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Show Biz and Big Biz

The names were Andrew Lloyd Webber, Zubin Mehta, Dolly Parton, Smokey Robinson and Steven Spielberg when we last chronicled Stephen Schwarzman in his role as  Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Kennedy Center.

It was at the presentation of the Kennedy Center Honors. On Tuesday, the top performing talent here was Marvin Hamlisch, Patti Le Belle, Rod Stewart and Martin Short.

They toasted Schwarzman, who celebrated his 60th birthday with 600 friends at the Park Avenue Armory.  Among guests was George Stevens Jr., producer of the Kennedy Center Honors. Stevens takes on another role when winging to L.A. next week as one of the first to urge Senator Barack Obama to seek the Demo nomination for President.

The festivities for Obama in L.A. Feb.20 are non-stop, starting with  breakfast and lunch meetings, followed by a giant afternoon rally — open to the public at the Racho Cienega Sports Complex. Then, the 5:30-7:30 cocktail reception at the BevHilton hosted by David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg with tickets at $2300 per. The pirvate dinner follows at Geffen’s home for those raising $46,000.

…Hillary Clinton, who needs no introduction to the L.A. area, arrives  on the 22nd for meetings with her finance committee prepping the March 24 gala event at Ron Burkle’s — site of  past, memorable Demo fund-raising galas… Candidates arriving in L.A. in the next week will find a plethora of press — all arriving to cover other potential winners–at the Oscars.

More at the Kennedy Center

A memorial service for Art Buchwald will be held 11 a.m. March 5 in the Eisenhower Theater at the Kennedy Center about which Artie wrote copious comments. Among those who will  recall Buchwald are Tom Brokaw, Ben Bradlee, Mike Wallace and George Stevens Jr. who had written their obituary notes for and about him. Buchwald insisted — and they were  included in his  book, “Too Soon To Say Goodbye.”

…And talking books: “Train Wreck” (Phoenix) the “blood-curdling” story of Anna Nicole Smith’s youth as told by her sister, Donna Hogan, written by Henrietta Tiefentaler, goes to press this weekend. 
April 14 is the publication date and there’s an order for 80,000 copies, says Michael Viner who won’t let Hogan do interviews — yet.      

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