Sharing the Wealth: Nearly 400 prints from Elton John's extensive photography collection are going on display at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta today. The prints are primarily vintage 20th century black-and-white photographs and pictures depicting various stages of the singer's life--including his battle with drugs. One of the shots is a portrait of the singer by artist Chuck Close. "I wanted it to be as honest as possible," John said. "It's me in the flesh. There's no touching up." The exhibit will be at the museum until Jan. 28. . . . Meanwhile, fellow British pop star Paul McCartney's first private American showing of his own paintings is being exhibited at New York's Matthew Marks Gallery through Thursday.
Opera Opening: Tom Waits and his wife, Kathleen Brennan, have been composing music and writing lyrics for an opera based on Buchner's play "Woyzeck." The piece is the couple's third collaboration with avant-garde director Robert Wilson, with whom they worked on "The Black Rider" and "Alice," performed in Europe in the 1990s. "Woyzeck," which will premiere Nov. 18 at the Betty Nansen Theatre in Copenhagen, is a nightmarish fable based on the true story of a soldier who murdered his girlfriend in Leipzig, Germany in 1821. Waits plans to use instruments ranging from toy pianos to a guitar-o-phone in addition to more traditional instruments. "It's music for the subconscious," he says. "Scary, horror, lullabies, Weill-ish theatrical, chanson, vaudeville distorted, parlor songs, broken-mirror music."
More Marriage Follies: Undaunted by negative publicity surrounding "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?," five couples agreed to get married Thursday on TV as part of Fox's "Surprise Wedding," which featured women surprising their boyfriends by proposing to them. The two-hour program started slowly but amassed more than 10 million viewers by its last half-hour.
No Go: After nine months of disappointing ratings, the plug has been pulled on a highly publicized experiment in TV news presentation--one that favored substance over cookie-cutter fluff. "We had really gathered a small but very loyal audience," said Hank Price, who was general manager of CBS-owned WBBM-TV in Chicago when the newscast went on the air. "But we also lost a lot of traditional viewers who simply couldn't accept it." The newscast was anchored and overseen by Carol Marin, who will return to work full-time at CBS News, where she will report for "60 Minutes" in addition to her regular contributions to "60 Minutes II." "I don't believe the rise and fall of this newscast determined the outcome of local newscasts for this country," Marin said.
Mixed Messages: The millionaire oilman who married Anna Nicole Smith in 1994 had once considered adopting her, according to his former estate lawyer. Harvey Sorensen testified at the Playboy Playmate's inheritance trial this week that the late J. Howard Marshall II weighed the options of marriage and adoption while taking into account how each would affect his taxes. In the end, Sorensen said, the 89-year-old oilman really wanted to marry the 26-year-old former stripper and model. "The problem with that is you can't marry your own child," he said. Smith, now 32, sued her 61-year-old stepson E. Pierce Marshall for part of J. Howard Marshall II's multimillion-dollar oil fortune.
Arnold Schwarzenegger will receive the Billy Wilder Award for his achievements in film and philanthropy and for upholding the international reputation of the Austrian image in movie-making. Wilder, director of films such as "Some Like It Hot," "Double Indemnity" and "Sunset Boulevard," will present the award at Spago at 5:30 p.m. Monday. . . . Celine Dion has settled her lawsuit against the National Enquirer over a February story that she said falsely claimed she was pregnant with twins. Dion's spokeswoman said the Enquirer will print a retraction and will also make a charitable donation. . . . Richard Ashcroft has postponed his U.S. tour due to illness. Tickets for the English rock singer's Nov. 15 show at the Knitting Factory Hollywood will be honored at the rescheduled Feb. 3 date. A Feb. 4 show will also go on sale, with details to be announced next week. . . . The pop-rock trio Ben Folds Five is splitting up after six years together. Leader Ben Folds is recording a new album for release on Epic Records in the spring. . . . President Clinton called in Friday to Steve Harvey's morning radio show on KKBT-FM (100.3) to encourage blacks and Latinos to vote Tuesday. Clinton, who said he was a big fan of Harvey's, also accepted the comedian's invitation to go on a fishing trip. . . . The Colburn School of Performing Arts has added five new members to its board of directors. They are Deborah Borda, Placido Domingo, Robert S. Attiyeh, Robert I. Weingarten, and Ian White-Thomson.