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March 15, 1994|SHAUNA SNOW | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

Nureyev Tribute: Stars of the international ballet world performed in London on Sunday in tribute to the late legendary dancer Rudolf Nureyev at a gala organized by a British AIDS charity. Darcey Bussell and Irek Mukhamedov were among those who danced excerpts from "Don Quixote," "La Bayadere" and "Romeo and Juliet," following Nureyev's choreography. "Nureyev was a mesmerizing, glorious artist with an indomitable spirit," said noted ballerina Natalia Makarova, who performed to Irving Berlin's "That's Show Biz!" in a comedy routine with Muppet characters Miss Piggy and Kermit, as Nureyev had once done in 1977. "He possessed . . . almost superhuman power, and no one could escape his magic spell." The gala, which raised $149,000, was hit by the last-minute withdrawal of superstar dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov. He said he could not leave rehearsals in Italy and instead sent a message declaring Nureyev "the most important popularizer of dance of his time." Nureyev died in Paris on Jan. 6, 1993, at age 54 after a long illness attributed to AIDS.


'SNL' Scores Ratings Gold: Olympic silver medalist Nancy Kerrigan earned NBC gold-medal ratings with her stint as guest host of "Saturday Night Live." The show, which also featured singer Aretha Franklin, posted "SNL's" highest overnight ratings in six seasons, attracting about 34% of viewing homes in 30 large markets. In Los Angeles, the show drew 39% of viewing homes--the show's highest rating here in three years. Kerrigan's hometown of Boston drew 50% of viewing homes.

* Goodby to 'L.A.': Cyndy Garvey is no longer co-hosting KCAL's "Live in L.A." Garvey told the Times Monday that management told her "that women that watch television at 10 could not relate to me. I don't quite understand what that means." Spokespersons for the Channel 9 morning show said only that the producers had decided to make "some changes" in the next few weeks. Garvey's last day was Friday. Her co-host, Steve Edwards, will continue with the show.

* Jennings, Brokaw Top Poll: In a telephone poll tracking the public's favorite news anchor, ABC's Peter Jennings topped the list with 30% of the vote, followed by NBC's Tom Brokaw with 29%. CBS' Dan Rather drew 24% and CNN's Bernard Shaw had 10%. The Harris Poll, conducted annually, sampled 1,252 adults, asking them to chose among the four newsmen. Left out of the ballot was Rather's partner on CBS, Connie Chung. "I'm such a non-TV watcher that I had no idea," said Humphrey Taylor, president of the New York-based poll. "Maybe we'll put her in next year when she's had more of a track record and more exposure."

* What Channel Is This?: HBO and Lifetime will go head-to-head with original cable-TV movies March 28--but not on cable. Instead, they'll be competing on the broadcast networks. That's the date that NBC has picked for showing HBO's AIDS drama, "And the Band Played On." And ABC has chosen the same night to run "Stolen Babies," a TV movie that earned Mary Tyler Moore an Emmy Award when it ran on Lifetime last year.


More Awards for 'Schindler's List,' 'Piano': Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List" and "Jurassic Park," along with Jane Campion's "The Piano," led the list of winners at the British Academy of Film and Television Awards in Belfast on Sunday. Oscar favorite "Schindler's List" won a trophy for best cinematography for Janusz Kaminski, "The Piano" took the prizes for best production design (Andrew McAlpine) and best costume design (Janet Patterson), and Dennis Murren, Stan Winston, Phil Tippett and Michael Lantieri took the prize for best achievement for special effects for "Jurassic Park." The BAFTA awards are Britain's version of the Oscar.

* 'Miracle' Casting Completed: Actor-director Richard Attenborough ("Gandhi") will play Kris Kringle in the John Hughes remake of the 1947 holiday classic "Miracle on 34th Street." Co-starring in the film, which goes into production in April for a release this Christmas, are Elizabeth Perkins, Dylan McDermott and Mara Wilson.


Cosbys Donate New Center Home: Bill Cosby and his wife Camille have donated a building worth $1.8 million to be the future home of a National Center for African American Women in Washington. The National Council of Negro Women hopes to raise $30 million in the next five years to run the center, which will host various cultural and educational activities. Renovations on the four-story building are scheduled to be completed by summer.


Actor Joe Pesci makes a rare TV guest star appearance on NBC's "The John Larroquette Show" March 29. Pesci plays himself in the episode, in which he shows up at the bus station to do a character study on the station's resident bum for his next movie. . . . Theater composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim has been appointed to the board of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, filling the seat left vacant by the death of former ASCAP President Stanley Adams. . . . NBC will rebroadcast the 1973 Telly Savalas TV movie "The Marcus-Nelson Murders" at 8 p.m. on April 3. The three-hour detective drama served as the pilot for the series, "Kojak," starring the late Savalas. . . . Stefan Szkafarowsky will replace Ding Gao as Pimen in the Long Beach Opera production of Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov," March 30 and April 2 at the Terrace Theatre. Gao withdrew because of an illness in the family.

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