Star Tracks

updated 06/27/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/27/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Liza loves Liz who loves literacy
When Broadway's brightest showed up at the Literacy Volunteers benefit honoring Mary Elizabeth Smith of Fort Worth, Texas, nobody needed the reason spelled out for him. Better known as Liz Smith, gossip columnist extraordinaire, she proved a popular—if novel—centerpiece at the New York chapter's salute to the printed word. Some 850 guests dined under a tent in the theater district's Shubert Alley, then sashayed into the Shubert Theater for a little song and dance featuring Liza Minnelli, Lena Home, Tommy Tune and Bobby Short, all directed by Michael {A Chorus Line) Bennett. The $250-per-person gala raised some $175,000 toward teaching kids to read. "People can do anything if they keep on keeping on," said a jubilant Smith, 60. "Remember that after the Middle Ages came the Renaissance."

What's after Who
Shortly after The Who quit touring last year, their fans wondered when, where and how they would see them next. For guitarist Peter Townshend, 38, the answer comes in quiet events like the annual dinner of London's Royal Academy of the Arts, where Peter surfaced with his rarely photographed wife, Karen. Townshend has also been helping his brother, Simon, start a band and keeping an eye on the prosecution of The Who's former manager, Tony Branch, who has been accused of embezzling $385,000 from the group. Branch denies the charges.

Celluloid fallout
To launch his anti-nuke film Human Highway, rocker Neil Young assembled a cast of partygoers in an underground L.A. parking lot. The film features '60s faces Russ (West Side Story) Tamblyn, center, and Dean (Long Day's Journey Into Night) Stockwell, right. "No one in the movie had a clue to what was going on," admits Tamblyn. Apparently neither did at least one critic, who dubbed it a bomb.

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