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August 07, 1995|BETH KLEID | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press


Treading Water: "Waterworld" stayed afloat as the No. 1 movie at the box office during the weekend. The Universal film, notorious for its production problems and costs that reached around $175 million, earned a lackluster $12.8 million its second weekend in release, down from $21.2 million the previous weekend. There is something to talk about at No. 2: Warner Bros.' new release starring Julia Roberts, "Something to Talk About," took a surprise second with $11.1 million. And Universal's "Babe," the movie about a talking pig that opened to rave reviews, came in third with $9 million. Paramount's "Virtuosity" had a disappointing opening with $8.3 million for fourth. Columbia's "The Net" fell to fifth place with $7.5 million.


Let There Be Light: A new lighting system for Prague Castle, financed by the Rolling Stones, was switched on by Czech President Vaclav Havel on Sunday. The band--which played for Havel and more than 120,000 at Prague's Strahov Stadium on Saturday night--paid $32,000 for an overhaul of the lighting in four of the castle's ornate grand halls. The Stones sent the director and lighting designer from their "Voodoo Lounge" tour to the six-centuries-old castle to steer the three-week project.


Bye-Bye Baio: When "Diagnosis Murder" returns to CBS as a midseason series next season, Dick Van Dyke will have a new assistant to help him in his criminal investigations. Scott Baio has left his role of Jack; Charlie Schlatter, who previously starred in the 1990 TV version of "Ferris Bueller," has been hired to play a new character, Dr. Jesse Taylor. Also leaving the mystery series is Delores Hall, who plays a hospital nurse.


Ousted from Video: A shot of Chile's former military ruler Augusto Pinochet has been cut from a rock music video that includes images of Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin before being shown on Chilean TV. The video, which accompanies the song "Mal Bicho" ("Bad Bug") by the Argentine group Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, shows scenes of war, marching soldiers and famous dictators. An official at Sony Music, the video's Santiago distributor, declined to say why the two-second shot of Pinochet was removed, but Chilean law bars speech or images that "slander" the armed forces. The Sony official, however, said the local office did not alter the video, which arrived already censored from the company's offices in Miami.


Westside Bound?: The Los Angeles Philharmonic's Green Umbrella series, which is devoted to new and experimental music, may move from the Japan America Theatre downtown to a site in Culver City. The series has been at the Japan America since 1987. Philharmonic managing director Ernest Fleischmann confirmed that "we are looking at a site [in Culver City]. There is nothing definite. As soon as we have something to say, we'll say it."


My Left Foot. . . and My Right Leg: An Italian tenor, shot in the left foot during an execution scene in last week's opening night of the opera "Tosca" in Macerata, Italy, hobbled back to the stage--and broke his right leg. Organizers at the summer festival in eastern Italy said tenor Fabio Armiliato lost his balance while leaning on a crutch off-stage after the first act Friday. He broke his right leg in two places and went back to the hospital in an ambulance. Armiliato's injury will force him to rest for two months and will mean the cancellation of commitments in the United States. After the accident, the tenor, who was being carried away on a stretcher, said, "Could it be that I am destined never to leave this theater on my own two feet?"


Getty Aids Murphy Collection: The J. Paul Getty Trust has awarded $1 million to Washington's National Gallery of Art to acquire rare books and antiquarian research materials for the museum's Franklin D. Murphy Collection. Murphy, a former chairman and CEO of Times Mirror Co., The Times' parent company, was a trustee of both the Getty Trust and the National Gallery before his death in June, 1994, and he regularly supported acquisitions for the Gallery's research library. Part of the Getty funds will be used to purchase a book of woodcut illustrations by German Renaissance artist Albrecht Durer.


Letters Examined: A man doing time in a Massachusetts prison for stabbing his wife in 1987 reportedly has written more than 200 sexually explicit and threatening letters to "Entertainment Tonight" host Mary Hart. And he's supposed to get out of prison Oct. 8. Hart forwarded the letters from prisoner Willie J. Dawson, 45, to the state parole board on the condition they be kept confidential, the Boston Herald reported. The state Correction Department is trying to use the letters to get Dawson committed to a mental hospital. Hart refused to comment on the case.

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