THEY COULD call it “Barbara Walters Week, Month or Year.” You can barely move in Manhattan for celebrating her book “Audition” and I don’t envy whoever had to pare down the invite list by Mayor Mike Bloomberg for his Tuesday pour honoring Babs in his 79th Street abode. The names crowded in, from Wendi and Rupert Murdoch to Lance Armstrong to Vernon Jordan. Whoopi Goldberg ran into Frank Langella with whom she once consorted, so it was all fun and frisson. And if you weren’t invited, well, listen — it happened in a townhouse, not Yankee Stadium.
PEOPLE ARE talking about the San Francisco Film Festival where Warren Beatty showed up to salute his co-writer Robert Towne for a lifetime of achievement. They replayed their 1975 film “Shampoo,” which onlookers dubbed as being as fresh as tomorrow. But the big festival talk was Maria Bello, who starred with Viggo Mortensen in “A History of Violence.” This girl is now “happening” — she has about six films ready to land, including one with William Hurt titled “The Yellow Handkerchief.”… May 18-12 you can see the cast of a new version of “No, No, Nanette,” starring Sandy Duncan, Charles Kimbrough, and Rosie O’Donnell at City Center’s “Encores!” The Vincent Youmans classic is directed by Walter Bobbie. The show — well, it does have “Tea for Two” and “I Want to Be Happy.”
LAST WEEK I wondered what it would be like to be a fly on the wall of the dressing rooms of Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle and Diana Ross, during their “Divas With Heart” concert at radio City Music Hall, benefiting heart disease. It was nothing but love, love, love between the four women. Chaka and Gladys Knight held hands at one point backstage. And Diana Ross actually went to Patti La Belle’s dressing room to chat, between the matinee and evening shows. Chaka sent Diana, Patti and Gladys gorgeous bouquets. The concerts? A sellout. 10,000 screaming fans. … Later, Ross greeted Denise Rich, Star Jones, Ashford & Simpson and the mother of Sean Bell, the Manhattan man gunned down by police last year, on the eve of his wedding.