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Around Gotham with ‘Grey Gardens’ star

INTERVIEWING a big Broadway star between the matinee and evening performances can be risky. I went to see Christine Ebersole backstage at “Grey Gardens,” before being whisked up to Lincoln Center to sing at the ASCAP Foundation Awards. (Her composers Scott Frankel and Michael Korie were getting the Richard Rodgers honor.) By the time this day ended, Christine would have sung the song “Around the World” in performance three times. This didn’t seem to bother her. “Grey Gardens,” she says, “started as a musical only two years ago. That’s considered a whirlwind for getting a show on Broadway.” … She and Billy Stritch will perform at Birdland on Sunday. Christine burbled on saying that performing for Andrew Lloyd Webber at the Kennedy Center recently had been the “thrill of a lifetime … I hear he had tears in his eyes when I sang ‘As If We Never Said Goodbye.’ I sat at dinner between George Stevens who runs the Kennedy Honors and Ben Bradlee who now owns the ‘Grey Gardens’ house in East Hampton. It was quite a fabulous seat.” Returning from Lincoln Center in the Christmas holiday crush, Christine decided she couldn’t take a chance on her 8 o’clock curtain. On 56th Street she left the limousine, now stuck in traffic, and ran all the way to 48th Street to the Walter Kerr Theater.

MARIAH CAREY’S manager, Benny Medina, is pitching a lifestyle type book cum pseudo memoir titled “500 Hours.” These are the hours Mariah ostensibly went to beauty school just for the heck of it and she now intends to turn her experience into literature. Well, maybe not literature, but at the very least — valuable tips. … Kirk Douglas issued his 90th birthday statement last weekend to Generation Y: “You are on the cusp. Let’s face it: The world is a mess and you are inheriting it. You are the group facing many problems: abject poverty, global warming, genocide, AIDS and suicide bombers to name a few.” … Doris Roberts, Ray Romano’s meddling mom in “Everybody Loves Raymond,” will soon be seen in “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” in a scenario ripped from the headlines. She plays a rich matriarch whose family tries to grab her money. If this sounds like the Brooke Astor imbroglio, it’s no coincidence.

MARTIN SCORSESE and Robert De Niro come together Monday to celebrate their favorite cause — New York City. Scorsese will present the Tribeca Film Festival co-founder with a 2007 AARP Impact Award during a Public Library lunch to thank Bob for all he’s done to revitalize lower Manhattan. … Get thee to City Center’s Stage One where the great Christine Baranski is not only delicious looking but wickedly delightful with her own stylish farcical timing. William Ivey Long has dressed her in the style of Bill Blass. Sian Phillips also gets to appear onstage in a mess of garbage bags. The play is “Regrets Only” and it is so entertaining.

(Email Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com)