If we gave royal citations in this country. the word Dame would go before Shirley MacLaine. So Dame MacLaine gave a very humorous toast yesterday to “Nine” director Rob Marshall at Cecconi’s on Melrose.

“No thanks to Judi Dench, who stole my part, and my hair!” MacLaine proclaimed to an invited crowd of 20 or so Marshall fans.

Maybe MacLaine had had a sip of the sponsor drink, Sin, which is an energizer. Everyone got a gift bag with Sin and its companion, Serenity, a calmer-downer for the afternoon.

Among the guests: Frances Fisher, Salome Jens, Bob Balaban, Susie Blakeley, Michael Keaton and Annette O’Toole, Candy Clark, famed record producer Richard Perry who’s been dating Jane Fonda since last summer.

“Are the two of you getting married?” MacLaine asked Perry over lunch. This reporter interjected: “Shirley MacLaine, you are the queen of not being married.”

Dame Shirley shot back: “I was married for 35 years. I stayed married so I couldn’t marry anyone else!”

MacLaine also said she’d consider bringing her one-woman show back to Broadway, but she doesn’t want to do eight shows a week, and she doesn’t want to go east of Fifth Avenue. Otherwise, it’s a done deal!

And don’t be surprised if “Nine” makes a resurgence in the awards categories. Even though the sophisticated musical has had trouble selling tickets, Hollywood loves it. The actors love it. The Screen Actors Guild membership gave it a best ensemble nomination for a reason. The “Nine” performers are much admired by their colleagues!

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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