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Morning Report

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

March 23, 2001|SHAUNA SNOW

THE ARTS

Thieves Avoid the Crowd: A 19th century painting by French artist Jean-Leon Gerome was sliced out of its frame and stolen Thursday from St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum while the Russian institution was teeming with visitors and security guards. A museum spokesman said the $1-million painting, "Pool in a Harem," was stolen from a third-floor gallery sometime during a two-hour period in the early afternoon. A museum supervisor discovered the empty frame while checking the museum's halls and raised the alarm. The museum's exits were then blocked while police searched visitors, to no avail.

Philharmonic Lauded: Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic returned home from a five-city national tour this week with a suitcase full of glowing reviews. The New York Times praised the orchestra's adventurous Stravinsky programming in contrast to less challenging programs usually presented by the New York Philharmonic, noting "tumultuous" ovations and "startlingly fresh" interpretation. The San Jose Mercury News noted that the L.A. orchestra's performance in a more conservative program in San Francisco was "stirringly achieved--and received," with "electric" playing and "glowing unanimity." The Seattle Times' headline, meanwhile, read "L.A. Philharmonic Dazzles Audience," while the Seattle Post-Intelligencer proclaimed its "Glowing Debut." New Jersey's Star-Ledger and the San Francisco Chronicle did have complaints, however. The Eastern paper called the Newark concert "enjoyable and brisk and clean and lively and focused" but "a little too lean"; the Chronicle called the orchestra "fervent" but "ragged."

Student Showcase: A delegation of 28 students from the L.A. County High School for the Arts will perform at the Kennedy Center today to celebrate the school being named one of two nationwide winners of the Kennedy Center's National Schools of Distinction award. The students will perform an original program called "Postcards From America," and the performance will be streamed live over the Internet from 3 to 4 p.m. at http://www.kennedy-center.org.

ENTERTAINMENT

Murrow Winners: L.A. public-radio outlets KCSN-FM (88.5) and KPCC-FM (89.3) have each won three regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for excellence in electronic journalism from the Radio-Television News Directors Assn., with KCSN sweeping every award in its small-market category, and KPCC winning trophies for continuing coverage, feature reporting and sports reporting. L.A.'s TV wins were split among four stations, with KCBS winning for best news series, KTLA for spot news, KCOP taking the sports reporting and KNBC for best Web site.

'Seinfeld' Sightings: Jerry Seinfeld's appearance on "Late Show With David Letterman" Wednesday didn't yield the anticipated ratings fireworks. The CBS show attracted less than 4% of homes, based on preliminary ratings data, an improvement over Letterman's Wednesday night average but still well below the 5.4% of homes tuned in to NBC's "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno." Seinfeld's latest American Express commercial, meanwhile, will premiere Sunday on ABC during the Academy Awards broadcast. . . . Separately, real-life catalog mogul John Peterman meets his "Seinfeld" portrayer, John O'Hurley, next Tuesday when he appears as a contestant on "To Tell the Truth." O'Hurley, who played J. Peterman on "Seinfeld," hosts the syndicated game show.

Coppola Verdict Tossed: A state appeals court has reversed filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola's $80-million jury verdict over Warner Bros. studio stemming from a never-made Pinocchio movie. The appeals court upheld the presiding judge's decision to overturn the jury's $60-million punitive damages award, and also overturned $20 million in compensatory damages awarded after a Los Angeles jury found that Warner Bros. blocked him from making a Pinocchio film with another studio after his plans with Warner Bros. fell apart. The court ruled that a letter from Warner Bros. asserting its rights to make the movie with him--the basis of much of Coppola's suit--was not grounds for legal action. "Warners is very happy about this," the studio's lawyer said. Coppola's lawyers have vowed to appeal the matter to the California Supreme Court.

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