Gotham events should shine

GOOD MORNING:“First of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life, a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.” That was Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his first inaugural address, Saturday, March 4, 1933. Although he was calling to arms a battle against that era’s enemy — the economic depression — his words ring true against today’s enemy and the country’s mental depression. Showbiz should take his words to heart: Don’t cancel events in N.Y. like celeb junkets — bring ’em in to Gotham instead of L.A., to give the city an added shot in the arm. Create even more upbeat showbiz-themed events to continue to raise the spirits of the city. The bigger show must go on. Roosevelt in his wisdom also noted, “If I read the temper of our people correctly, we now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence on each other; that we cannot merely take but we must give as well, that if we are to go forward, we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline, because without such discipline no progress is made, no leadership becomes effective. We are, I know, ready and willing to submit our lives and property to such discipline, because it makes possible a leadership which aims at a larger good. This I propose to offer, pledging that the larger purposes will bind upon us all as a sacred obligation with a unity of duty evoked only in time of armed strife.” As we now pledge that sacred obligation, we must heed his words: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

ON THE OTHER HAND,you can’t blame CBS for canceling its “Fall From the Sky” movie, which was to roll Oct. 9 in Winnipeg, starring Forest Whitaker as the NTSB investigator of the crash of a new jumbo jet with more than 400 aboard. The film, scripted by Nicholas Meyer and Brian Rehack, “has nothing to do with terrorists,” says Meyer, “and does not show the crash — only pieces on the ground — but shows the political pressures brought to bear on the investigation. I thought it would be a useful movie” … Meanwhile, CBS may move its “I Love Lucy 50th Anniversary” special from an October date to one nearer Thanksgiving as cheerful holiday fare. In addition to classic scenes of the original show, the spec will feature Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. dueting in numbers made famous by their parents — yes, including “Babalu” in a Cuba section of the show. Adding to the international flavor and popularity of the “Lucy” shows, celebs tell of growing up watching the shows in their native land — Arnold Schwarzenegger in Austria, Antonio Banderas in Spain, Cher in the U.S. … While the Latin Grammys are KO’d, the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts’ fifth annual Noche de Gala will be held as skedded tonight at D.C.’s Renaissance Mayflower. In addition to top government officials, reps from showbiz include Jimmy Smits and Esai Morales, who is given a few days off “NYPD Blue” to attend … Walter C. Miller, who was to produce the Latin Grammys, is back from confabs in Nashville for the Nov. 7 live, three-hour airing (on CBS) of the Country Music Awards in the Grand Ole Opry. Miller will produce and son Paul will direct … While Miss Oregon, Katie Harman, was crowned as Miss America on Saturday, the 2002 Mrs. America, Nicole Brink (Mrs. Indiana), was crowned in Honolulu. One of the judges was writer-director-producer Mel Shavelson; he winged over with Ruth Florea, widow of Time-Life photographer John. She was the first Mrs. America, 25 years ago. The “Mrs. A.” show airs on PAX Oct. 13, 8 p.m., with a repeat Oct. 20 at 4 p.m.

NATHAN LANE RETURNS to “The Producers” on B’way tonight. He spent a week’s vacation in L.A., and dined with friends Saturday night at Santa Monica’s Locanda del Lago. Lane had to evacuate from his apartment after the WTC attack, but is now clear to move back in … The Signature Theater in N.Y. opened its production of Sam Shepard’s “The Late Henry Moss” starring Ethan Hawke and Arliss Howard. The theater will maintain one vacant seat, center-orchestra, in memory of one of the theater’s many friends lost in that day of evil. The opening-night crowd continued on to the China Club. They included Uma Thurman with husband Hawke, Debra Winger with husband Howard. Also Matthew Modine, who co-starred with Howard in “Full Metal Jacket” … More than $100,000 was raised for the Wildlife Waystation at the annual Safari Brunch at the Ann Hamilton Estate in Pasadena. Johnny Gilbert emceed the event attended by celebs including Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna, Gil Bellows, Nicolette Sheridan, Wes Craven, Bob Fuller, Dana Durey, Eric Balfor and some Waystation residents: an eagle, two wolves, three tigers, including a 300-pound Siberian who went for a swim in the host’s pool … Steve Guttenberg bought rights to “Crystal Blue Persuasion” as the closing tune for his feature version of “P.S. Your Cat Is Dead.” Culture Club and Boy George will record the uplifting song for his pic … And talking about uplifting — we received the Neiman-Marcus Christmas catalog. Items range up to a $6.7 million helicopter.