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Quick Takes: 'Ghost' headed for Broadway

August 23, 2011

A musical based on the Patrick Swayze film "Ghost" will be haunting Broadway next year.

Producers said Monday that the show, which debuted in June in London, will begin previews in New York in March 2012. Casting for the Broadway run has not been announced yet.

"Ghost" has new songs by Grammy Award winner Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard. Stewart is half of the pop duo Eurythmics, while Ballard helped put together Alanis Morissette's "Jagged Little Pill."

Oscar winner Bruce Joel Rubin has adapted his original screenplay for the stage.

—Associated Press

Fatwa doesn't faze Letterman

Even a fatwa is grist for comedy when you're David Letterman.

Back from two weeks' vacation and making his first TV appearance since a threat against his life was posted on a jihadist website, the "Late Show" host played it for laughs during Monday's monologue.

Letterman began by thanking his studio audience for being there.

"Tonight," he said, "you people are more, to me, honestly, than an audience — you're more like a human shield."

Then he apologized for having been tardy coming out onstage.

"Backstage, I was talking to the guy from CBS," he explained. "We were going through the CBS life insurance policy to see if I was covered for jihad."

Until Letterman delivered his jokes, his situation seemed no laughing matter.

Last week, a frequent contributor to a jihadist website posted the threat against Letterman. He urged Muslim followers to "cut the tongue" of the late-night host because of a joke and gesture the comic had made about Al Qaeda leaders on his CBS show earlier this summer.

—Associated Press

Three vie for Thurber Prize

A sportswriter, an essayist and a playwright-comedian are this year's finalists for the Thurber Prize for American Humor.

Mike Birbiglia was nominated for "Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories." It was developed from his one-man show.

David Rakoff was cited for the collection "Half Empty." His essays have appeared in such publications as Vogue and Wired.

Rick Reilly was nominated for "Sports From Hell: My Search for the World's Dumbest Competition."

The nominations were announced Monday by Thurber House, based in Columbus, Ohio. First prize is $5,000.

The award was founded in 1997 in honor of humorist James Thurber.

—Associated Press

Nashville hall taps 5 tunesmiths

Country superstars Alan Jackson and Garth Brooks are among the newest inductees to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, along with Allen Shamblin, John Bettis and Thom Schuyler.

Shamblin's credits include Miranda Lambert's "The House That Built Me" and Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me." Bettis is known for pop-country crossovers such as "Slow Hand," sung by the Pointer Sisters and later Conway Twitty.

Schuyler's résumé includes the Kenny Rogers hit "Love Will Turn You Around."

The induction ceremony will take place Oct. 16 in Nashville.

—Associated Press

Richard Hatch: I'm destitute

Richard Hatch, the winner of the first season of "Survivor," is claiming he's "destitute" as he seeks a court-appointed lawyer to help him appeal a nine-month sentence for failing to settle his tax bill in his tax-evasion case.

Filings in U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I., made public last week show Hatch believes he should be given free legal representation to fight the prison sentence handed down in March. He earlier spent three years behind bars for not paying the taxes.

Hatch, 50, of Newport, R.I., had been returned to prison for violating terms of his release from prison for failing to pay taxes on his $1 million winnings from the CBS show 10 years ago.

—Associated Press

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