September 29, 2005

Johnny Cash Musical

He topped Nashville charts, conquered New York publishing and is the subject of a new movie. Now the late Johnny Cash will reach Broadway in February with the opening of "Ring of Fire," a musical featuring the classic songs of the legend known as "The Man in Black."

The producers said on Wednesday the musical featuring 38 of Cash's songs would begin performances in New York in February, directed by Richard Maltby, who won a Tony Award for conceiving and directing the Fats Waller musical "Ain't Misbehavin'."

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September 28, 2005

The Benator?

The Benator?

That's the hot new idea being tossed around by Virginia Democrats, who are desperately searching for a big name like Ben Affleck to challenge the reelection bid of rising GOP star Sen. George Allen next year, now that outgoing Gov. Mark Warner has ducked out.

Why, who should happen to be pondering a move to Thomas Jefferson country but a certain square-jawed media magnet with a taste for liberal politics and millions to spend on it . . . Ben Affleck ! Star of "Gigli" and the J.Lo tab romance, now happily settled with "Alias" star Jennifer Garner.

The couple, expecting their first child, have been shopping for real estate around Charlottesville. British tabloids claim it's a done deal; we will only go so far as to report that they checked out at least one country estate a few weeks ago.

It was about that time that party officials started batting Affleck's name around. "It's spread pretty widely, at least in the political underground," University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato, Virginia's premier pundit, told Michael Shear, The Post's Richmond correspondent.

Another name on the wish list: blockbuster legal-thriller writer John Grisham . But the central Virginia farmhouse owner, who gives generously to Democrats and did a stint in the Mississippi legislature, has brushed off past overtures, sources say.

In truth, the Dems are less concerned with beating Allen than slowing him down. Both he and Warner are eyeing the 2008 presidential race.

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"Jackass" star Steve-O claims he can't remember any of his drunken antics on Monday night's "Too Late With Adam Carolla."

In an e-mail to one of the show's producers, Steve-O says: "I just woke up with no recollection of taping Adam's show. Wow. I can't help being more proud of myself." On the show, an extremely lubricated Steve-O came out swearing and spitting, tried to tackle Carolla and broke a glass coffee table by smashing it with his fist — sending blood from his cut leg spurting all over the stage.

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Back Together?

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SCOTUS and Anna

The Supreme Court shed its staid image Tuesday, giving stripper-turned Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith a new chance at a piece of the fortune of her 90-year-old late husband.

The court said it would hear arguments early next year as part of Smith's effort to collect as much as $474 million from the estate of J. Howard Marshall II. The oil tycoon married her in 1994 when he was 89 and she was 26. The case promises to be the sexiest of the nine-month term which begins next week.

"She's very excited. She will be attending arguments, there's no question about that," Smith's lawyer, Howard K. Stern, said in a telephone interview from Vermont where the television reality star is filming a movie.

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Gwyneth Says...

Gwyneth Paltrow wishes she found success in her later years, because she had nothing to strive for after winning her Oscar.

While Paltrow's popularity in Hollywood peaked at the age of 26, the actress admits she was unequipped to cope wit the pressures of fame and didn't want to reach the pinnacle of her career so early. After leaping to fame in 1995 thanks to her romance with Brad Pitt, Paltrow's more recent films have failed to match the huge success of 1998 period romance Shakespeare In Love, for which she won an Academy Award.

Paltrow, who turns 33 today says, "When you reach the pinnacle of your success at 26, as I did, it's not healthy. It leaves you in a sort of crisis in terms of what you're supposed to be and do for the rest of your life. I made the mistakes of working too much and it turned out to be really the wrong thing. I just had a lot of life in 10 years. I achieved a lot early, but I wasn't very happy."

Since her 2003 marriage to Chris Martin and the 2004 birth of their baby Apple, Paltrow is finally happy. She enthuses, "At this point in my life, I have a real life. Having Apple has changed everything for me."

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Ozzy Pulled a Jude

Ozzy Pulled a Jude:

Sharon Osbourne says Ozzy cheated on her with his children's nanny on the night son Jack was born.

Sharon, 52, whose autobiography Extreme is being serialised in The Sun, said: "Ozzy was loaded when he got to the hospital. Then he collapsed and went home. "My assistant popped in to see if he was OK and found him in bed with the nanny. She wasn't a beautiful blonde - she was an ugly old cow."

