A Broadway fairy tale: One day last week, Glenn Close's doctor ordered her in no uncertain terms to forgo her usual star turn in "Sunset Boulevard" that evening because of a throat ailment.

When avid theatergoers showed up for the performance and learned that they were to see an understudy play the role of Norma Desmond instead of the redoubtable Glennie, something on the order of 20 percent of them demanded refunds, according to one published report. The remaining 80 percent had the bad grace to break into boos.So out came the dauntless understudy, on went the show - and at its conclusion the understudy garnered what the New York Daily News later characterized as "a wild standing ovation."

And the understudy's name? You guessed it - Faye Dunaway.

Hold on a minute! OK, it wasn't Faye - it was someone named Karen Mason, but our version is far more likely to be made into a TV-movie one of these days.

- A HOLIDAY GIFT FOR SLY: It's a very merry holiday for Sly Stallone as USA Today reports he has been signed to do a pic for Savoy Pictures pursuant an agreement whereby he'll get one-fifth of the receipts or $20 million, whichever is more.