‘Limit’ goes for thrills

GOOD MORNING: Time mag should have spoken to thesp Scott Glenn and “The Vertical Limit” troupe for its cover story, “Why We Take Risks.” The “Limit” company is filming on a glacier, 12,000 feet high on New Zealand’s Mount Cook, doubling for K2, the world’s second highest mountain. Cook is nicknamed “the savage mountain.” The film sites are reached only by helicopter — and then the actors climb to the action! For tense, close-up scenes, a refrigerated soundstage has been built on the outskirts of Queenstown. Director Martin Campbell (“Goldeneye,” “The Mask of Zorro”) is leading his band of hearty souls on this expedition-like movie in which the actors literally are becoming “ice climbers.” Glenn, who lives on a ranch in Idaho, admits, “I’ve seen tons of snow in the winter — but nothing like this!” The actors arrived a month early to learn to ice climb. “We started on walls, then with clips, and on to the ice. It was a pleasant surprise,” Glenn admits. “I’ve fallen in love with it.” He says some of the ice walls he has climbed are as high as a 10-story building. “While I do enjoy sky-diving and jumping out of planes, this puts your heart in your mouth. It’s like doing pull-ups 100 feet up in the air.” Glenn says director Campbell, who had Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins learn swordplay, which they exhibited so effectively in “Mask of Zorro,” ditto trained the thesps on “The Vertical Limit.” World champion mountain climbers Barry Blanchard, Guy Corter, Troy Kirwar and Kim Logan led the climb. And Glenn admits, “They literally have my life in their hands.” Other cast members involved in climbs include Chris O’Donnell, Robin Tunney, Bill Paxton and Isabella Scorupco (“Goldeneye”). Have there been any close calls, I asked Glenn. “Nothing I should talk about,” he laughed. But producer Lloyd Phillips, there on the location, assured me, “We have the strongest safety protocol you could put on a film.” Incidentally Scott Glenn’s indie banner is named “Adrenalin Unlimited.”

IT WAS LIKE THE CAST from “Guys and Dolls” — the SRO group at Matty Jordan’s memorial service and reception that followed at Matteo’s restaurant Wednesday evening. The giant floral decoration in Matty’s Westwood eatery was decorated as a pair of dice — with the numbers five and two — a seven that Matty rarely hit on the crap tables which he loved. But he was always a winner with the 300 friends who packed the chapel, adjoining tents and, later, the restaurant. “Fat Harold” Elkind spoke of the days in Hoboken with the now-departed “Clarkey-Clark Big Ears,” “Frankie Eyelashes,” “Joe Tomatoes” and “Jimmy the Hook.” Leonard Jaffee delivered a warm eulogy, Robert Blake told how Matty had taught him how to be a better person. Shecky Greene had everyone in stitches as he described Matty at the track, Mimi Weber reminded how he’d greet her each time she arrived at his eatery, “Hey Mimi — are you wearing bloomers — show us your — -!” Matteo’s maitre’d Larry Cullen, who lovingly arranged the evening, imitated the voice of his longtime boss, who despite the gruff exterior, had a heart of gold. Jackie, his wife of 25 years, was hugged affectionately by their longtime pals. She heads to Hoboken for Saturday’s services. Among those on hand who dated way back to the original La Scala: Al Davis who winged in from Oakland, the David Gerbers, Herman Rushes, David Fosters, Sidney Beckermans, Dino Conte, Jay Kanters, Elliot Kastner, restaurant pals Jimmy and Jamie Murphy, Chasen’s hat check girl Val, former Bistro captain Casper, Arthur Crowley; Father Maurice Chase conducted the memorial … Wednesday evening at the new Chasen’s, Beebe Kline was birthday partied on her 90th (!) by her former boss Warren Cowan, his wife Barbara and Chuck Cartier. Sophia Loren, Beebe’s client for 40 years (!) winged in from Geneva to toast her. ” She’s like my second mother,” Sophia told me of Beebe … Morton’s restaurant celebrates its 20th anni Sept. 26 … And Jimmy’s reopens next month.

A MARATHON PIANO-PLAYING BIRTHDAY celebration is planned by Roger Williams for his 75th birthday, Sept. 30. He’ll be at the 88’s for 12 hours — noon to midnight — at the grand opening of Steinway Hall in Phoenix. He’s now finishing editing and mixing “Pop Goes the Ivories,” his new PBS special for Dec. Williams a former boxer, is getting in shape to pound the keys by running, skipping rope and punching the bag (carefully!) … Manager Bud Robinson, onetime hoofer (teamed with wife Cece), was surprised on his 75th birthday by son (APA v.p.) David and director John Moab at the latter’s house with a party for 100 friends and relations … Jerry Zeitman, owner and founder of The Agency, married Temecula school teacher Johanna Tucker, Sept. 5. They’re honeymooning at his ranch near Telluride, Colo. … Karen and Stanley Kramer celebrated their 33rd wedding anni … And agent Irvin Arthur and wife Sandy toast their 50th wedding anni Sept. 8 … Norm Crosby received a thank you call from Muscular Dystrophy prez Bob Ross thanking Norm for his six-hour stint for Jerry Lewis on the telethon … Randy Thomas, first femme to be the announcer at an Academy Awards (1993) will ditto on the 51st Emmys Sunday from the Shrine … “Entertainment Tonight” holds its fourth annual Emmy party at Cicada following the awards … The N.Y. Friars present “A Salute to Hal David” dinner and show m.c’d. by Tony Roberts, Sept. 13 at the Friars … InTheater, the B’way mag, celebrates its second anni at — the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, Sept. 16. Many who made the cover will be on hand — as well as David Hyde Pierce, the current cover.