Our Money and Our Movie Stars

"CHINA and India will, separately and together, unleash an explosion of demand," said Indian financier Muckesh Abami.

WELL, China's explosion of demand is heavy on Hollywood these days. American-based stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, John Travolta, Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, Kate Beckinsale and Catherine Zeta-Jones made an appearance at the unveiling of China's billion dollar studio complex in the city of Qingdao. (The unveiling of its plans, anyway. It was kind of like a groundbreaking ceremony.) Along for the ride were super-moguls such as Harvey Weinstein of New York City.

The name behind the push is The Wanda Group and nobody knows for sure if anything as big as promised will come out of all the hoopla. As the Hollywood Reporter noted: "The Chinese are famous for wildly exaggerating what they are going to do."

But nobody wants to diss the Chinese market even if it is a bit flaky in its predictions. The Asian take on American films is considerable. To the point that flop films in the U.S. can make back their cost (and then some) over there.

China has us by the....box office. And in so many other ways.

• YESTERDAY was the biggest news day of the year. The government shut down. So I had to laugh when I opened up the New York Times and the first thing that caught my eye on the front page--the front page!--was a photo of Marilyn Monroe with her skirts flying, as she stood over a subway grate! It was a story about how such subway grates are being phased out. Maybe the Times thought on such a depressing news day, people needed some relief? And what could be more relieving than the eternal, omnipresent, Miss Monroe?

• THE GREAT singer Judy Collins and Shubert Organization President Robert Wankel will receive Town Hall's 2013 "Friend of the Arts Awards" at the Princeton Club on October 20th.

Cabaret queen KT Sullivan will kick off the event, with numbers from her current "Autumn in New York" act.

Judy Collins has many hits to claim, but she will be forever remembered for her classic rendition of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now." The lyrics of that song are still pondered. "It's life's illusions I recall/I really don't know life at all." You said it, ladies! Who knows? Contact Sam@SamMorrisPR.com for info.

• We get notes: John Jayne wrote to say he'd ordered a copy of Q with my Faye Dunaway piece, and added he loved all we'd written on Ann-Margret recently, leading up to her honor on Oct 8th, at "Broadway and Beyond."

John said two of his A-M faves were John Frankenheimer's "52 Pickup" and the actresses' stint with John Wayne in "The Train Robbers."

And might I add "Magic" with Anthony Hopkins, and "Return of the Soldier," with Julie Christie and Glenda Jackson. This woman has had an amazing, varied acting career.

And she can dance, too!

• THE loyal friend of the late Helen Gurley Brown, Charlotte Veal, has left her Hearst colleagues after two years of illness. She was a public relations expert and a favorite of Helen's and there will be a memorial at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 7th at St. Peters Çhurch. If you want more on this, e mail Sean Sullivan of ssullivan@hearst.com or call 212 - 903 5250.

Rachael Ray will be honored along with the Mayor's Fund to Ådvance New York City on October 15 at Sotheby's 72nd and York and you can attend and get in on dinner and a live auction. This benefits the Sylvia Center. And as I am a member of the Mayor's Fund, you just might see me chowing down toward the obesity the Mayor was accused of fomenting in his years of Mayor. I think it was just the opposite but what do I know? I do love Rachael Ray! And I love the Mayor too. Call 212 228-7446 Ext. 10 about an abundance of different sizes of contributions that will allow you to join in.

The Glamour Women of the year award will be given on Nov. 11 at Carnegie Hall and though I keep voting for various women of distinction, none of my candidates ever get named. I am getting discouraged but this remains one of the best awards, speeches, and fashionable things happening every year.

The best surfing mom of the year at the Flying Point School this year was my favorite doctor, the blonde and saucy Dr. Holly Åndersen who is going to be lecturing at the Rockefeller University 2013 Women & Science Fall Breakfast Program, October 22 at 7:30 a.m. One gets breakfast as well after Dr. Holly talks about Gender Differences in Heart Disease and Stroke. Dr.Holly has said that her "best surfing mom' stuff hasn't helped her golf game one bit.

If you want to hear a lot of mature folks talking about the bad old days...be there with Gay Talese, Pete Hamill, Calvin Trillin and yours truly on Sunday night, Nov. 3, at the Kaufmann Concert Hall of the Y at Lex and 92. Tickets to this aging spectacle are only $41 to $15. We will be overseen by that great lover Budd Mishkin. The last time the four of us met, we almost burnt the Y down with our stunning conclusions. There is no reason why we shouldn't repeat. We're only a year older.

I see that I was left "an item of personality" by my late fabulous pal of many years, the legit theater press agent Shirley Herz. Her memorial will be at the Sam Friedman Theater on 47th street where the lobby is named for Tony winner Shirley. This happens Nov. 4, a Monday, at 1 p.m and I am just perishing to know what "an item of personality" is and whether it sings and dances or glitters or what? I'll tell you when I know.

• Apologies to Cosmo and Elle writer Sergio Kletnoy. We misspelled his name the other day in reporting on the Cher event in Manhattan. Sergio wrote to us cheerfully: "Not only was I knocked aside in the rush of everybody trying to gaze upon Cher, I woke up with a new name. I knew being in Cher's presence would change me--I just didn't figure how much!"