‘A Night at Sardi’s’: Young Hollywood salutes ‘sinfully sexy’ septuagenarian Garry Marshall


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Who doesn’t know that Hollywood is the Vatican for youth worship? But every once in a while, the food chain flows in reverse, and old lions of the entertainment industry get their due, as they did in Beverly Hills on Thursday evening at the 18th annual ‘A Night at Sardi’s.’

Card-carrying members of young Hollywood Anne Hathaway, Chris Pine and Seth Rogen, as well as not-that-young-but-close-enough Demi Moore, turned out for the Alzheimer’s Assn. benefit honoring veteran director Garry Marshall -- dubbed a ‘sinfully sexy Scorpio’ by La Hathaway -- his sisters Penny and Ronny, and theater and Alzheimer’s event producer Susan Dietz. Also honored was Soleil Moon Frye, whose 2004 documentary ‘Sonny Boy’ explored her father’s life and his struggle with Alzheimer’s.


Garry Marshall’s memories of his mother, who was also stricken with Alzheimer’s, were somewhat less dewy-eyed. He described his mother, a dance teacher in the Bronx, as ‘the Simon Cowell of the Grand Concourse’:

‘She’d say, ‘You’re the pretty girl with the fat legs. Don’t dance ever.’ At my birthday, she’d say, ‘Garry is celebrating 11 years of being round-shouldered.’ When Penny had an overbite, she said, ‘When I want to open a Coke bottle, I do it with Penny’s teeth.’'

Honestly, where else can you find such unabashed syrupy emotion in this town? No wonder emcee Rogen started sucking up to the ‘Valentine’s Day’ director as soon as he left the stage at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

‘I want to work with him,’ said the ‘Funny People’ star. ‘We can remake ‘Pretty Woman’ with me, and we’ll make it ‘Schlubby Dude.’'

Later, ‘Brothers and Sisters’ hunk Gilles Marini, Eric McCormack, Sharon Lawrence, Samantha Harris, Lea Thompson, Steven Weber, Ken Howard and Michael Chiklis and Peter Gallagher and their daughters joined the glittery cast of a revue of music by ‘Cabaret’ songwriters Kander and Ebb. David Hyde Pierce told the packed ballroom that John Kander wasn’t there because he was ‘on an island somewhere’ after opening his latest musical, ‘The Scottsboro Boys,’ off Broadway last week.

‘It’s a shocking, amazing earthquake of a show,’ Pierce said. ‘He’s 83 and still pumping them out.’

The Alzheimer’s fundraiser was founded by co-chairs Laurie Burrows Grad--the daughter of humorist Abe Burrows--and her husband, Peter Grad, a former TV executive. Burrows died in 1985 after battling the disease.

-- Irene Lacher

Related dispatches from the Ministry of Gossip: Syesha Mercado and the original Dreamgirls celebrate opening night at the Ahmanson Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg christen ‘The Pacific,’ HBO’s new WWII series

David Geffen, in person, at the Geffen? (Kudos, Annette Bening!)

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