot, she was personally greeted by NBC’s Warren Littlefield when she guested on “The Tonight Show” Tuesday. All nets want McCarthy for a sitcom commitment in ’97 … Castle Rock’s Martin Shafer, who welcomed preemgoers from the stage Wednesday, departs next week with CR’s Liz Glotzer for their first look at Kenneth Branagh’s “Hamlet”… Castle Rock’s sr. VP of publicity and promotion, John De Simio, who has worked beyond the 24-hour calls of duty for the 20 years I’ve known him, is, sad to say, retiring from the biz because of an eyesight disability. “I’m going blind,” he told me. He’s now changing his way of life, “to be a philosopher and accordionist,” De Simio bravely laughed. I’ll always tune in to hear him.

CLINT EASTWOOD GOES TO CARNEGIE HALL. An Oct. 17 program, “Eastwood: After Hours,” will feature music and musicians from Eastwood movies. Gary LeMel, president of music for Warner Bros. and head of its new Sunset Label, said Clint has invited him to sing “‘Round Midnight” during a The lonius Monk section of the concert. “Bird,” the Charlie Parker story, will be one of the concert’s mainstays, of course. Roberta Flack will sing from “Play Misty for Me.” LeMel says the evening will be recorded for Eastwood’s label and will be a PBSpecial. LeMel performed on the Carnegie Hall boards last year in the celebration to Frank Sinatra, singing “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” How does it feel to play Carnegie Hall? Gary said, “In my dressing room there was a picture of Mark Twain — he had appeared there!” Quincy Jones also asked LeMel to appear with him at the Montreux Jazz Fest July 19. He’ll sing “Mack the Knife” with Jones’ orch, featuring Phil Collins on drums … While John Travolta decides on his next pic, wife Kelly Preston is off to play Tim Robbins’ wife in Touchstone’s comedy “Nothing to Lose,” co-starring Martin Lawrence. Martin Bregman,Michael Bregman and Dan Jinks produce with Steve Oedekerk directing his script. Preston recently wound “Jerry Maguire” with Tom Cruise for TriStar. Last night, the “Maguire” troupe took over the Grand Havana Room cigar lounge to shoot a smoker stag scene for the movie’s groom-to-be Cruise, who is to wed Renee Zellweger in the pic.

“A SCARY 40 MINUTES IN THE AIR,” admitted Minnesota Vikings’ Warren Moon. He was en route to Vancouver to act as a football coach in “Warriors of Virtue” when the plane had problems, but got there OK. “Virtue,” a Law Bros. pic for MGM/UA, is winding production after 18 weeks in Beijing … Ray Charles’ 36th tour of Europe got off to a shaky start when all of his equipment was stolen on arrival in London. By renting gear — and because of the recovery of most of it by Scotland Yard — Charles didn’t miss a show. He returns here (to Atlanta) for four dates during the Olympics … Fayard Nicholas joins granddaughters Nicole ( 10) and Catherine (8) dancing in Saturday’s performance of the L.A. (nonprofit) Circus at the Farmer’s Market … Tom Selleck takes time off TNT’s “Last Stand at Saber River” Saturday to present the American Academy of Achievement Awards in Sun Valley … Sheryl Lee Ralph receives Project Angel Food’s Angel Award July 13 for her tireless efforts on behalf of the org and its battle against AIDS. She created “Divas: Simply Singing,” whose divas came together in song with all proceeds aiding the fight against AIDS. Jody Watley will present her award.

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