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September 11, 1993|SUSAN KING | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

'Band,' Shalala in Tune: Nationwide reports of Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala's resistance to HBO's "And the Band Played On" were greatly exaggerated, says Shalala aide Victor Zonana. "She never endorses any commercial things, so we just didn't want her to be a sponsor," Zonana told The Times. "But she cares very much about AIDS and said that anything that focuses more attention to AIDS is to be applauded." Zonana added that a Washington Post report, picked up by much of the nation's press Thursday, including The Times, was incorrect in saying that Shalala had no plans to see the movie, which is based on journalist Randy Shilts' book on the first years of the AIDS epidemic. "She's called (HBO chairman) Michael Fuchs for a video. She's already read the book, but now she wants to see the movie." Zonana admitted Shalala's office had received several irate calls from the gay community since reports alleging her resistance surfaced.


Who's on Comedy Central?: Beginning Sunday at noon, Comedy Central airs a 10-hour "Abbott and Costello Show" marathon billed as "Abbott & Costello Meet Seinfeld." Jerry Seinfeld, a fan of the comedy team, hosts with comic Larry Miller and "Seinfeld" writer-producer Larry Charles. . . . Meanwhile, Seinfeld's new book, "SeinLanguage," takes the top spot Sept. 19 on the New York Times Hardcover Nonfiction Best-Seller List, after being on sale for less than two weeks.


Ladies' Man: Arsenio Hall may be getting a lot of stiff competition on the late-night talk-show circuit, but he's No. 1 in the heart of female viewers. According to a national random telephone survey of 500 women conducted by Redbook magazine and EDK Associates, 20% of the women polled believe Hall is the sexiest late-night host. Coming in second place was Chevy Chase (13%), followed by David Letterman (8%), Jay Leno (7%) and Conan O'Brien (2%). But 50% of the women couldn't make up their mind who was the host with the most appeal.


Clowning Around: Broadway's acclaimed clown show "Fool Moon," starring Bill Irwin and David Shiner and featuring the music of the Red Clay Ramblers, will play the Doolittle Theatre in Hollywood, Jan. 20-March 27. "Falsettos," which had been booked for the second slot in the next Ahmanson-at-the-Doolittle season, is now pushed to April 28-July 3.


Stepping Down: Richard E. Oldenburg, 59, resigned Thursday as director of New York's Museum of Modern Art, ending two decades of leadership that saw the museum increase in size and endowment. Under Oldenburg's guidance, the museum also organized several successful exhibitions, including last year's Matisse retrospective and the 1980 Picasso show. Oldenburg will become director emeritus and an honorary trustee, once his yet-to-be-named replacement takes over.


A New Voice: American soprano Christine Brewer will replace the indisposed Joanna Kozlowska in the solo duties of Henryk Gorecki's Third Symphony, on an L.A. Festival concert by the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Friday at 8:30 p.m. The Polish singer has reportedly had to cancel her appearance for medical reasons. Hosted by Festival director Peter Sellars, the program remains unchanged. Under American conductor David Alan Miller, the Philharmonic will play the Gorecki work, subtitled "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs"; on the other half, the Festival Armenian Chorus, conducted by Vatsche Barsoumian, will sing works by Komitas.


Double Boycott: Colorado State University's radio station is boycotting singer Melissa Etheridge because she's boycotting Colorado over its anti-gay rights amendment. Bob Terrill, music director for KCSU, said the rock star's boycott "lends support to the notion that we are indeed a bunch of bigots and cretins." The anti-gay rights amendment, which passed last November, has been blocked by the state Supreme Court, but the state has appealed.


MTV's throwing its hat into the late-night talk-show ring with "The Jon Stewart Show." Set to begin in October, the chat show will air four times a week at 10 p.m. Stewart previously hosted MTV's series "You Wrote It, You Watch It." . . . Former MTV veejay Steve Isaacs will play the title role in the touring production of the Broadway musical "Tommy," scheduled to reach Southern California in the spring. . . . Pop star Mariah Carey will star in her first network television special, scheduled to air on NBC during the November sweeps. . . . Modern dance pioneer Martha Graham and famed visual artist Georgia O'Keeffe are among 36 American women scheduled to be inducted Oct. 9 into the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, N.Y.

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