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Morning Report

Arts And Entertainment Reports From The Times, News Services And The Nation's Press.

April 20, 1999|SHAUNA SNOW

TV & MOVIES

Something About MTV Movies: "There's Something About Mary" led the nominations tally for the 1999 MTV Movie Awards with eight nods including best movie, best kiss (Cameron Diaz and Ben Stiller) and best fight (Ben Stiller vs. Puffy the dog). "Armageddon" garnered six nominations including best movie and best action sequence, followed by four each for "Lethal Weapon," "Shakespeare in Love" and "Rush Hour." Additional best movie contenders are "Shakespeare," "Saving Private Ryan" and "The Truman Show." The best male and female performance nominees are, respectively: Ben Affleck ("Armageddon"), Jim Carrey ("Truman"), Tom Hanks ("Ryan"), Adam Sandler ("The Waterboy") and Will Smith ("Enemy of the State"), and Cameron Diaz ("Mary"), Jennifer Love Hewitt ("Can't Hardly Wait"), Jennifer Lopez ("Out of Sight"), Gwyneth Paltrow ("Shakespeare") and Liv Tyler ("Armageddon"). The awards take place in Santa Monica on June 5 and will be seen on MTV on June 10.

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Winning VJ: Declaring that she wanted to offer positive vibes as "The Oprah Winfrey of MTV," 21-year-old Thalia DaCosta of Sunrise, Fla., won MTV's "Wanna Be a VJ Too" contest over the weekend. MTV viewers voted on five finalists who were narrowed down from more than 6,000 contestants who auditioned in three cities, including Los Angeles. She wins $25,000, a Kia car and a summer MTV VJ job.

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'Phantom' Bets: Las Vegas bookmakers have been laying odds on the Academy Awards nominees for a few years now, but in a new mingling of movies and gambling, an Internet-based bookmaker is taking online bets on how high the opening weekend grosses will be for "Star Wars: Episode I--The Phantom Menace." Among the bets offered: whether "The Phantom Menace" will beat "The Lost World: Jurassic Park's" record opening weekend take of $92.73 million, with the odds (1-20) overwhelmingly in favor of that happening.

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GLAAD Winners: The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation selected "Gods and Monsters" as the best film of 1998 and named CBS' "Chicago Hope" and NBC's "Will & Grace" as best drama series and comedy series, respectively, at the 10th Annual GLAAD Media Awards held in Los Angeles Saturday. Additional winners included the Tiffany Theatre's "The Last Session" (outstanding L.A. theater production), HBO's "Tracey Takes on . . . " (best TV program--single episode) and Rufus Wainwright (outstanding music album). In addition, special GLAAD awards for efforts to promote gays and lesbians and to combat homophobia went to Whoopi Goldberg and the musician-director couple of Melissa Etheridge & Julie Cypher.

STAGE

The Iceman Snubbeth: Film stars Kevin Spacey ("The Iceman Cometh") and Nicole Kidman ("The Blue Room") may have won rave reviews for their Broadway turns, but they were both snubbed Monday when the critics' group Drama Desk gave out its nominations for the best of the New York theater season. However, two other well-known actors were among the best actor nominees: Brian Dennehy for "Death of a Salesman" and Patrick Stewart for "The Ride Down Mt. Morgan." The best play nominees were "Betty's Summer Vacation," "Closer," "Not About Nightingales," "The Ride Down Mt. Morgan," "Snakebit" and "Wit." Winners will be announced May 9.

POP/ROCK

Rapper in Court(s): Rapper ODB scored a rare and unenviable trifecta of sorts in Southern California courthouses on Monday. The Wu-Tang Clan member, also known as Ol' Dirty Bastard (his real name is Russell Tyrone Jones), is the defendant in three unrelated criminal cases that were all scheduled for pretrial hearings or conferences on Monday morning. The proceedings in Compton, Santa Monica and Los Angeles involved allegations of, respectively, threatening a female acquaintance, threatening patrons at the House of Blues and wearing body armor (a potential violation because ODB is a convicted felon).

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Jackson's Double Millennium Shows: Michael Jackson's concert promoter, Marcel Avram, told a German newsmagazine that his biggest client plans to celebrate the millennium with back-to-back New Year's Eve concerts in Sydney, Australia, and Honolulu. Doing both shows on the same night will be possible because of the 22-hour time difference between the sites, Avram said. Avram, whose clients have also included Pink Floyd and Joe Cocker, was released from prison this month after serving two years for tax evasion.

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