But Sharon says that Ozzy eventually gave up cheating for good - after a faulty AIDS test came back positive. Sharon insisted he had the test in 1986 after he admitted bedding "some old tart he picked up at a bar".

She says: "I wanted to give him a shock. And it certainly did that."

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After three smash American Pie movies, the film's producers figure fans are up for a fourth slice.

But American Pie: Band Camp won't arrive in theaters; it's going direct to DVD. And only Eugene Levy remains from the original cast of the hit comedy franchise.

For movies that have developed fan bases through several theatrical sequels, direct-to-DVD versions can be a cost-effective way to wring more dollars out of an established movie franchise.

Producer Martin Bregman, whose Carlito's Way: Rise to Power, the prequel to 1993 Carlito's Way, arrives on DVD today, says that with rising production costs and star salaries, "in many cases a film will go directly to DVD because it's simply a more profitable situation for a studio."

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Kirsten Spills It

During an interview this weekend promoting Elizabethtown, Kirsten Dunst confirmed rumors that Thomas Haden Church will play Sandman and Topher Grace is Venom in director Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3, opening in theaters on May 4, 2007.

"We have really great people though as the villains in this film, Thomas Haden Church and Topher Grace -- Venom and Sandman," said Dunst, who plays Mary Jane Watson in the Spidey films.

"Maybe I wasn't supposed to say that," she added before reversing her claim. "It's the other way around. You're right," she conceded to a journalist.

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R. Kelly and Wife Separated

R. Kelly's got another chapter of marital drama to sing about — but this time, it's from his own life. Earlier this month, Kelly's wife, Andrea, was granted an emergency protective order to keep the singer away from her, claiming physical abuse, harassment, stalking and interfering with her personal liberty. She had written in her petition that she didn't want any contact with him "at all, by any means."

When that order expired on Friday, she asked for it to be dismissed instead of extended — but she's since hired one of Chicago's top divorce attorneys, Donald Schiller, who told MTV News that while Andrea Kelly hasn't filed for divorce, the couple are now separated and she's moved out of their home.

"My wife and I had a heated argument, and we are now in the process of working it out," R. Kelly said in a statement released Monday (September 26). "We hope that the press and public will give us the time and privacy we need to resolve this very personal situation."

In Andrea Kelly's petition to the court, however, she referred to not one but several such heated arguments, including one in which she asked for a divorce. She wrote that Kelly "snapped" at her because a man turned up in the background of a photo she took with her children in Miami in August, and that two days after that, he "snapped" at her again, because of a comment she made about a man in a magazine.

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Tupac Screenplay

A screenplay written by slain rapper Tupac Shakur is being produced as a feature film.

"Live 2 Tell," a script Shakur wrote in 1995 about an inner-city black youth who becomes a drug kingpin and later goes straight, was acquired by Insomnia Media Group, which plans to begin production next March, company Chairman Bret Saxon and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bowler said Tuesday.

Insomnia acquired the rights from Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur, who will be a producer on the film, which has not yet been cast.

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SJP Says...

Sarah Jessica Parker doesn't consider herself to be a fashion icon.

"It's not the way I perceive myself, I'm so low on my priority list," she says. "I love beautiful clothes and am privileged enough to have access to them a lot… but they also are returned the next day. They are not mine."

In Toronto this week for the Canadian launch of her fragrance, Lovely, the 40-year-old actress says that she always wanted the scent to be subtle. "We've all been hugged by people who are wearing something really confident," she says. "I didn't want people to be apologizing, 'Sorry. It's not me, I hugged Sue earlier.'"

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Hollywood Wedding

Jennifer Jason Leigh and director Noah Baumbach have married, the new groom confirmed on Monday night at the premiere of his new movie. The pair exchanged vows in Hollywood over Labor Day weekend.

"I expect to be with her the rest of my life," Baumbach said at the New York Film Festival premiere of his new film The Squid and the Whale, which opens in limited release Oct. 5.

It's the first marriage for both. The couple met while Leigh was starring on Broadway as Catherine in Proof, a role she took on in 2001. The pair currently split time between New York and Los Angeles. "We're New Yorkers with a country place in Los Angeles," Baumbach recently told The New York Times.

