PAIGE AND PAGES: New diva in town Elaine Paige made a spectacular landing on Broadway (at last!) in Sunset Boulevard, and no doubt her triumph was sweetened by the fact she had her parents present to witness it. Additional sweeteners: pals Ruthie Henshall and Gregory's Girl's John Gordon-Sinclair (both Olivier Award winners and lingering lovebirds, from the London She Loves Me) and some of Andrew Lloyd Webber's stars-in-the-works: John Scherer (the Bertie Wooster of Jeeves) and Irene Molloy (the "Sparrow" of Whistle Down the Wind). . . . Plume plucked a pair of prize plums for publishing this fall: Terrence McNally's back-to-back Tony-winning Best Plays of the Year: 1994's Love! Valour! Compassion! and 1995's Master Classplus 1993's A Perfect Ganesh, the play that triggered this award-winning run. . . . Slings and Arrows: Theatre in My Life, the autobiography of Actors Studio co-founder Robert Lewis, just went into a new printing via Applause Booksand some of Bobby's best broads showed up at the party to celebrate its return: Maureen Stapleton, Elia Kazan, James Mitchell and Rita Gam. A MEETING OF LINES: The distance between the drawing desks of the movies' foremost animator (Walt Disney) and the theatre's premier caricaturist (Al Hirschfeld) turns out to be only a hop, skip and documentary. In a fascinating, eminently nominatable film portrait of the latter (Susan W. Dryfoos's The Line King), the two distinctive stylists crisscross and interconnect all over the screenfrom the punny title on down! "Nina," for handy example, is a witty little ditty about a guy who either is in love with somebody so-named or has seen too many Hirschfeld caricatures; it debuted in the film, sung by its composer, Will Ryan (a Disney songwriter and voiceover actor). Another Disney elf, animator Eric Goldberg, used Hirschfeld (his private idol) as the model to draw Disney's Aladdin. Imagine! Robin Williams's voice coming out of Al Hirschfeld's mouth! Oy vey!
TWO BY TWO: The Second City is twice-represented on the New York theatre scene this season: First, and more conspicuous, is Broadway's Chicago, the Kander and Ebb musical getting a revival at the Richard Rodgers with the same Encores! ensemble it had in May. Then there's the Off-Broadway Chicago, a play with the same name that will surface in the Signature Theatre Company's upcoming Sam Shepard season at The Public.
-- By Harry Haun