November 21, 2002 01:55 PM

EMBARKED: Canadian country cutie Shania Twain will hit concert venues around the country next year to promote her latest Mercury album, “Up!” — the first album of original material in five years. The singer tells the Associated Press that she is looking forward to being back on stage: “For me, being on stage in concert is like being at a party with a bunch of friends,” she said. “It’s the way I see it.”

SERVED: Celine Dion traded her glittery costumes for a navy blue apron to dish up breakfast to two dozen elementary school students at a McDonald’s restaurant to promote World Children’s Day, a nationwide effort to raise $40 million for the Ronald McDonald House Charities, the Palm Beach Post reports. The Canadian diva also led the breakfast bunch in a rousing chorus of “Old MacDonald Had A Farm,” the paper notes. After taking two years off to have a baby, the singer is headed for Las Vegas to start a three-year gig at Caesars Palace in March. Dion tells the Associated Press that the Ronald McDonald House in Montreal had been “an incredible help” to her family 10 years ago.

COMPLAINED: Poor multimillionaire Tiger Woods doesn’t understand why he should be the poster boy for ending discrimination at the Augusta National Golf Club. “It’s frustrating because I’m the only player they are asking,” Woods told the Associated Press Wednesday after a New York Times editorial on Monday urged him to boycott next year’s Masters to protest the club’s exclusion of female members. “They’re asking me to give up an opportunity no one has ever had — winning the Masters three years in a row.”

EXPECTED: Fans of The WB’s “Angel” may be wondering why actress Charisma Carpenter has been getting so many closeups lately — and wearing a lot of overcoats. The answer comes from a new PEOPLE report: The otherworldly actress is six months pregnant. Carpenter is expecting a boy on March 17 with new hubby Damian Hardy, a psychology major at Santa Monica College. The couple were married on Oct. 5 in a small Las Vegas ceremony attended by just their families. They plan to have a larger, more formal wedding ceremony in L.A. after the baby is born.

RELEASED: Monaco’s Prince Rainier left the hospital on Wednesday after a four-day stay, Reuters reports, after having recovered partially from a bronchial infection. The 79-year-old prince, who was married to glamour queen Grace Kelly, was admitted to a cardio-thoracic clinic late Saturday with a high fever. The hospital stay marked the second bout with bronchitis this year for the prince, who rules the tiny, tony enclave on the French Riviera.

PUMPED: Putting a possible kink into hulking GOP he-man Arnold Schwarzenegger’s rumored run for California’s governorship is the re-release of “Pumping Iron,” the 1977 documentary that took Schwarzenegger beyond the audience of body-building buffs. A digitally enhanced version of the film is being screened on pay-cable channel Cinemax. The New York Observer notes that Schwarzenegger, 55, attended the film’s New York screening and after-party with wife Maria Shriver — and presumably tried not to wince as his younger, onscreen self smoked a joint and described his finicky taste in women: “I like them with black hair, with brown hair, with red hair, with big breasts, with little breasts …”

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