E STREET SHUFFLE-OFF
Bruce Springsteen has told the faithful members of his E Street Band, most of whom have been playing with him for 15 years, that he no longer wants to be their Boss. Springsteen personally telephoned the seven members (well, he may have told singer-tambourine player Patti Scialfa in person, since she's also his steady) to tell them he won't be using them on either his next album or concert tour and that they should feel free to accept other offers. No word yet on whom Springsteen will be playing with next, but his representative said he'd used the E Street Band sparingly on his last album, Tunnel of Love.

OSCAR ON THE WAY
In September, after directing Meryl Streep and Roseanne Barr in Orion's She-Devil, Susan Seidelman, right, went to the doctor. She complained of fatigue, nausea, weight gain (a lot!) and of "feeling different." The doctor said she was, indeed, different—six months pregnant. "I had had a pregnancy test earlier, and it was negative, so I just believed science," says Seidelman, 36. The baby's dad is Jonathan Brett, S-D's producer and Susan's companion for three years. "Not only can women direct movies, but we can direct them pregnant," says Seidelman. She-Devil is due Dec. 8; her baby, a boy, is due by the end of December. "As of now, we're going to call him Oscar," she says.

BREATHLESS WITH ADMIRATION
Isn't it rich? Aren't they a pair? Pop diva Madonna sings three songs by Stephen Sondheim, below, the reigning genius of the musical theater, in Dick Tracy. She plays Breathless Mahoney, a torchy nightclub singer, in the Disney film, due this summer. In Craig Zadan's updated edition of his book, Sondheim & Co., which Harper & Row will release at Thanksgiving, Madonna says of the implausible pairing, "I didn't know if I could do his stuff justice, and he wasn't sure I could either....

In my own music I like to make people not be able to hear some things sometimes. But Stephen and Warren [Beatty, her director, co-star and beau] were very insistent that every word be heard. The challenge, which was very difficult for me, was to do that and not sound like Eliza Doolittle." Sondheim says he liked the Material Girl, but adds, "She's also very impatient. She hates to make a lot of choices. For us she did two, and sometimes had to be persuaded to do three takes." It was her dancing that truly left Sondheim breathless: "I was really knocked out the moment she started to move...that's when you immediately know why she's a star."