Ms. Midler Attends Tina Brown’s Book Release Of “The Diana Chronicles”

(Ad Restoration Wow!): Tom Miro

Princess Diana Holds A-List Court

Former New Yorker and Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown held her own royal court Monday night.

Her book, “The Diana Chronicles,” just out this week, is already getting rave reviews. So it was up to local royalty, Sir Howard Stringer, head of Sony Entertainment, to entertain Brown’s loyal subjects in the 35th floor Sony Club in New York City.

For a while, the topnotch media guests just kept coming and coming, despite the lack of air conditioning (certainly “Spider-Man 3″ profits could be used for some nice Friedrichs in the windows of the Philip Johnson-designed aerie!)

Bette Midler sneaked in toward the end, arriving by herself but still managing to get noticed by Mayor Mike Bloomberg, NYPD chief Ray Kelly, CBS chief Les Moonves and wife Julie Chen, Liz Smith, Charlie Rose, “60 Minutes” creator Don Hewitt, actor Ron Silver and Kate Castelbajac, CBS’ Steve Kroft, New Yorker editor-writer Rick Hertzberg, former Viacom chief and MTV creator Tom Freston and Harvey Weinstein and famed attorney David Boies.

And those are just a few of the names. The Sony Club was brimming with New York media types, almost to the point of distraction. A lot of necks were injured with quick turns this way and that to see which important person had just entered the main room!

Of course, there were the requisite jokes about the royal family. My favorite though was Tina’s about Sir Howard: “We’ve noticed the resemblance to Prince Harry, but no one’s talking about it.”

Sir Howard blushed appropriately.

Reeling in the Years; ‘Today’ Is Hot

Steely Dan’s show at the Beacon Theater Monday night couldn’t have better artistically. The level of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen’s musicianship has never been better, and their jazz rock-inflected songs remain sturdy little enterprises studded with gorgeous surprises.

However: $145 per person seems a little high for a ticket price when a show is less than two hours long and doesn’t feature the group’s biggest hits like “Deacon Blues” or “Do It Again.”

On top of that, the Beacon has become a rather foul venue. The seats are small and dirty, and the floor is caked with dried beer. Maybe it’s time new owner Cablevision put a little money into the place instead before soaking customers – literally and figuratively.

Even seeing beautiful Vanessa Williams in the audience didn’t help, and she must have been surprised by the heavy cloud in the air. …

Monday morning, when “Soul Man” Sam Moore performed on the “Today” show, his album “Overnight Sensational” was off the charts and nowhere on This morning, it’s at No. 14 after hitting a high in the afternoon at No. 9. Not bad.

As Billboard magazine recently observed, “Today” sells CDs like no other show with the exception of “Oprah” and “Live With Regis and Kelly.” It’s quite a phenomenon. …

And yes, that was “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels with Paul Simon and Oscar-winning composer Howard Shore sitting right behind home plate Saturday at the Yankees-Pirates game. The Yanks won, 9-3. …

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