Here is one man who believes in Broadway. The marvelous composer Jerry Herman says he will definitely bring back to the New York stage his musical about early movies - "Mack and Mabel." (His latest version of this played to sold-out houses last spring in Los Angeles.) Asked who might be his Mabel this time around, Herman said he was talking to "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" Tony winner Kristen Chenowith. "What a voice!" enthuses Jerry.
His first "Mabel" was the ebullient Bernadette Peters, and she will be on hand Nov. 10 for the L.A. Actors Fund salute to Mr. Herman at The Luckman Fine Arts Complex.
Right now the composer is traveling between Florida and Las Vegas, where he has scored the music for his "Miss Spectacular" show.
Diners at Maria, the small family-owned Sherman Oaks, Calif., cafe, were flabbergasted when in walked Oscar-winner Hilary Swank on the arm of Brad Pitt. They took a table and started talking with every eye in the house on them.
Naturally, they were then joined by her husband, Chad Lowe, and by Pitt's wife, Jennifer Aniston. Chad's brother, Rob Lowe, also joined the gang.
Aniston had come from the set of "Friends" and Rob from "The West Wing." Much laughter and talk ensued, and then Jennifer took out a throwaway camera and asked a man sitting nearby to snap the assembled table. (Jennifer could sell that photo for lots of dough, not that she needs dough. But maybe she does need a real camera, in case Brad Pitt is wondering about a Christmas gift.)
The Beastie Boys read our item about a fund-raiser for low-income women affected by Sept. 11. They phoned and volunteered over Sunday and Monday at The Hammerstein Ballroom, raising mucho dinero for the New York Women's Foundation.