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September 29, 1998|SHAUNA SNOW


Hall of Famers: Political commentators Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer, "Saturday Night Live" creator Lorne Michaels, actor-director Carl Reiner and Fred Rogers of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" fame are among the inductees announced Monday for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Hall of Fame. Other honorees are producer and former network programmer Fred Silverman ("In the Heat of the Night," "Diagnosis Murder"), producer Herb Brodkin ("The Defenders"), and Ethel Winant, who was one of the first female casting directors and the first woman vice president at CBS. Honorees, who were selected by the a committee chaired by producer Norman Lear, will be inducted later this year during ceremonies at the academy's headquarters in North Hollywood. The UPN network will then air the ceremonies in early March.


Picasso, Van Gogh and Rivera: "Diego Rivera: Art and Revolution," billed as the first major U.S. retrospective of the late Mexican master's work in 13 years, will go on view at the L.A. County Museum of Art from May 30-Aug. 16. More than 100 paintings, prints and drawings will be included in the show, which LACMA is billing as "the third jewel" in the museum's crown (following the current Pablo Picasso exhibition and the expected Vincent Van Gogh blockbuster, which opens in January). The exhibition is co-organized by Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes and the Cleveland Museum of Art, which will be the show's first stop in February. Following the LACMA run, it will also travel to Houston's Museum of Fine Arts and Mexico City's Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes.


Greif Leaving La Jolla Playhouse: La Jolla Playhouse artistic director Michael Greif has announced he will leave the theater after the 1999 season. "We understand his desire to return to the East Coast to be closer to his family and loved ones," said board chairman Geri Ann Warnke. Greif--also known as the director of "Rent," which he brought to the playhouse--has held the job since 1995. During his tenure, the theater eliminated its sizable deficit. Stephen J. Albert, a former Mark Taper Forum managing director, will be the playhouse's consultant as it searches for a replacement.


Old Globe Season: The 1999 season on Old Globe Theatre's main stage in San Diego will open with "Floyd Collins," a new musical by Adam Guettel and Tina Landau about a man trapped in a Kentucky cave and the media sensation he set off in 1925 (Feb. 13-March 21), followed by Alan Ayckbourn's "Bedroom Farce" (April 3-May 9) and Lillian Garrett-Groag's "The Magic Fire" (May 29-July 3). Slated for the company's Cassius Carter Centre Stage are Pearl Cleage's "Blues for an Alabama Sky" (March 31-May 9) and Richard Greenberg's "Three Days of Rain" (May 26-July 3), plus a February production still to be announced.


USC's the Place: The prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, previously housed at Boston's New England Conservatory of Music, is headed to USC. The program, whose changing faculty list reads like a "Who's Who" of the jazz business, will make its home at USC starting in the fall of 1999. Musicians who have taught at the two-year program--which selects students from around the world to receive personal mentoring and ensemble coaching as well as a chance to perform with jazz greats in various international locations--include Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Wayne Shorter and Grover Washington Jr.


Some Hindus Really Like Madonna: Hindus who criticized Madonna for her revealing clothing and suggestive dancing at the MTV Video Music Awards were not looking deeply enough, some Hindu scholars now say. "Hinduism is a religion of tolerance," said Acharya Vageesh Shastri, one of the most respected scholars in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, India. "One should have the vision to look beyond her transparent tops. Her interior is more appealing than her exterior." The World Vaishnava Assn. and other groups had issued a statement after the Sept. 10 program condemning Madonna for wearing a holy facial marking along with "clothes through which her nipples were clearly visible and while gyrating in a sexually suggestive manner." B.N. Chaturvedi, another Varanasi scholar, praised Madonna for her pronunciation of Sanskrit prayers during the performance, and dismissed her critics as an "unknown organization run by people with doubtful credentials." There is no central Hindu group that has the final word on doctrine.


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