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Morning Report

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

May 31, 2000|STEVEN LINAN

POP MUSIC

Van Halen Update: Reports that rocker Eddie Van Halen has cancer are wrong, a Houston hospital said Tuesday after doctors examined the 45-year-old musician last week. "There is some inaccurate information out and about. . . . Let me confirm that he does not have cancer," M.D. Anderson Cancer Center spokeswoman Jane Brust told Reuters. News that Van Halen, co-founder of the rock group that bears his name, had visited the highly regarded cancer research and treatment facility was posted on the Van Halen Web site. Another Web site with close links to the group, the Van Halen News Desk, said the rocker was being treated for cancer of the tongue. Brust said Van Halen had undergone a thorough examination and was found not to have cancer. However, he had decided to take part, as an outpatient, in a clinical trial to prevent cancer, she added.

THEATER

Actor's Apology: In a bluntly worded statement, the Broadway producers of the Arthur Miller play "The Ride Down Mt. Morgan" revealed that star Patrick Stewart made an apology to them as ordered by Equity, the actors' union. That action was taken after the producers brought charges of "unprofessional conduct" against Stewart for making curtain speeches after performances of "Mt. Morgan" in which he accused the producers of inadequately promoting and advertising the drama. On May 5, the Equity committee ruled that the actor had "overstepped his bounds" by expressing his personal viewpoint from the stage. While the producers refused to make public Stewart's apology, they issued a long, at times blistering statement in which they reiterated the fact that Stewart had been personally warned by the producers not to proceed with the curtain speeches and that he stopped them only when Equity intervened. Stewart could not be reached for comment.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday June 1, 2000 Home Edition Calendar Part F Page 36 Entertainment Desk 1 inches; 35 words Type of Material: Correction
Play's premise--Murray Schisgal's new play "We Are Family," scheduled for next season at El Portal Center, is about two heterosexual men who try to become gay. The description of the characters in Morning Report in Wednesday's Calendar was incorrect.

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El Portal Schedule: The second season on the main stage of the new El Portal Center for the Arts in North Hollywood will begin with Patty Duke as Mary Todd Lincoln in James Prideaux's "The Last of Mrs. Lincoln," Feb. 2-25, 2001. Next up is the West Coast premiere of the 1992 Olivier Award-winning farce "Out of Order," written and directed by Ray Cooney, who will co-star with Paxton Whitehead, April 27-May 20. "We Are Family," the premiere of a Murray Schisgal comedy about two gay men, will play Sacramento and then the El Portal, June 22-July 15, in a co-production with Sacramento Theatre Company. Tom Dulack ("Breaking Legs") will premiere his "Shooting Craps," about a Connecticut city's attempt to bring an Indian casino to town, Sept. 14-Oct. 7.

TELEVISION

Dream Team II: The cast is coming together on "American Tragedy," CBS' miniseries based on the book about the inner workings of O.J. Simpson's legal defense team. In addition to Ving Rhames as Johnnie L. Cochran, Christopher Plummer--who just played Mike Wallace in "The Insider"--and Bruno Kirby are finalizing deals to play Simpson lawyers F. Lee Bailey and Barry Scheck, respectively. The project, to be written by Norman Mailer and produced by Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana, will air next season.

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KTTV Departure: Diana L. Vargas, vice president and general manager of KTTV-TV, has resigned from the Fox affiliate to pursue other interests, effective June 30. She was the first woman to head the station. A decision has not been made on her replacement.

MOVIES

Editors Dismissed: Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper said it has fired the two top editors of its weekly magazine involved in publishing a freelancer's fictitious interviews with Hollywood stars. In a statement, the newspaper said its management decided Monday "to end the contractual associations" with the two editors, Ulf Poschardt and Christian Kaemmerling, "to prevent further damage" to the newspaper and its magazine. After days of reports in other media about the interviews, the newspaper printed a two-page apology last weekend admitting that it had printed fabricated interviews with such stars as Kim Basinger, Brad Pitt and Courtney Love from 1996 to 1999.

QUICK TAKES

Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss and Whoopi Goldberg will present the first Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame awards to composer John Williams and singer-songwriter Garth Brooks on June 23. . . . Following the recent news about his cardiac surgery, comedian Dana Carvey will sit down for an exclusive interview with Barbara Walters to air June 9 on ABC's "20/20 Friday."

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