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Morning Report

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

September 06, 1996|SHAUNA SNOW


Rosie as Oscar Host?: Whoopi Goldberg said on Thursday's "Rosie O'Donnell Show" that she won't return as Oscar host next year, and gave her recommendation for a successor--O'Donnell. "There isn't anybody else who can do it in my opinion but Rosie," Goldberg said, as she urged O'Donnell's viewers to write the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with the request. Meanwhile, O'Donnell also lent support to Goldberg as her own replacement, offering the dreadlocked comedian the opportunity to guest-host "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" any time she chooses.

Hootie and the Apollo: Grammy-winning pop band Hootie & the Blowfish has been booked to open the 10th-anniversary season of "It's Showtime at the Apollo," traditionally a launching ground for African American comedians and R&B and hip-hop performers. The mainstream band--whose lead singer, Darius Rucker, is black--will sing the songs "Let It Breathe" and "So Strange," which features the Grammy-winning Hezekiah Walker Choir. Also performing on Saturday's season opener, airing on KNBC-TV Channel 4 at 2 a.m., are BLACKstreet, Kirk Franklin and the Family, SWV, Montel Jordan and the Braxtons. A band representative acknowledged that Hootie might seem an odd pairing with the Apollo, given the show's focus on urban music, but noted that musical styles have never been an issue with the band. The members had been asked to perform on the show for a couple of years and were "thrilled" when their schedule finally allowed it.


Touring Oz Memorabilia: A traveling museum of "Wizard of Oz" memorabilia--including Judy Garland's checkered blue-and-white dress from the 1939 musical, an Emerald City guard coat, a Munchkin costume and a Scarecrow look-alike character--debuted at New York's Planet Hollywood on Thursday. The tented Greyhound bus, which will visit nearly 50 cities throughout the country before setting down in Kansas on Dec. 20 in what is being called the "Yellow Brick Road Bus Tour," will visit Beverly Hills' Planet Hollywood on Nov. 30-Dec. 1. The tour celebrates a digitally remastered "Wizard of Oz" video now on sale for $20. The video won't be available this century after Jan. 31.


'Freak'ing Again: "Super Freak" singer Rick James gave his first public performance since his recent release from prison when he joined Billboard Live headliner Common Sense at the Sunset Strip club Wednesday. James, who was in the audience at the club, got up on stage to join Common Sense for the latter's rendition of "Super Freak," then belted out his own original rendition, prompting a rousing response from the crowd. James, who spent more than two years in prison for drug-related assault on a woman, has recording contract offers pending from several companies.

Heh Heh: Engelbert Humperdinck must be "cool." Perhaps hoping to follow in the footsteps of Tom Jones and Tony Bennett, who both rejuvenated their careers with appearances on cable's MTV, Humperdinck is recording the lead track--called "Fly High Lesbian Seagull"--for the upcoming soundtrack to "Beavis and Butt-head Do America," a big-screen vehicle for the MTV antiheroes. Other artists on the soundtrack, due to be released along with the movie in December, include R.E.M., the Red Hot Chili Peppers and LL Cool J.


Tap Travails: When Australian dance troupe Tap Dogs made its U.S. premiere at UCLA's Veterans Wadsworth Theater Wednesday night, the group had to contend with quite a technical mishap. The stage's sound board blew a couple of hours before the show's scheduled 8 p.m. start. When sound man Trey Smith got the emergency page at 5:59 p.m., he was out in Redondo Beach. So he rushed back to his Van Nuys office, found two helpers to load up the massive 700-pound board and braved the traffic to get it back to Westwood by 8:05 p.m. Meanwhile, theater-goers were treated to free drinks while a sound check was completed, and the show went on at 9:10 p.m. See Tap Dogs review, F1.

Phil Preview: The L.A. Philharmonic previews music from its 1996-97 season on KKGO-FM (105.1) tonight from 8 to 10, Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The annual Philharmonic radiothon will include interviews with many of the season's featured artists. Callers who subscribe to the Phil's season during the broadcast will receive a free Philharmonic CD.


Talk-show host David Letterman celebrates his third anniversary on CBS with tonight's "Late Show." . . . Howard Hesseman will play the Marquis de Sade in "Quills," which opens the first full Geffen Playhouse season, Oct. 9-Nov. 3. The Geffen (formerly the Westwood Playhouse) is also offering the first 20 purchasers of a charter subscription, after the box office opens at 10 a.m. Sunday, the same guaranteed annual subscription prices through the year 2000. . . . Kennedy Center honorees Jack Lemmon and Maria Tallchief are both 71, not 81 as reported Thursday.

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