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MONDAY April 3, 1989



     It can be rough being young and popular in Hollywood. The night after the 61st Academy Awards presentation, there was Carrie Hamilton, a performer in the up-and-comers production number, out on the town again.

    "I'm exhausted," she said at the premiere of the movie "Sing."

    "Everybody from last night still has their makeup on--you go to sleep propped up," the actress, dressed in shredded jeans, joked. "But I thought, 'I'm so tired, I wonder if anyone else is going to show up.' "

    Although it may have seemed like overkill to schedule a premiere the night after the movie industry's biggest bash of the year, plenty of people did show up, including Barbra Streisand, Quincy Jones and Brian De Palma, as well as a gaggle of the town's hippest young agents, managers and executives.

    They went Thursday to see the musical about a talent competition set in a Brooklyn high school from the same team--producer Craig Zadan and screenwriter-lyricist Dean Pitchford--who made the hit movie "Footloose."

    They then motored to b.c., the new nightclub, for food, drink and dancing in clusters. In Streisand's case, she was there showing her support for--as they say in Hollywood--her "very good friend" Richard Baskin, "Sing's" neophyte director.

    "I'm just sort of calming down," said actor Christian Slater, who had appeared in the same production number as Hamilton and who stars in "Heathers," another new movie geared at young film-goers.

    Trekking into the Cinerama Dome, Slater seemed happy enough to trade in Wednesday night's limousine and tuxedo for jeans, a flannel Armstrong Sporting Goods jacket and his '88 Saab. Except for what he said seemed like a three- hour wait for his limo after the Governors Ball, he rated his first Oscar appearance "a blast," though he was deriding himself for not summoning the nerve to introduce himself backstage to his actor-hero Jack Nicholson.

    "I choked and completely chickened out," he said.

    Canadian actress Jessica Steen, a "Sing" star, was getting her first taste of Oscar fever. "I've never been in Hollywood for the Oscars before," she explained. "It's like a national holiday. Businesses come to a screeching halt, people arrive late to work the next day and it's been the sole topic of conversation at auditions today."

    It was at b.c., too. Eric Roberts had to remind someone that he had been a nominee for his performance in "Runaway Train."

    "They only remember the winners," he said philosophically, adding: "There is no winner. There's a chosen spokesman who gets to take home a trophy."

    Bruce Vilanch--the bearlike writer of the awards telecast script who spent the day writing yet another show, Saturday night's Cinematheque tribute to Steven Spielberg--observed of the busy industry scene, which included publicist Irving "Swifty" Lazar's traditional bash: "We closed Swifty's at like 3 a.m. I guess no good deed goes unpunished. When I called Allan (Oscar producer Carr), he was still asleep at noon."

    At the "Sing" party, Streisand sequestered herself in an area upstairs overlooking the dance floor. "She cried and gave me a big hug," Baskin said, relating her review of the movie.

    Downstairs, fielding waiters' passing trays of seared tuna and chicken brochettes, were Jennifer Grant, daughter of the late Cary Grant; Hollywood teen heartthrob Leif Garrett; actresses Lesley Ann Warren and Khrystyne Haje and actor Harvey Keitel and his wife, "Sing" star Lorraine Bracco. The buzz words on the movie: "Very important sound track."

    "I plan to do many more musicals," related producer Zadan. "It's a tradition that sort of died out in Hollywood and we're trying to resurrect it."

    Added writer Pitchford: "What's so interesting, is that when people think of Hollywood, they think musicals. They're the embodiment of the Hollywood fantasy."

    One of "Sing's" musical stars, the Betty-Boopish Rachel Sweet was just soaking it all in. "This whole week is very glamorous," she cooed. "It's definitely the coolest. I could get used to it."

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