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Morning Report

November 16, 1994|SHAUNA SNOW | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

THE ARTS

Getty vs. Britain, Again: The British government on Tuesday deferred until January a decision on whether to allow a rare Rembrandt painting to be exported to the United States--specifically to Malibu's J. Paul Getty Museum--in the hope that a buyer will come forward to keep the work in Britain. In a statement, British National Heritage Secretary Stephen Dorrell said postponing the decision would allow time for a matching British purchase offer at or above $7.63 million--the sum the Getty is believed to have paid for the 17th-Century masterpiece "Daniel and Cyrus Before the Idol Bel." An additional four months' postponement could be granted if a serious offer appears to be forthcoming, Dorrell said. Dorrell's decision was another blow for the Getty, which earlier this year failed in its bid to buy and export to California Antonio Canova's sculpture "The Three Graces."

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'Saigon' Casting: Kevin Gray, a U.S.-born actor of Chinese and Ukrainian descent, will play the Engineer in "Miss Saigon" when it opens at the Ahmanson Theatre in January. The casting of white actor Jonathan Pryce in the Eurasian role in the Broadway production set off a storm of controversy in 1990, but all of his U.S. successors in the role have been at least partly of Asian heritage. Gray opened the Toronto production of the show in 1993 and is now playing it in Detroit. The role of Kim will be played by Philippines-born Jennifer C. Paz, a veteran of the Chicago production, and Kim's lover Chris will be played by Peter Lockyer, who's currently doing the role on Broadway.

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From Broadway to L.A.: Three 1994 Tony nominees for "Beauty and the Beast" will star in the Shubert Theatre production of the Disney stage musical when it opens on April 13. Re-creating their Broadway roles will be Susan Egan as Belle, Terrence Mann as Beast and Gary Beach as Lumiere. Beth Fowler (Broadway's Mrs. Potts) and Tom Bosley (Belle's father) also will join the Los Angeles cast.

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'Sunset' Record: Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Sunset Boulevard" has set the highest advance sale record in Broadway history. As of Sunday, the musical, which opens on Broadway Thursday, had racked up nearly $37.5 million in sales.

TELEVISION

Talk About a Resume: Other than tormenting many famous talk-show hosts as a frequent guest, what qualifications does Charles Grodin have to host his own talk show? "I have no qualifications at all--and we're all very excited about that," Grodin said. The actor, named Tuesday to replace Tom Snyder as host of CNBC's nighttime cable talk show in January, also joked that he had special connections that would help him book his new show. "I went to the University of Miami with Saddam Hussein in the 1950s--I'll be calling him to be on my program." On a more serious note, CNBC president Roger Ailes said that he had admired Grodin's wit as far back as 1981, when Ailes hired Grodin as a substitute host on Snyder's old "Tomorrow Show." Grodin's show, called "Charles Grodin," will be done live out of CNBC's New Jersey headquarters; CNBC will air a torch-passing of sorts tonight when Grodin guests on "Tom Snyder."*

Taking a Stand: Talk-show host Ricki Lake and her husband, Rob Sussman, spent the night in a New York jail Monday after they joined 13 other anti-fur protesters who stormed the Fifth Avenue offices of fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. The demonstrators, members of the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, forced their way into Lagerfeld's office, chanted slogans including "Fur is murder" and placed bumper stickers on the walls and garments, police said. The damage to Lagerfeld's office was estimated at $3,500. Lake and the others were charged with third-degree burglary and second-degree criminal mischief, both felonies. If convicted, they could face up to three years in prison. Lake was scheduled to discuss the demonstration on Tuesday's "Late Show With David Letterman."

POP/ROCK

An Acoustic Wind: Next on "MTV Unplugged"--Bob Dylan. Nearly 30 years after causing a stir by going electric, the pop bard, along with his band, will tape the latest edition of the acoustic series, with sessions scheduled Thursday and Friday in New York. The show is set to premiere on the cable music channel Dec. 15. No word yet on whether Dylan will release an "Unplugged" album.

LEGAL FILE

Seagal Order Canceled: A Santa Monica Superior Court judge on Tuesday set aside a temporary restraining order issued last week against actor Steven Seagal, ruling that plaintiff Sheryl Shuman did not notify the actor before filing her petition with the court. Shuman claims she had a four-month romantic involvement with Seagal, after which the actor repeatedly threatened her and then sent his bodyguards to "attack" her in retaliation for a TV interview she gave about him. However, Judge David Rothman ruled Tuesday that Shuman presented no evidence that Seagal knew about the interview. A further hearing on Shuman's request for a restraining order is scheduled for Nov. 30; Seagal's attorney, Martin Singer, on Tuesday called Shuman's claims "absolutely false and fabricated."

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