$1-Million Gift for Philharmonic: Longtime supporter William H. Brady III has donated $1 million to the Los Angeles Philharmonic's fund-raising campaign for Walt Disney Concert Hall. Brady made his gift in honor of Ernest Fleischmann, managing director of the Philharmonic, who celebrated his 73rd birthday on Sunday. The board of the Philharmonic has committed to raising $15 million by June to ensure the timely completion of the Disney Hall, the Philharmonic's new home. About two-thirds of the $15 million is earmarked for construction costs of the $255-million concert hall and $5 million for the Philharmonic's administration building. Brady is a former board member and avid Philharmonic supporter and subscriber. In 1993, he established the Brady New Music Fund to encourage commissions by contemporary composers, with performances and recordings by the Philharmonic.
Pacific Symphony Losing Leader: Louis G. Spisto, the well-regarded executive director of the Pacific Symphony, has resigned to become president of the Detroit Symphony. Spisto, 41, will assume his new post in March. Meanwhile, the orchestra's board plans to have a new executive director in place by June, President Janice Johnson said Monday at the orchestra's offices in Santa Ana. A search committee of nine people--including Spisto, music director Carl St.Clair and at least one member of the orchestra--will be announced Thursday. In the interim between directors, the board will run the organization.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday December 10, 1997 Home Edition Calendar Part F Page 12 Entertainment Desk 1 inches; 33 words Type of Material: Correction
Photographer--In a Morning Report item in Tuesday's Calendar about photos of the principal characters in "Primary Colors" appearing in the January issue of Vanity Fair, the surname of photographer Annie Leibovitz was misspelled.
Hey, Aren't You . . . ?: It's a very Clinton-esque John Travolta staring back from the pages of the January issue of Vanity Fair in photos of the principal characters in "Primary Colors" taken by Annie Liebowitz. Washington editor Dee Dee Myers points out that everyone from "the author to the director to the executives at Universal [Studios] denies" that the fictional Gov. Jack Stanton and his wife are based on the Clintons. Yet Travolta has dyed his hair gray and adopted many of Clinton's mannerisms for the Mike Nichols movie due March 20. On the other hand, writes Myers, "Others, like the governor's wife, miss their real-life mark; the hard-charging lawyer wife, played by Emma Thompson, is written as more pointed and more profane than Hillary Clinton." Myers should know, since she once worked as President Clinton's press secretary.
ACLU Honors DeGeneres: Ellen DeGeneres picked up an award Sunday from the ACLU for furthering gay rights with her TV show. "From the beginning, I said that I didn't want to become a spokesman for gay rights. But here I am," DeGeneres said as she accepted the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California's Bill of Rights Award at a Beverly Hills dinner. She received the award for advancing "the cause of gay rights 100-fold" when she came out of the closet on "Ellen" and in real life. "There's still a lot more to do," she said. "There's a warning label on my show sending a message that there is something wrong with me." DeGeneres has been fighting with ABC to remove the parental guidance warnings at the beginning of the show.
Carrying a Toon: Disney on Monday announced plans to introduce Toon Disney--a cable channel that will draw from the studio's library of animated TV programming. The network will launch in April, coinciding with the Disney Channel's 15th anniversary. Toon Disney will join the Fox Family Channel (which that studio recently acquired and is converting into a children's network) and Time Warner's Cartoon Network in seeking to siphon audience away from Nickelodeon, the established children's programming leader. Disney will package the new network with the Disney Channel in an effort to secure space on cable systems.
'Candle' Lyrics on Block: The handwritten lyrics to "Candle in the Wind 1997," Elton John's funeral tribute to Princess Diana, will be sold at auction to benefit a hospital. The lyrics, along with the final typed version, are signed by the creators of the song, John and lyricist Bernie Taupin. Proceeds from the Feb. 11 sale at Christie's in Los Angeles will be donated to the Children's Hospital there. "Children's Hospital Los Angeles is close to my heart, as are the lyrics to 'Candle in the Wind,' " said Taupin, who lives in Los Angeles. "I am amazed and astounded by what this song has achieved." John sang the reworked version of the 1973 hit at Diana's funeral Sept. 6. The song has sold a record 35 million copies. John plans this week to give more than $33 million in proceeds to the Diana memorial fund.
Bob Dylan was joined in New York on Sunday by Lauren Bacall, Charlton Heston, Jessye Norman and Edward Villella as recipients of the 1997 Kennedy Center Honors. The ceremony will be broadcast Dec. 26 on CBS. . . . George Clooney, who had been set to co-star with Will Smith in the Warner Bros. film "Wild Wild West," has pulled out of the project. . . . Jorge Mester, conductor and music director of the Pasadena Symphony, has signed a three-year contract extension to continue his association with the orchestra through the 2001-02 concert season.