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Grammys take center stage

GOOD MORNING and good luck Grammy nominees. When Sheryl Crow sings “There Goes the Neighborhood” tonight at the Shrine, her backing vocalists compound the title: three drag queens, led by “Bridgett of Madison County.” It wasn’t easy to get ’em there for nine o’clock rehearsal, notes Bruce Vilanch. Madonna will be in full Kabuki makeup for her number, “Nothing Really Matters” and the show will have an Asian look as host Rosie O’Donnell walks into the Madonna set for her opening monologue — so you can imagine the Rosie humor that follows. The giant Shrine stage will be filled for Kirk Franklin’s “Lean on Me” (nominated best song) with a cast of 430 including Bono, Crystal Lewis, Mary J. Blige among those contributing … This is exec producer Pierre Cossette’s 29th year and next year’s Grammys are already being blueprinted for L.A.’s Staples Center. Walter C. Miller is again producer-director for this year’s awards show … Add musical notes: following the President’s appearance Friday with the Saxophone Club at the Century Plaza, a private reception will be held for the President at the home of Eli Broad … And Hillary Clinton will be the honored guest March 3 at N.Y.’s Plaza at the Women’s Leadership Forum — by which time she will have probably made up her mind about her Senatorial ambitions in N.Y. … While CBS was airing its Doris Duke mini on Sunday and Tuesday nights this week, A&E sandwiched in a re-airing of its “Biography” version of the Duke story on Monday.

JAMES TAYLOR AND DENNIS MILLER will headline the St. Jude gala March 4 at the BevHilton. It’s the 37th anni of the children’s research hospital in Memphis, plus a memorial to showbiz and to Danny Thomas specifically. I can remember when Danny started it all in 1962 when there was only a 2% cure rate for children with leukemia. Now it’s an 80% cure rate. “But there’s still that other 20%” reminds Marlo. Furthermore, St. Jude’s is the only children’s center now to have FDA OK for a children’s AIDS vaccine now in its first stages of trial. The day after the gala (March 5) Rosemarie Thomas, Danny’s widow, celebrates her 85th birthday. Marlo just wound a costarring role in “Two Goldsteins on Acid” for Sid Sheinberg. Elliott Gould plays her husband and Alicia Witt (who was “Cybill’s” younger daughter) plays her daughter. Thomas says Sheinberg was “like the Godfather on the set at all times — very creative” … Jane Seymour appears before the Government Reform Committee today at the invite of its chairman, Rep. Dan Burton. TV’s “Dr. Quinn” will tell the positive effects alternative medicine had on her father when he was terminally ill with cancer. Burton says “Having her testify before Congress will help focus public attention on complementary and alternative medicine” … “Shakespeare in Love” Oscar-nominated director John Madden is toasted tonight in the back room of Elaine’s. Madden also directed “Mrs. Brown,” for which Judi Dench was previously Oscar-nominated. She is now up for supporting actress as Queen Elizabeth in “Shakespeare.” Harvey Weinstein, of course will be there as well as Aidan Quinn, Griffin Dunne, Sidney Lumet, Norman Jewison, Boatie Boatwright, Anthony La Paglia, Peter Jennings, Natasha Richardson, Blaine and Robert Trump and Liev Schreiber, who is about to star in HBO’s “RKO 281” about the filming of “Citizen Kane” … Leslie Jones received an Oscar nom this year for editing “The Thin Red Line,” while her father, Robert C. Jones, received a nomination for editing for “It’s A Mad (4) World” in 1963 and her grandfather, Harmon Jones, received the same nomination on “A Gentleman’s Agreement” in 1947.

ROYAL RE-VISITOR: Prince Edward, aka Edward Windsor, arrives in L.A. March 8 to address at the BevWilshire guests of the 10 California-based offices of Northern Trust Bank of Calif. on the restoration of Windsor Castle — where he grew up. P.S. he also produced a docu on it that was shown on cable. Price Edward has his own TV production company that produces a series of royal-themed docus … At 83, Sid Luft launched another sale of Judy Garland music garlands. This one is a two-CD set, “Judy Duets” (DBS). It will be followed in May with “Judy: Ecstasy,” another of never-released Garland goodies in the Disk Box Slider (DBS) package … Neile Adams is returning to the CineGrill with her new nitery package, March 10-13. Ted Sprague directs and Andy Howe is Adams’ musical director … Add Oscar parties: the Film Foundation and Peter Hygard holds its Night of 100 Stars Oscar party at the BevHills Crystal Room again this year with Norby Walters chairing the March 21 bash … “Law & Order” celebrates its 200th seg with a bash at Elaine’s March 15, with Barry Diller, Bob Wright and Dick Wolf hosting … Billy Barty and other Little People celebrate “The Shortest Month” (Feb., natch) Friday at the Galleria Jewelers in Burbank’s Media Shopping Center, to raise money for the Billy Barty Foundation for Little People … Ed McMahon and Betty White host KCET’s Pledge Drive March 5, “Bob Hope: Memories of WWII”-with rare footage and photos … Chevy Chase will participate in the Lorne Michaels seg of the Academy of TV Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame induction Saturday. UPN airs it March 11.

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