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Morning Report

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

February 11, 1997|ANGIE CHUANG

POP/ROCK

Gallagher Wedding Called Off: Liam Gallagher, lead singer of Oasis, nearly entered the ranks of the married and (ostensibly) settled Monday before he and actress Patsy Kensit called off their wedding, citing "obsessive and intrusive" media attention. Gallagher, 24--known for his clashes with fellow band member and older brother Noel--has been engaged to Kensit, 28, since summer. But in a statement Monday, Creation Records said dozens of reporters who have besieged the couple's home and potential wedding sites have "removed any dignity from what was to be a private and special occasion."

'Rocket Man' to Mark New Era: British pop star Elton John will be among those ringing in the changes in Hong Kong this summer, performing two concerts as Britain prepares to hand the colony over to China. The 49-year-old singer and songwriter--as famous for his feather and sequined stage outfits as for such songs as "Rocket Man" and "Crocodile Rock"--is the first big-name entertainer to confirm that he will perform at the concerts, June 28 and 29. Organizers said they hope 40,000 people will pack Hong Kong Stadium for each of the shows. The colony changes hands at midnight June 30.

KUDOS

O'Donnell, Lithgow Shine at Comedy Awards: Talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell and "3rd Rock From the Sun" star John Lithgow received honors Sunday when the American Comedy Awards were given at the Shrine Exposition Center. O'Donnell and Lithgow were named funniest female and male television performers; film actors Frances McDormand ("Fargo") and Nathan Lane ("The Birdcage") also received awards. The award ceremony will be broadcast on ABC Feb. 17.

Votes Are In: "Jerry Maguire," "Evita," "The English Patient" and "Fargo" top the list of nominations for the MovieFone American Moviegoer Awards. The nominees were chosen by 1,800 moviegoers who cast votes at theaters nationwide and on MovieFone's computer online service. Votes for the winners will be collected on the MovieFone line starting Friday.

STAGE

Curtains for Lloyd Webber?: The Really Useful Company, Andrew Lloyd Webber's production arm, announced Monday that his new musical, "Whistle Down the Wind," already postponed from April to June, will not arrive on Broadway in 1997. "No one is talking," said John Barlow, a spokesman for the musical, but he did confirm that cast members have been released from their contracts and the sets most likely will be stored. "Whistle Down the Wind," based on a British film from 1961, was being directed by Harold Prince, one of Broadway's most successful directors of musicals. Lloyd Webber and his creative team transplanted the story, about a group of children who think an escaped convict is Jesus, to 1950s Louisiana. "Whistle's" demise comes a week after Really Useful announced the closings of Lloyd Webber's "Sunset Boulevard" March 22 in New York and April 5 in London. Both productions will finish their runs without recouping their production costs.

President Takes in 'Twilight': President Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton attended a Sunday matinee in Washington of "Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992," Anna Deavere Smith's one-woman play based on the racial tensions surrounding the Rodney King trial. The Clintons and Gore--who sat next to his son, Albert Jr.--applauded and laughed throughout her performance at Ford's Theatre, and the president paid Smith a visit backstage at intermission.

MUSEUMS

Craft and Folk Museum Director Named: Paul Kusserow, former director of planning and marketing for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, is the new executive director of Los Angeles' Craft and Folk Art Museum. He succeeds Patrick Ela, who resigned last April after 21 years at the helm. Kusserow was hired to direct the financially troubled institution because of his experience in strategic planning and revitalizing nonprofit institutions, said Frank Wyle, chairman of CAFAM's board of trustees. Among upcoming events, the museum will present an exhibition of outsider art from the collection of the House of Blues, Feb. 21-May 31, and the museum's restaurant, the Egg and the Eye, is expected to reopen during the summer.

QUICK TAKES

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