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Everyone’s got a crush on Joanne Woodward. First Elton John dedicated a song to her during his performance at his benefit on Monday night, then John Mellencamp admitted to a serious case of puppy love while playing at Thursday night’s benefit for Hole in the Wall Camps, the global network of camps for children with serious illnesses founded by Woodward’s late husband Paul Newman.
Meryl Streep, who appeared in “the first transgendered version of ‘My Fair Lady’” at one of the camps, introduced the evening, which also included numbers from Emmylou Harris, violinist Hilary Hahn, Bette Midler, who played “Glory of Love” on ukulele, Lyle Lovett and 15-year-old camper Emilia, who brought Avery Fisher Hall to tears with her rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” “So much for mascara, ladies,” said Renée Zellweger. Bill Cosby did a bit about his experience with ill kids (one of them mimicked Fat Albert), and Stevie Wonder closed the show with “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” Maybe “Isn’t She Lovely” was too obvious.