The 43-year-old Leigh's credits include 1982's Fast Times at Ridgemont High, as well as Single White Female and Palindromes. Baumbach has directed such films as 1995's Kicking and Screaming and Mr. Jealousy, and he co-wrote last year's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

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September 27, 2005

Melania's Pregnant!

Donald Trump and his wife, Melania Knauss, are expecting their first child together, his rep confirms.

"They are expecting in the spring," says the spokesperson, adding: "They are very happy."

As for becoming a father again – while this will be his first child with the 35-year-old Melania, he has four other children – Trump, 59, "is loving it," the rep said. "He's always said he wouldn't mind having more of a family."

The New York-based Apprentice star and real-estate developer has three children by his first wife, Ivana (Donald Jr., 27; Ivanka, 23; and Eric, 21) and a daughter with second wife Marla Maples (Tiffany, 11).

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Were We All Punk'd?

Could it be? Could the recent Demi and Ashton wedding really be the ultimate Punk-ing?

Jossip has the scoop on a note they received from a man claiming he has "insider information" and that the wedding was indeed, the ultimate punk of Us Weekly. Click here to read.

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Samantha Jones, Godmother?

Britney Spears will reportedly ask 'Sex and the City' star Kim Cattrall to be her new son's godmother.

The sexy actress, who played raunchy Samantha in the hit show, has been friends with Britney since playing her mother in the movie 'Crossroads'.

So the pop babe is keen for Kim to play an important role in baby Sean Preston's life. A friend is quoted by Britain's News of the World newspaper as saying: "Britney loves Kim and will be asking her to be her godmother."

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Celebrity Quotes

Some recent celebrity quotes:

"It sounded like Dodger Stadium in there."
– Taryn Manning (Hustle & Flow), on the burst of applause following the landing of a crippled JetBlue airliner in L.A. The actress was one of 140 passengers who watched their own ordeal on inflight TV

"What's Tom Cruise going to stand on?"
– Chris Rock, visiting Oprah Winfrey's new set, which lacks a couch

"It has been reported that the Church of Scientology is reaching out to model Kate Moss to help her with her cocaine problem. Tom Cruise told Moss, 'Trust me, you don't need cocaine to jump around like an idiot.' "
– Conan O'Brien

"I went to Europe for a month on tour and we kinda dated by Blackberry."
– Sheryl Crow, on the beginning of her relationship with fiancé Lance Armstrong, to Entertainment Weekly

"Just having fun. Got to do it while I've still got it."
– Tiger Woods, on why he dyed spots in his hair

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Coach Suge

Hip-hop boss Marion "Suge" Knight is considering quitting the rap game and becoming a college football coach.

The Death Row Records founder, who was shot in the leg last month, says he wants to take gang youths in L.A. and turn them into athletes. "I'm at a point where probably in the next couple of years I'm gonna go coach football," he tells "It's something I enjoy. I don't need a paycheck for it."

The 325-pound Knight went to University of Nevada at Las Vegas on a football scholarship and briefly played for the Oakland Raiders.

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Clooney's Retro-Casino

George Clooney hopes to take revelers back in time when he opens his new Las Vegas, Nevada casino, because he wants it to be the type of venue his late aunt Rosemary Clooney would have played in her heyday.

The movie star admits he's a huge fan of big band era venues that catered for crooners and the swinging stars of yesteryear - and he wants to recreate that in Sin City.

He explains, "We have this romantic vision of putting on a suit, getting dressed up and going down to the casino and having a big band playing, having dinner and pushing the tables back and people dancing. It's the way I grew up watching (aunt) Rosemary sing at those places. I found some people who are crazy enough to let us get away with it." The new casino complex, Las Ramblas, is set to open at Christmas 2007.

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New Coupling?

With a stellar collection of past girlfriends, including Nicole Kidman, Kylie Minogue, Adriana Lima and Vanessa Paradis, Lenny Kravitz knows a good thing when he sees it. Apparently, the "Fly Away" singer may have set his attention on an equally talented musician and fellow Grammy winner - Alicia Keys.

The New York Daily News reports that the two were seen together at New York's Mr. Chow, laughing, talking and feeding each other. While Keys' flack described Kravitz as a "friend" and refused to comment on whether or not she was still dating Kerry Brothers, her business partner, spies witnessed the soul man looking like he wanted to eat her up as they sat next to each other in a booth.

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