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Morning Report

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

February 21, 2001|SHAUNA SNOW

RADIO & TELEVISION

Recuperating: Longtime "Which Way, L.A.?" host Warren Olney was to be released from UCLA Medical Center on Tuesday after undergoing a sextuple heart bypass on Valentine's Day. Olney, 63, was hospitalized Feb. 12 after he became too weak to host his nationally syndicated news show, "To the Point." Subsequent tests discovered blockage in several of his heart valves. A spokeswoman at Olney's broadcast home, KCRW-FM (89.9), said the host is expected to be off the air recuperating for several weeks. In the interim, Kyle McKinnon, who is managing editor of both of Olney's programs, will host the 6:30 p.m. "Which Way, L.A.?" "To the Point," meanwhile, will have guest hosts, including "Morning Edition" commentator Diana Nyad and Christian Science Monitor correspondent Sara Terry, with syndicated columnist and "Left, Right and Center" host Matthew Miller to be the regular fill-in host beginning March 5.

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Stanley Kramer Tribute: Cable's Turner Classic Movies will pay tribute to director-producer Stanley Kramer, who died Monday at age 87, by airing five of his films on Sunday. The slate begins at 5 a.m. with "Not as a Stranger" (1955), starring Robert Mitchum, Frank Sinatra and Olivia de Havilland; followed by "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" (1963) at 7:30 a.m., "Judgment at Nuremberg" (1961) at 11 a.m., "Inherit the Wind" (1960) at 2:30 p.m., and "The Defiant Ones" (1958) at 5 p.m.

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Affirming Values: Actor Carroll O'Connor will receive the Christopher Life Achievement Award in New York on Thursday for his "seminal contributions to the business and spirit of TV comedy and drama for the past 30 years." O'Connor is only the sixth recipient of the lifetime honor in the 52-year history of the Christopher Awards, which honor film and TV entities that "affirm the highest values of the human spirit." PBS' "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," which is ending its 38-year run, and actor Andrew Shue, who co-founded the youth organization Do Something, will also receive Christopher Awards.

POP/ROCK

Ricky Martin's Movie Debut?: Singer Ricky Martin is in advanced negotiations for his first starring role in a movie: "The Assassination," based on the 1961 slaying of Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo. Martin--a former soap opera actor who has already agreed to contribute to the film's soundtrack--would play a "heroic revolutionary" in the picture, which is to be filmed in the singer's native Puerto Rico. Oscar nominee Ed Harris ("Pollock") and Anthony Quinn are also expected to star in the movie.

THEATER

Keeping 'Em Laughing: The critics raved Tuesday about Mel Brooks' new stage adaptation of his classic 1967 film "The Producers," with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick stepping into the roles made famous by comics Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. The Susan Stroman-directed ("Contact") show, in a Chicago tryout before it segues to Broadway in April, "is precisely the kind of musical you thought they didn't, and more crucially couldn't, make anymore," said the Chicago Sun-Times' Hedy Weiss, calling the production "a triumph of cross-generational talents." While acknowledging that the musical still has some bugs to be worked out, Tuesday's reviews were mostly full of hyperbole, with the Chicago Tribune's Richard Christiansen calling it "an absolutely socko monster hit" that's "endless in its invention, relentless in its energy, extravagant in its design, witty in its silliness and shameless in its show bizziness." Variety's Chris Jones, meanwhile, proclaimed that it has "more belly laughs per minute than any new musical in years" and looks "poised to blow away all the Tony competition."

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Taper, Too Slate: The Mark Taper Forum's Taper, Too series will return to the Actors' Gang this spring with four productions: an expanded run of Lynn Manning's "Weights" (March 25-April 15), which received six performances in last year's Taper, Too; Sunil Kuruvilla's "Rice Boy" (April 25-May 13); Jessica Goldberg's "Good Thing" (May 23-June 9); and John S. Walch's "The Circumference of a Squirrel" (June 17-July 1).

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