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GET STREISAND WEDDING FEELING ON `A LOVE LIKE OURS'.

Byline: Marilyn Beck & Stacy Jenel Smith

Barbra Streisand's ``A Love Like Ours'' vocal love letter to husband James Brolin is bound to go down as one of her most memorable albums - even if only for personal reasons.

Record-producing great Arif Mardin tells us he worked on two songs for the disc that'll come out Sept. 23. One of them, Melissa Manchester's ``Just One Lifetime,'' was used as the couple's walking music at their Malibu wedding last year, and Streisand sang it as well.

``Marvin Hamlisch had written a wonderful chamber-music arrangement for the wedding,'' notes Mardin.

``She sent me a cassette of that, and I incorporated a little bit of Marvin's music at the beginning and at the end of the album version of the song - you can almost imagine the wedding beginning when you hear it,'' adds Mardin, who also produced ``It Must Be You'' for the album that was executive-produced by Streisand and Jay Landers.

Mardin adds, ``We worked very fast, contrary to what people keep asking me. Barbra is such a fabulous talent. We were at Sony Studios with a 60-piece orchestra. She sings live, of course. She belongs to the tradition where, for example, if she feels emotional and wants to slow down a beat, the conductor will watch for her cues and slow down the orchestra. It's all organic.''

Meanwhile ...

Streisand's ``I Dreamed of You'' single from the album is already out, and her ``If You Ever Leave Me'' duet with Vince Gill is being released this week.

She also sang the ``I Dreamed of You'' song at her wedding - but it was truly an 11th-hour addition. She'd heard an instrumental version of the Rolf Lovland-Ann Hampton Callaway tune in Ireland, and asked Callaway to pen words for her.

The lyrics arrived just two hours before the wedding - Callaway was in the dark about plans for the ceremony - and Streisand sang the song, lyrics in hand, to a music track that was delivered over the Internet.

`X-Men' mystery

If you're dying to know the plot of the long-awaited, big-screen adaptation of the Marvel Comics' series ``X-Men,'' don't expect to hear it from any of the stars.

The story line, about a troupe of mutant superheroes, is being kept so under wraps, ``we had to sign a confidentiality agreement, and I got a script with my name on every page, so you can't copy it,'' reports Bruce Davison, who joins Halle Berry, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Anna Paquin and Famke Janssen in the Fox film that starts shooting Sept. 27. in Toronto.

In the film, directed by Bryan Singer, Davison plays Sen. Kelly, the man in charge of the mutant registration act.

He says he had no idea how popular the comic series was until ``my 12-year-old nephew filled me in ... he also filled me in on my character's traits.''

Will Davison be recognizable in the film?

``The answer is yes and no,'' he says. ``I've been up to do makeup tests, head molds and all kinds of goop tests.''

In the vice grip

``I know more about the vice presidency than I ever wanted to know,'' says Tim Matheson, who plays the second in command on NBC's ``The West Wing'' drama, premiering Sept. 22.

``They provided me with a tremendous amount of research. There were historical treatises on the vice presidency such as `At the President's Side.' They sent me a congressional-record book with a biography of each vice president, and I've been in touch with Vice President Gore's office.''

Matheson says the best preparation for his role, however, came months before he was even cast in ``The West Wing.'' ``I spent about five days in Washington witnessing the impeachment proceedings and got to know the members of the vice president's Senatorial office. It was a great education - and absolutely the greatest drama I've ever seen in my life.''

Cat trouble

Columbia's upcoming live-action/animation ``Stuart Little'' stars E.B. White's famous humanlike mouse, created digitally and voiced by Michael J. Fox.

As much trouble as the title mouse may have been to bring to life, however, it was Stuart's nemesis, the house cat Snowbell, who really gave the movie team headaches.

Snowbell was portrayed by five identical white Chinchilla Persian cats - handled by eight trainers.

Apparently, Snowbell is turning out to be a highlight of the holiday-release picture that stars Geena Davis and Jonathan Lipnicki.

Voiced by Nathan Lane, that bad ol' puddy tat has been getting big laughs at rough-cut screenings.

With reports by Stephanie DuBois.

CAPTION(S):

4 Photos

Photo: (1) STREISAND

(2) DAVISON

(3) STEWART

(4) LIPNICKI
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Title Annotation:L.A. Life
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 7, 1999
Words:766
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