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Morning Report

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

August 08, 1996|SHAUNA SNOW

TELEVISION

Comedy Unplugged?: Robert Small, who created MTV's popular "Unplugged" series featuring intimate, acoustic concerts by top bands, will attempt to do the same for stand-up comedy with "Pulp Comics," a new fall series for cable's Comedy Central. In what Comedy Central hopes will be a new form of comic storytelling, "almost like a trip inside the comedian's head," "Pulp Comics" will feature individual comedians--sans the brick walls and microphones of the comedy clubs--telling humorous stories to a small audience, with cutaways to comic vignettes illustrating the comedian's imagination. The first performers signed on for the 30-minute series are Bobcat Goldthwait and Paul Provenza.

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Emmy Campaign: "Murder, She Wrote" star Angela Lansbury, who has never won an Emmy despite 16 nominations, spoofed the ubiquitous "Got Milk?" ads in Wednesday's Variety when she appeared with a white mustache in a full page ad reading "got an emmy?" Not-so-coincidentally, Emmy's peer-panel voters will meet at the Beverly Hilton Hotel this weekend to pick the winners of the 48th annual awards, being presented in Pasadena Sept. 8 and airing on ABC.

POP/ROCK

All-Star Farewell: Punk rock pioneers the Ramones were joined at the Palace on Tuesday by a guest cast including Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and Soundgarden's Chris Cornell for what was billed as the New York band's final performance, capping a farewell tour that was part of Lollapalooza '96. The show, which was moved at the last minute from the new Billboard Live club because finishing touches were still underway there, also featured appearances by original band member Dee Dee Ramone, Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister and members of Rancid. The event was taped for a concert documentary and live album, both due before Christmas.

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New Chart-Topper: Bolstered by appearances on the House of Blues-sponsored "Smokin' Grooves" tour, New York rappers A Tribe Called Quest scored big with their fourth album, "Beats, Rhymes and Life," which enters the national pop chart at No. 1 with 173,000 copies sold last week, according to SoundScan. Fellow rapper Nas, who commanded the top spot for four weeks with "It Was Written," falls to No. 4 (118,000 copies). In second place are Seattle rockers Alice in Chains, with "Unplugged" (124,000).

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Honoring the Women: Singer-songwriter Faith Evans led the field Wednesday with four nominations for the second annual Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards, while TLC, Monica and the duo Groove Theory each garnered three. Peabo Bryson, Queen Latifah and supermodel Veronica Webb host the awards, Sept. 9 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium (airing that night on KTLA-TV Channel 5). Vanessa Williams will be honored with the Lena Horne Award for outstanding career achievement, while teen star Brandy will receive the Aretha Franklin Entertainer of the Year Award.

LEGAL FILE

Museums in Court: The St. Louis Art Museum has filed a $2.5-million lawsuit against New York's Whitney Museum of American Art and its security services for a 1993 incident in which a Whitney guard drew romantic messages on a Roy Lichtenstein painting valued at more than $1.5 million. Lichtenstein's large canvas, "Curtains," was on loan to the Whitney when temporary security guard Reginald Walker, then 21, wrote with a felt-tipped marker "I love you Tushee, Love, Buns" and drew a heart inscribed with "Reggie + Crystal 1/26/91" on the work. The St. Louis museum spent $6,500 restoring the 1962 painting, but the work's value has declined substantially since the incident, said lawyer John Rasp. The Whitney declined to comment on the suit.

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Going Public: MTV viewers will soon see Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen speaking out about the ills of domestic violence. Allen, 32, was sentenced to produce and air a public service announcement admitting he is a batterer after he pleaded guilty Tuesday to attacking his wife during an argument at L.A. International Airport last summer. Allen was also ordered to spend 30 days on a graffiti-removal work crew and undergo a year of counseling.

MOVIES

Cruise in Action: "Mission: Impossible" star Tom Cruise sprang to action in real life when he helped rescue five people whose yacht caught fire off Italy's resort island of Capri, a port official said Wednesday. The official said a French couple, their daughter and two crew members had sought refuge in a lifeboat after a short circuit caused a fire in the cabin of their yacht late Tuesday night. Cruise and his actress-wife, Nicole Kidman, were nearby on a yacht and took the five people on board until help arrived.

QUICK TAKES

Bruce Springsteen will perform at San Diego's Civic Theatre Oct. 22, at Fresno's Saroyan Theatre Oct. 23 and at Santa Barbara's Arlington Theatre Oct. 25 as part of the second U.S. leg of his solo acoustic tour of smaller theaters. Springsteen performed at Los Angeles' Wiltern Theatre in November on the tour's first leg. Ticket sale dates will be announced soon. . . . Helicopter pilot Bob Tur has not left KCBS-TV Channel 2, as reported Wednesday. He will remain with the local newscast while working on the staff of the syndicated newsmagazine "American Journal."

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