‘Almost Famous’ is almost ready for Broadway


New York, New York, you’re a helluva town: Papua New Guinea’s Dr. Ken Labowe was here and previewed B’way’s new musical “Almost Famous.” It’s about an age 15 Rolling Stone writer. Next day, he’s in nearby Cosmic Diner and in walks the show’s writer, Cameron Crowe, who told him B’way’s stage is smaller than San Diego’s where it worked previously, so choreography got tighter. Also he killed a song sung by the character Frances McDormand played in the film.

All this was over breakfast eggs and rye toast.

Also happening on Broadway, Brooks Atkinson Theatre gets renamed for great performer and civil rights activist Lena Horne. The first venue named for a black woman. Writer Jim Fragale remembers hearing Lena be told: “You’re so sexy when you sing,” and her reply: “It’s not sexiness, it’s anger.”

Bird is the word

Mamie Van Doren — real name Joanie Olander — has done a book. The “Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women” star has written “China & Me: Wing Flapping, Feather Pulling, and Love on the Wing” about her relationship with a Moluccan cockatoo she’s had for 50 years. Listen, the thing beats most husbands. Integrating a wild creature into a human household, matchmaking for it, caring for the bird’s offspring, a love story between a human and an animal ultimately becomes a metaphor for finding peace and happiness. If they don’t already get the bird, Vanilla Fire Productions says they’ll make this movie. As to who plays the cockatoo, who knows. Maybe NYC’s mayor?

Cameron Crowe standing in front of an "Almost Famous" sign.
Cameron Crowe said the theater that “Almost Famous” will be playing on Broadway is smaller than the one it played in San Diego.

Odds & ends

Lawyer Richard Golub’s son Darrow just released “Palace Flea,” about Prince Harry, on YouTube. The kid sings, plinks the instruments, wrote it. Age 15, he’s already smarter than fleabitten Harry . . . HERMÈS Birkin 30 Diamond Blanc Himalaya Matte Crocodile bag, new — 18-karat gold hardware, 245 diamonds weighing 10 carats, comes with certificate, lock, keys and whatever’s a rain protector. Price? $525,000. But, whatthehell, it’s free delivery.

Hunt is a graduate of the College of Auctioneering.
Lucas Hunt discussed the ethics of auctioneering and what is preventing theft.
Getty Images

Auction-paddle babbles

Lucas Hunt, College of Auctioneering grad (who knew there was such a thing?), is tops at unloading everything — but info. Asked about possible auction thievery, he said:

“Good question. It’s a method of marketing property. In history, Greece or Rome have known thievery in terms of conquered property. However, Christie’s, Sotheby’s have high standards of ethics and representation, and deception is punishable by law. Auctioneers carry licenses. Auctions are marketplaces. Integrity is the basis of our business relationships.

“We always represent the seller and the buyer. We have phone bidders, online bidders, proxy bidders, absentee bidders. And an auctioneer’s No. 1 job is to always drive the crowd to spend more than they’re willing to do. Is marketing evil? Can we convince people to buy things that they don’t actually need? Yes.”

Yeah. OK. Right. And if you can figure out anything Lucas said you’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

With its many current miseries, Hollywood’s having fast repeat conflicted relationships. On one wedding night the quickie bride couldn’t decide whether to go to bed or watch TV. It was either “60 Minutes” or 60 seconds.

Only in Hollywood, kids, only in Hollywood.

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