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Morning Report

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

July 20, 1996|SHAUNA SNOW

POP/ROCK

Michael's Travels: Apologizing for wearing dark aviator glasses but saying they were necessary to hide his tears of joy, pop star Michael Jackson held a three-minute press conference in Sun City on Friday, part of a much-hyped South African visit that began with his arrival in Johannesburg on Thursday. At the conference, Jackson repeatedly professed his love for South Africa and bowed and blew kisses to reporters, but took no questions and said nothing about widely published speculation that he (and, variously, Elizabeth Taylor or a mysterious Arab billionaire) would build some type of animal or theme park in South Africa. But Jackson, who was promoting his upcoming "HIStory" world tour, did say he loves the country so much after only 24 hours that "I'm looking for a house to buy here." Later on Friday, Jackson was scheduled for his second of two visits with President Nelson Mandela.

RADIO

All Things Monetary Considered: National Public Radio on Friday began a new drive to make up for dwindling federal funding by jumping more aggressively into new business ventures, including CD releases based on the network's programming. For instance, one soon-to-be-released CD is culled from "Performance Today," NPR's classical music show. Member stations will promote the CD on the air, along with a toll-free number for listeners who want to place an order. Proceeds will be shared among the stations.

New on the Drive Home: No. 6-rated radio station KIIS-FM (102.7) has a new deejay steering the important afternoon drive slot. Billy Burke, a former deejay and program director at San Diego's XHITZ-FM (Z-90) who has also been seen on MTV's "Beach House" and was picked by Playgirl magazine as one of America's "Sexiest DJs," has taken over KIIS-FM's 3-7 p.m. slot. He replaces Chuck "The Nastyman" Zimmerman, who has left the station.

Waxing Literary: Longtime Cosmopolitan magazine editor Helen Gurley Brown and Vogue and Vanity Fair style master Andre Leon Talley are among the panelists on this weekend's premiere edition of "Breakfast at Random House," a new 13-week series featuring round-table literary discussions taped at Barney's New York. The program, whose future panelists include such celebrities, authors and political figures as Wendy Wasserstein, Jim Lehrer, John Kenneth Galbraith, Lauren Hutton, Charlie Rose, Ed Koch, E.L. Doctrow, Caspar Weinberger and Georgette Mosbacher, airs locally on KPCC-FM (89.3) on Sundays, 9:30-10 p.m. The series is hosted by Harold Evans, Random House president and publisher.

STAGE

Boxing as Theater: Acclaimed choreographer Vincent Paterson ("Kiss of the Spider Woman," "The Birdcage") will follow up his work on the big-budget movie "Evita" by choreographing and directing "Gangsta Love," a live site-specific theatrical event set to open Sept. 25 at La Brea Avenue's Paolina Boxing Club. The production, written by and starring Dahlia Wilde, will incorporate sports metaphors, audience participation and music to tell the story of a woman who finds strength in the boxing world after experiencing a personal crisis.

TELEVISION

Programming Notes: CBS will move "Touched by an Angel" and "The Nanny" to their new fall time periods in August, after the Summer Olympics conclude on NBC. The two shows will air at 8 p.m., Sundays and Wednesdays, respectively. . . . Fox is developing a two-hour movie for the coming season based on short stories by Stephen King and Clive Barker. Mick Garris (who directed King's "The Stand") will adapt the horror-meister's "The Chattering Teeth" and Barker's "The Body Politic." Garris is currently working on King's six-hour version of "The Shining" for ABC.

QUICK TAKES

Oliver Stone will not attend Monday's ACLU benefit screening of "Killer: A Journal of Murder," as reported here Wednesday, because he will be out of the country. Replacing Stone on a panel discussion following the screening will be actor-activist Mike Farrell and former California Chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird. . . . Magician David Copperfield will make his Broadway debut Nov. 23 when he opens "Dreams and Nightmares" for five weeks at the Martin Beck Theater. But he won't create all the magic on his own. He'll receive help from Oscar-winning costume designer Eiko Ishioka ("Bram Stoker's Dracula") and "artistic consultant" Francis Ford Coppola. . . . k.d. lang will fill in for a vacationing Chris Douridas on Monday as host of KCRW-FM's (89.9) "Morning Becomes Eclectic," from 9 a.m.-noon. . . . Elizabeth Taylor is taking her AIDS crusade to the airwaves. Taylor will be a guest on CNN's "Larry King Live" on Monday at 6 p.m. as part of a panel on the disease.

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