Rice Sits in on Piano

Condoleezza Rice, an accomplished pianist who rarely plays in public, made an exception last night.

The secretary of state served as accompanist during a vocal recital by Charity Sunshine Tillemann-Dick, granddaughter of Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.). The singer made her Kennedy Center debut before an audience of 450, including U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Rice is a longtime friend of the Lantos family.

The Terrace Theater concert was organized to raise awareness about pulmonary hypertension, a disease Charity Sunshine (her stage name) was diagnosed with last year while studying at Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. The 21-year-old is currently a graduate student at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, reports The Post's Roxanne Roberts.

Sunshine sang a program of classical and American music that included pieces by Mozart, Verdi, Copland and Jerome Kern.

"We believe this evening will go a long way toward increasing awareness about [pulmonary hypertension] and ultimately toward finding a cure," wrote Lantos in the concert program. "Tonight is an evening of music, friendship and awareness."

Penn Pens on Iran

Sean Penn visited Iran last week, moonlighting as a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle. The Oscar-winning actor attended a prayer service Friday at Tehran University, where worshipers among the 6,000 present chanted "Death to America."

Documenting the climate one week before Iran's June 17 presidential elections, Penn took careful notes and consulted a translator while hard-line cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati urged the congregation "to make America angry" with their vote.

It wasn't Penn's first byline in the Chronicle: The actor wrote an account of his visit to Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

A Royal Birthday

England's Prince William has made the grade.

The 22-year-old son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana logged on to the Internet yesterday to discover that he's achieved a master of arts degree in geography after earning a 2:1 grade for his four-year course at St. Andrews University, Scotland.

A 2:1 denotes an upper second-class degree -- a respectable achievement. But don't expect Charles to take the prince out for dinner at Chi-Chi's: The royal family has been busy celebrating Queen Elizabeth's 79th birthday at an eye-popping ceremony yesterday near Buckingham Palace. Thousands of people filled the sidewalks to watch over 1,000 soldiers in ceremonial red dress and black bearskin caps salute the queen with choreographed marching and horsemanship.

Queen Elizabeth's actual birthday is April 21, but the public celebration is always postponed until June in hopes of better weather.

End Note

Former attorney general Janet Reno bruised her red pickup truck in a fender bender Friday while driving in the Florida Keys. Reno rear-ended another car that had stopped at a red light, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. No injuries were reported.

-- Compiled by Chris Richards

from staff and wire reports

Not an act: Sean Penn takes note of Friday prayers at Tehran University while moonlighting as a reporter one week before Iran's presidential elections. Britain's Prince William, with his stepmother Camilla, celebrates the queen's 79th birthday. Janet Reno's red pickup truck is loaded onto a tow truck after a minor accident.Condoleezza Rice, a pianist for a cause.