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January 11, 1994|SHAUNA SNOW | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press


Heading to South Africa: Actors Danny Glover, Angela Bassett and CCH Pounder are among those heading to South Africa on Wednesday as part of a weeklong "South Africa Democracy Tour," organized by Artists for a Free South Africa, a human rights program of the Hollywood Policy Center. "We're coming to South Africa to lend our support to the historic birth of a new democracy," explained AFSA co-founder Glover, who, along with the rest of the entourage, will visit churches, townships and hospitals to promote voter education and participation in the country's April 27 election, the first in which blacks will be permitted to vote. The group, joined by South African artists Johnny Clegg and John Kani, will meet with a variety of political leaders, including African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela. A Wednesday morning press conference prior to their departure will hook up the group with journalists from countries such as Zambia and Zimbabwe for a satellite question-and-answer period.


Jerry Brown to Take On Limbaugh: Former California Gov. Jerry Brown is joining the ranks of radio talk-show hosts. The former presidential candidate is scheduled to launch a two-hour daily syndicated show Jan. 31. Intended as an alternative to conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, the show will be carried by the Massachusetts-based Talk America Radio Network, which expects about 50 stations nationwide to carry the program. The show will originate from Oakland, where Brown has bought a warehouse to serve as his studio. A Talk America spokesman said that a few Los Angeles stations have "expressed interest" in the show and that the network does "intend to have it (air) in L.A."

Russians Getting Jennings and Disney Film: ABC's "World News Tonight With Peter Jennings" will begin airing on a daily basis on Russian State Television next week. Russian audiences get a preview on Thursday, when Jennings anchors the program live from Moscow after President Clinton's meeting with Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Russian State Television is available in 79% of the Commonwealth of Independent States, which has 73 million TV households and a potential audience of 227 million viewers. . . . Meanwhile, Clinton has scheduled more than just diplomatic meetings during his three-day Russian visit. Walt Disney Pictures is rushing a print of its current release, "Tombstone," for a Clinton-requested showing at Moscow's 550-seat American House of Cinema. Clinton, who called the Western "a classic Americana movie," will host the screening for his staff and numerous Russian diplomats.


Townshend Taking 'Tommy' to CD-ROM: Pete Townshend is taking on new technology and plans to publish an interactive CD-ROM version of his musical "Tommy." Scheduled for release in September, the work is described as "a comprehensive multimedia exploration of the 'Tommy' phenomenon in all its forms, from Pete's original compositions and recordings, including the now legendary sunrise performance of 'Tommy' in 1969 at Woodstock, to the current 1993 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical."


Stanfill Takes Post: Shelton g. Stanfill began his tenure Monday as the Music Center's new president. Stanfill was named to the post in September, after the controversial resignation of Esther Wachtell in July. Stanfill's primary duty will be to oversee the center's fund-raising efforts including the capital campaign to raise funds for the new Walt Disney Concert Hall and reconfiguration of the Ahmanson Theatre. Stanfill most recently served as president and chief executive officer of Virginia's Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts.


Beginning today at 9 a.m., cable's C-SPAN will televise live, gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' all-day, sold-out "Superhighway Summmit" at UCLA's Royce Hall. The event's highlight is an address by Vice President Al Gore. . . . Comedian Chevy Chase makes his first visit back to late-night television since the October cancellation of his "Chevy Chase Show" on Friday's "Late Show With David Letterman" on CBS. Chase is expected to discuss his disastrous foray into late-night TV. . . . ABC has set Jan. 26 as the premiere date for its new animated series, "The Critic." Created by Al Jean and Mike Reiss, former executive producers of "The Simpsons," the series delves into the world of acerbic New York film critic Jay Sherman, whose voice is supplied by Jon Lovitz. The 8:30 p.m. series replaces "George," which goes on hiatus after its Jan. 19 airing.

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