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Morning Report

Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press.

August 12, 1995|SHAUNA SNOW

POP/ROCK

Spacey Idea Shot Down: A national nonprofit group called the National Space Society said Friday that it was launching an effort to help place the remains of Grateful Dead leader Jerry Garcia, who died Wednesday, in "eternal earth orbit." The Washington-based group said it would ask its 25,000 members, many of whom are Deadheads, to help fund the project. However, Grateful Dead spokesman Michael Eckenberg said that the group's idea would end up lost in space. "There's already sort of competing ideas about what's going to happen [with Garcia's body]," he said, "and certainly, being shot into space isn't in the running."

PEOPLE WATCH

Burns' Birthday Schedule Clipped: George Burns, who turns 100 on Jan. 20, has scaled back plans for appearances marking his centennial. The cigar-toting comedian still plans to perform at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas from Jan. 17-21, but has dropped plans for subsequent shows at Caesars Tahoe and Caesars in Atlantic City, N.J. Burns' longtime manager, Irving Fein, said the dropped dates would have been "too tough, at [Burns'] age. He isn't what he was a year and a half ago." Fein noted that Burns' July, 1994, fall in his bathtub "took a lot out of him."

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Life in the Fast Lane: The law seems to catch up with British actor Hugh Grant whenever he gets into his car. Grant, who sparked a recent media frenzy after being arrested in Los Angeles with a Hollywood prostitute, on Friday pleaded guilty in Britain to clocking 98 m.p.h. on a highway in southern England with a limit of 70 m.p.h. Grant entered his plea by letter and was fined $190. The actor has two previous drunk-driving convictions and three speeding tickets, which give him 11 points in the British system--one short of losing his license.

PERFORMING ARTS

'Realistic' Goal Reached: The Music Center announced Friday that it had reached its 1995 fund-raising goal of $10 million. The Center raised $10.02 million for its Unified Fund, which supports the four resident companies (the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Music Center Opera, Master Chorale and Center Theatre Group) as well as the Music Center Education Division. But although Music Center President Shelton g. Stanfill trumpeted the campaign in a press release as a "turning point" for the center because it was the first time a fund-raising goal had been met since 1992, the total amount raised lagged far behind recent years. In 1994 the center raised $11.45 million and in 1993 $12.67 million. Stanfill was unavailable for comment Friday, but Sheldon Ausman, the Unified Campaign chairman, said that the $10-million mark was a "more realistic goal" and that reaching it was a "stretch effort." Ausman also noted that while large corporate gifts declined this year, the amount of smaller community-based gifts actually increased, thus giving the Music Center a "broader base of support."

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Fest Back on Schedule: Scottish Opera singers ended a strike Friday that had threatened a key event in the opening week of the annual Edinburgh International Festival. Antonin Dvorak's opera "The Jacobin" should now open as planned Monday, launching a major review of the Czech composer's music during the prestigious three-week arts festival. The chorus of the Glasgow-based Scottish opera went on strike over pay Wednesday. A compromise deal accepts a management offer of a 2% pay raise, but drops the unique rule requiring chorus singers to re-audition for their jobs every two years.

TELEVISION

Smithsonian on TV: CBS News will become the first network-TV partner of the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum and research complex. The network will produce two prime-time specials in conjunction with the Smithsonian's 150th anniversary next year, and will also produce a minimum of 25 prime-time "Smithsonian Minutes." CBS News President Eric Ober said that the specials--planned to air in January and August, 1996--will focus not only on the museum's historical collection, but also on its lesser-known worldwide scientific and research expeditions.

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New TV Violence Bill: Seeking to help parents shield children from violent TV shows, the Senate Commerce Committee, by a 16-1 vote, has approved a bill that would limit the times when those shows may be aired. The bill, approved Thursday, will now be sent on to the full Senate. Written by Sen. Ernest Hollings (D.-S.C.), the measure would require broadcast and cable-TV providers to air violent programs at times when children are not likely to make up the majority of the audience. The FCC would determine those hours, but it was left unclear what programs would qualify as "violent." The bill would apply only to the most basic tier of cable service; the vast majority of cable networks and pay channels like HBO would be exempted. The committee also approved Thursday a separate bill that sets up two years of test monitoring of TV programming by a to-be-named nonprofit organization, which would report to Congress on its findings.

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Now 'Eddie's' the Father: Former child star Brandon Cruz, who starred in ABC's "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" from 1969-1972, has paid tribute to his late co-star, Bill Bixby, by naming his son, who was born July 2, Lincoln Bixby Cruz. The elder Cruz, now 33, discusses the name choice on Sunday's "Extra" at 6 p.m. on KNBC (Channel 4).

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