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Morning Report

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



On the Block: The MGM Grand's chief financial officer, James Murren, told Wall Street investors this week that his company, which paid $6.4 billion to acquire Mirage Resorts on March 13, plans to sell most of its share of the art collection at Mirage's Bellagio Hotel to reduce its debt. Certain Picasso works would be retained, he said, because they are the centerpiece of the hotel's Picasso restaurant. MGM is said to own about half of the artwork, which has a total value of $400 million. Mirage Chairman Steve Wynn owns the other half and leases pieces to the property. MGM plans to keep the hotel's art gallery open but will show rotating exhibitions from private collectors, museums and other galleries. Crandon Capitol Partners, a New York investment firm, has filed suit to place the collection in a "constructive trust" to freeze proceeds of the sale and ensure that pieces wouldn't be sold to Wynn at below-market prices contrary to the interests of Mirage public shareholders and other interested buyers. Mirage officials have filed a motion to have the case dismissed.


Family Feud: Country singer LeAnn Rimes is alleging that her father and her former co-manager took more than $7 million from her over five years. In a lawsuit filed May 2 in Dallas County District Court, Rimes, 17, claims Wilbur C. Rimes and Lyle Walker funneled money away from her personally, and from the company set up in 1995 to manage her finances. The suit asks for unspecified damages because lawyers don't know exactly how much money is gone, attorney Tom Rhodus told the Dallas Morning News in a story published Thursday. "It would appear that her father didn't always act in a fatherly way to her," said Rhodus, who represents Rimes and her mother, Belinda Rimes. Brad Rhorer, a Baton Rouge, La., attorney representing the singer's father, called the accusations "completely false" and said his client's "compensation was fair. I can imagine no heartbreak greater than that of a father watching helplessly as others, for their own personal gain, alienate the affections of his daughter." Walker's lawyer, Keith Trent, said the singer's company owes the ex-manager money: "Lyle Walker is the one who has been wronged here."


How to Wango Tango: The Million Dollar Wango Tango 2000 concert today is sold out, but if you don't have a seat at Dodger Stadium to see 'N Sync, the Goo Goo Dolls, Marc Anthony and the rest of the artists in the nine-hour lineup, you can catch the show online. The concert, sponsored by KIIS-FM (102.7), begins at 1:45 p.m. and can be seen at the station's Web site,, which will also show live backstage coverage and allow fans to chat online with some artists via backstage computers.


Toon Out, Toon In: "Gary & Mike," an animated series about two best friends in search of America that originally had been scheduled for Fox, has now been picked up by UPN, and will premiere in January as a midseason comedy. After sitting on the shelf for months, the six episodes that Fox commissioned were to have begun airing at the end of May, but Big Ticket Television, which produces the series along with Will Vinton Studios, obtained the rights to the show from Fox and sold it to UPN, which plans to broadcast the six existing episodes plus seven new ones.


Sullivan's Story: Kathleen Sullivan is off the air at KFWB-AM (980), but the station won't say why, or whether she will return. Roger Nadel, KFWB vice president and general manager, would only say Friday: "We're not talking about her. She is still employed here." The former television personality had anchored the 5-10 a.m. slot for a little more than a year. Sullivan, a former anchor at CNN, ABC and CBS, could not be reached for comment.


Shaham Replaces Lieberson: Israeli mezzo-soprano Rinat Shaham will replace Lorraine Hunt Lieberson in upcoming performances of Ravel's "The Child and the Magic Spell," with Simon Rattle conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The dates are May 25, 26, 27 and 28, plus the Ojai Music Festival on June 2. Lieberson has withdrawn from those concerts for personal reasons, the Philharmonic said.


'Body' on Broadway?: Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura has signed over the rights to a musical based on his life to Pierre Cossette, a television, music and theatrical producer whose credits include "The Scarlet Pimpernel" and "The Will Rogers Follies." The show is tentatively titled "The Body Ventura," and Cossette said he has begun to think of scenes and songs from Ventura's colorful life as a professional wrestler and politician. "You open with the damnedest tag-team match you've ever seen," he said. "I can see 'Jesse for President.' . . . What a production number that is."

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