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Morning Report

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

March 04, 1997|ANGIE CHUANG

POP/ROCK

Beach Boys' Wilson Snubbed by High Court: The U.S. Supreme Court sounded a sour note Monday for former Beach Boys singer Brian Wilson's effort to escape a New Hampshire libel lawsuit over his 1991 book, "Wouldn't It Be Nice." The court, without comment, turned away arguments by Wilson and Todd Gold, his co-author, that it's not fair to force the Californians to defend themselves in a New Hampshire court. Beach Boy Al Jardine and Brother Records Inc. sued in New Hampshire after missing the filing deadline in California, contending that the book contains numerous false statements about the band's members and Wilson's contributions to the band.

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Selena Honored: Slain tejano star Selena's influence was strongly felt at Saturday's Tejano Music Awards in San Antonio. Selena Quintanilla Perez was given three posthumous awards, including best song ("Siempre Hace Frio"), tejano crossover ("No Quiero Saber") and female vocalist of the year honors. Her unofficial successor, 13-year-old Jennifer Pena, won the female entertainer crown, marking the first time in the last eight years that Selena did not get both female categories. Selena's former backup singer, Pete Astudillo, grabbed top album (orchestra) and album overall for his "Como Te Extran~o" (How I Miss You) CD. The title track was a tribute to Selena and his late mother.

TELEVISION

Keaton Cast in 'Northern Lights': Diane Keaton, a best actress Oscar nominee this year for "Marvin's Room," will executive produce as well as star in "Northern Lights," a two-hour original television movie for the Disney Channel. Produced by Alliance Communications, "Northern Lights" features Keaton as a New Yorker who travels to small-town Vermont after the death of her estranged brother to collect an inheritance--which turns out to be her 9-year-old nephew. The screenplay is based on the play of the same name by John Robert Hoffman. Scheduled to begin production in early April in Vancouver, "Northern Lights" will premiere on Disney in August.

STAGE

'Showboat' In, 'Sunset' Out in Orange County: "Sunset Boulevard" was taken out of the Aug. 23-Sept. 14 slot at Orange County Performing Arts Center, and "Show Boat" will take the same time slot, plus an extra week. The entire "Sunset" tour will be put on hold following a Chicago run that's scheduled to end on June 7. "Business could be much better," said "Sunset" spokesman John Barlow, and the routing of any future dates is being "reassessed." Asked if a bigger star might replace the relatively unknown lead Linda Balgord--a role played by Glenn Close in Los Angeles--the spokesman said casting "is not being discussed and was not a factor in this decision."

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Canned 'Annie' Bites Back: A 12-year-old actress who won a contest to sing on Broadway's "Annie" intends to sue the show for $50 million after being dumped four weeks before the first night. Joanna Pacitti charmed casting directors last summer when they were looking for a child to play the star of "Annie," a multimillion-dollar restaging of the popular musical about orphans. This week, however, in the middle of a pre-Broadway tour, Pacitti broke down in tears after being told that she was too wooden and no longer considered right for the part. She and her parents consulted lawyers and have now fired off a suit that claims she was treated unfairly and stands to lose high earnings. Pacitti's place will be taken by Brittny Kissinger, 8, who was picked from the chorus line.

MOVIES

'Heat': An informal survey of local video stores revealed that rentals of the Al Pacino-Robert De Niro thriller "Heat" were up after newscasters repeatedly compared a climactic scene in the film to Friday's North Hollywood bank robbery-shootout. Independent and chain video stores from West Los Angeles to Silver Lake reported about double the usual number of rentals. "Customers were saying, 'It's just like the shootout,' " said Kerri Ringor, assistant manager of a Blockbuster Video in North Hollywood.

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