* "I am confused and scared," admitted Brazilian superstar Xuxa after a plot to kidnap her was foiled in Rio de Janeiro. The plan was uncovered when a security guard called police about a car that was parked suspiciously outside a Rio studio where Xuxa records her TV program. Two men in the car opened fire on the police and a high-speed chase ensued. One suspect and a police officer were killed in a shootout. Xuxa, 27, was so upset that she considered moving to Argentina, and security was heightened at the studio. Xuxa has sold more than 14 million records, but it is her children's TV show, broadcast in Latin America and parts of Europe, that has won her international acclaim. Xuxa's first local appearance was in April's L.A. Fiesta Broadway, and her TV program, "El Show de Xuxa" began airing last month on KMEX.
Scenes for two films about gangs in Chicano barrios and prisons are currently being filmed on Los Angeles streets. They are Universal Pictures' "American Me," starring and directed by Edward James Olmos, and Disney's Hollywood Pictures' "Blood In . . . Blood Out," starring E. J. Castillo and directed by Taylor Hackford. Although both productions feature plenty of Latinos in front of the cameras and behind the scenes, the two projects--whose violent story lines bear striking similarities--are coming under fire. Chicano activists fear that, after the positive portrayals of Ritchie Valens in "La Bamba" and Jaime Escalante in "Stand and Deliver," Hollywood is about to display this dark side of Chicano life.
Tenor Placido Domingo joins Maria Ewing tonight in a new production of "Madama Butterfly." The gala performance inaugurates the season of the Los Angeles Music Center Opera. Subsequent performances of the classic opera (Sept. 15, 18, 21, 24 and 29) will feature Cuban-born Jorge Antonio Pita. Other season projects include "Carmen," also with Domingo, and "The Barber of Seville," with Argentina's Raul Jimenez.
Twelve months in the making, Martika's newest album, "Martika's Kitchen" includes the song "Mi Tierra" ("My Homeland"). Composed by singer/actress Martika and sung in English and Spanish, "Mi Tierra" talks about Cuba, which she longs to see but only experiences through the memories of her parents, who emigrated from Havana in 1961. Martika is joined on the cut by a trio of music greats--the "Queen of Salsa," Celia Cruz, trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and percussionist Luis Enrique.
Three Mexican entertainers will be in Las Vegas this weekend. They include Yuri, sometimes dubbed "The Latin Madonna," who revels in wearing daring costumes in her latest stage presentation, "Sin Limites" ("Without Limits"). Her show was voted by the Mexican press as the best of 1990. Audiences will get a chance to see for themselves when the vivacious blonde appears at Bally's Hotel. Popular TV talk show hostess Veronica Castro will host the first Las Vegas International Mariachi Festival. Both events will take place Sept. 14 and 15. And singer Ana Gabriel will perform at Caesars Palace on Sept. 14.