GOOD MORNING: “It’s like winning the lottery,” says Tony Curtis, who is already tuning up for his July 27, 2002, legit bow in the musicalized “Some Like It Hot” at the Aladdin in Las Vegas. As reported May 16 in Daily Variety, Curtis, co-star of the original “Some Like It Hot,” will in this tuned turn play the Joe E. Brown role, Osgood Fielding III. Now back from N.Y.’s announcement of the show, and in their rented house in Las Vegas where he and wife Jill are building a new home, Curtis said he’s already started taking dancing lessons. As for singing, he says “I’ll do it like Rex Harrison did in ‘My Fair Lady’.” … Curtis, who will be 76 on June 3, admits, “If I need a little screw tightening up in my face — I’ll get it.” He didn’t admit to having already had some “tightening.” But, it’s not needed for the senior Osgood role. Curtis is as excited about this chapter in his career as was the 1951 Universal contractee Bernie Schwartz from the Bronx when he got the lead in “The Prince Who was a Thief.” Curtis can’t get over the annuity “Some Like It Hot” has provided — thanks to (Lew Wasserman and) his percentage, which now also participates in the “Some Like It Hot” DVD, certain to be a blockbuster in the revival mania. Curtis figures his (participating) deal for the play will bring him $100,000 a week. And who knows how much more the commercial tie-ups could also mean to the sale of his paintings. It is another movie-legiter rebirth phenomenon a la “The Producers.” Curtis is not only thinking about the possibility of the show going on to B’way after the road tour –but, he notes, “Paris, Moscow — ‘Some Like It Hot’ is international! You can’t be rich enough — or tall enough! Ah, things are so good,” he laughed.
WOMEN IN FILM SET AN AUSPICIOUS list of presenters and awardees for their 25th annual Crystal Awards at the Century Plaza on June 8. Julie Moran hosts; John Lithgow presents to Glenn Close, Drew Barrymore to Whoopi Goldberg, Doug Wick/Lucy Fisher to Amy Pascal, James L. Brooks to Juliet Taylor, Steven Bochco to Betty Thomas, Beverly Wood to Amy Vincent, Jamie Lee Curtis to Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith … And Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Al Jarreau, Rachelle Ferrell, Daniela Mercury, Albita, Chuck Mangione, Wayne Shorter, Abbey Lincoln, James Carter, DJ Spooky and George Duke are among those to be featured at the first Verizon Music Fest Aug. 7-11 in several N.Y. venues. Verizon follows with music fest in L.A. (Sept. 28-Oct. 2) and Tampa, Oct. 24-27 … Talking earlier about being 76: Fred Hayman was plush-partied by wife Betty at the Peninsula Hotel on his 76th. Great reminiscences were recalled as Hayman was brought out from his Waldorf-Astoria job to BevHills by Conrad Hilton to open the Beverly Hilton hotel, went on to the Cocoanut Grove, then on to start his showmanlike shop in BevHills. Rodeo Drive grew under his guidance, and the world was fragranced by his Giorgio’s, “the scent of the century,” and other products. His showbiz clientele and savvy led him to become fashion coordinator for the Oscars, a title he has held for 11 years. His Fred Hayman shop was made more famous by Judith Krantz in her bestseller “Scruples.” She and husband Steve were among the guests and longtime friends at the Peninsula party, directed by the hotel’s genial general manager Ali Kasikci, segued from cocktails in the presidential suite to the rooftop where, following dinner, swing and mariachi music guests “gambled” in a miniature casino alongside the pool. As Red Buttons noted, “76 isn’t old — old is when you forget your twin brother’s birthday.”
LIZA MINNELLI, NOW GAINING strength (she quit smoking) and getting daily therapy, made a surprise appearance at Feinstein’s at the Regency where Keely Smith, not knowing Liza was in the audience, announced, “This is a song Frank Sinatra popularized — but I’m going to sing it the way Liza introduced it — ‘New York, New York’!” It brought down the house. Liza’s taking it real easy this time before returning to work … And Dame Edna (Barry Humphries) didn’t know the member of the audience “she” brought onstage to be-wig him as “Queen Mim” was screen and stage writer James Prideaux — to the delight of audience members Angela Lansbury, Ann Miller and Lorna Luft, who were all in stitches. As was Prideaux … Congrats to Barry Mirkin who is toasted today by the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s board of directors. Mirkin, whose career began at WB’s Strand Theater on B’way, segued to MCA, and his friends included the top names in the biz — Elizabeth Taylor, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, Bob Hope, Desi and Lucy and George Burns, who later answered his call when Mirkin spearheaded fundraising efforts — more than $120 million — for the hospital … And today, Dennis Weaver is the only showbiz member of the California Energy Crisis debate at the Women of L.A. lunch at the Four Season hotel. Weaver is head of the Institute of Ecolonomics … The Children of the World choir have a new take on youngsters’ choir singing on their “Lightwaves” CD — their music crosses all borders with a contemporary beat — hey, one of the songs is even titled, “Variety.” Marinna Waks is the hip exec director … The season’s ending in Palm Springs this weekend (May 27) as “The Fabulous Follies” brings down the curtain on its 10th season with Tony Martin the headliner. Impresario Riff Markowitz says the next season’s show Nov. 6, with Anna Maria Alberghetti headlining an all-N.Y.-themed revue, bows with a Grand Central Station setting, followed at Christmas with Macy’s staging and Coney Island in the spring. Guess where everyone in Palm Springs hies from.