The most famous fictitious child who ever stayed at the Plaza Hotel is getting her own Broadway show.
Eloise, the creation of late author Kay Thompson, is about to have her adventures at the Plaza set to music and fitted out with dance.
Broadway's dynamo producer Terry Allen Kramer has acquired the rights from London's Handmade Films, which in turn got them from Thompson's estate.
Kramer, a real powerhouse, currently has the Billy Joel show "Movin' Out" on Broadway as well as "Beckett/Albee." She's opening Edward Albee's "The Goat" in London this winter.
This has been a boom year for little Eloise. Even though Thompson never wanted a film version made of her character, the die has been cast for a big-screen version as well.
This follows on the heels of two made-for-TV movies with Julie Andrews playing the Nanny; the first film aired earlier this year, the second is scheduled for next month. A third one will make it ABC next spring.
Kramer doesn't know who's going to write or direct "Eloise" yet, but the word is that brother/sister team of Rob Marshall (whose film "Chicago" won the Best Picture Oscar this year, in case you didn't know) and his talented sister Kathleen are very interested in taking over.
If this can be negotiated, it would be a coup for everyone. Rob's TV-movie version of "Annie" a couple of years ago was spectacular.
Peter Dinklage, the star of "The Station Agent," is starting to look more and more like an Oscar contender.
A dwarf as Best Actor? Well, why not? Dinklage is turning out to be the surprise of the fall season.
He's in nearly every scene of "The Station Agent." The more people see it, the more his chances seem to grow.
Last night the film was screened for an eclectic bunch at MGM with a dinner following at Kitsch, the hot new spot on East 61st Street. Julianna Margulies chatted up a storm with "Station Agent" co-star Bobby Cannavale and director Tom McCarthy.
George Stephanopolous and wife, Ali Wentworth (she of the ailing "Ali and Jack" morning show) put in an appearance, as did Sandra Bernhard, talent manager extraordinaire Johnnie Planco, and Andrew Jarecki, the founder of MovieFone and director of "Capturing the Friedmans." (No relation, please.)
Dinklage, with whom I proudly share a birthday (he is a dozen years younger), is the son of non-dwarf parents. His height is a biological fluke, but his talent is huge. McCarthy met him when he directed him in an off-Broadway play.
The idea for a movie in which he would star took root then and grew.
"Everyone knew about The Dink," McCarthy told me. "They said I had to meet him." Thank goodness he did.
McCarthy, meantime, is shaping up as this year's answer to Todd Field, the actor who hit it big directing "In the Bedroom." He says he's turning down offers to direct films right now and is looking for an acting job. He may be better known to audiences as Dr. Bob from "Meet the Parents."
When Rod Stewart takes the stage tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden, he will be wobbly on a trick knee. Stewart's been having some problems, but that won't deter him from shimmying across the stage. However, he will have already missed the big London start of his new musical, which is scheduled for the same night.
"Tonight's the Night," a musical written by Rod with Ben Elton, starts previews tomorrow night in London's West End at the Victoria Palace Theatre.
Rod, who's been managed by the skillful Arnold Steifel all these years, is certainly having a renaissance. His first album of standards for J Records was a smash hit, and he's currently recording Volume 2, due for release in December.
In the meantime, Stewart will perform on a bill tomorrow night with Sarah McLachlan, Seal and Simply Red. The show should be very melodic, but bring lots of coffee.