U.S. News & World Report's new owner, Mortimer Zuckerman, is throwing a big black-tie bash April 1 in the Departmental Auditorium for Marvin Stone, who will be ending 25 years at the magazine that day. It is also expected that Zuckerman will have named Stone's replacement sometime before the party . . .

On the sick list: Dolly Parton called off two appearances for tonight and tomorrow at the Capital Centre with Kenny Rogers. Her doctor said she was suffering from "voice strain and a nagging virus." But all is not lost; she will be replaced by the Oak Ridge Boys . . . Former House speaker Carl Albert is making progress in his recovery from triple coronary bypass surgery in Presbyterian Hospital in Oklahoma City . . .

The American News Women's Club threw a reception last night for Nancy Reagan's highly respected outgoing press secretary, Sheila Tate, and the incoming press secretary the reporters will now need to know, Jennefer Hirshberg . . .

Retired admiral Hyman Rickover is to meet with business leaders in Richmond today to discuss the Admiral H.G. Rickover Foundation for Gifted Students, and the Chocolate Manufacturers Association plans to surprise him with a belated birthday present, an 85-pound slab of chocolate. Rickover is an unrepentant chocolate lover who has found it is the elixir of life . . .

Author Dan Jenkins, who was in Washington last week, said Burt Reynolds is about to sign to star in the movie version of Jenkins' best seller, "Life Its Ownself." The book and movie are a sequel to the movie based on an earlier Jenkins novel, "Semi-Tough," also starring Reynolds . . .

Liberace has yet to reach the limits of his profession. The glittery pianist will be the guest timekeeper for the tag-team headliner of "WrestleMania" presented by the World Wrestling Federation March 31 at Madison Square Garden. And for those Washingtonians who haven't made his Las Vegas shows, Liberace is coming to town. He will make his Kennedy Center debut, no less, on July 25 and give five performances through July 28 . . .