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Star anchor & her pier group
New York Daily News- 4/ 24/ 2004
"I have been on a cruise before," the 47-year-old "Today" anchor told me as she got ready for tomorrow night's "Hollywood Hits Broadway" gala aboard the Queen Mary 2.

"In the ninth grade, I won a cruise for a modern dance performance I was involved in. We danced to 'Feelin' Groovy,' if you have to know. I was with another dancer friend whose mother was a travel agent, and the cruise was from Miami to the Bahamas.

"I was 14, and I do remember that a 30-year-old tried to dance with me. I really couldn't understand what was happening - I certainly didn't know quite what to do. And my friend's father yanked me away."

And if a 30-year-old tries to dance with Couric this time?

"That will depend on the 30-year-old."

Tomorrow's celeb-studded concert is expected to raise $5 million for the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance and the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health, named for Couric's husband, who died of colon cancer in 1998.

The show will feature the likes of Antonio Banderas, Dakota Fanning, Glenn Close and Beyoncé Knowles singing the classics of Richard Rodgers.

"I made a lot of personal calls securing all the incredible performers," Couric said. "That took a lot of personal pleas and lots of flat-out begging. ... Beyoncé was very hard to catch because she's so red-hot right now."

But the biggest star will be Cunard's $800 million passenger liner - the world's largest boat. "Don't call it a 'boat,'" Couric corrected. "At Cunard, 'boat' is a four-letter word."

She continued: "It's an incredible vessel to walk around, and people going to the event will not only be able spend some time enjoying the show, they'll also be able to spend the night."

And will Couric be spending the night?

"Yes."

Who with?

"None of your beeswax," she parried. "Actually, my parents will be there, so I'll be spending it with them."

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