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December 03, 2004

Armani show to focus on eveningwear

MILAN, Italy (AP) - Giorgio Armani is upping the fashion stakes, taking on his French rivals with the launch of his first haute couture show in Paris next month.

The Giorgio Armani Atelier collection will be presented as an off-calendar show for 300 guests on Jan. 24, during the Paris Haute Couture fashion week, the Milan fashion house announced Wednesday.

The house said the "luxury to order" collection will focus on eveningwear "produced according to the standards of haute couture but with the accessibility, ease and modernity" that characterize Armani.

The ready-to-wear designer is stepping into the more expensive couture business at a time when luxury high fashion collections seem to have a shrinking market.


The July program of haute couture in Paris was down to 16 houses, compared with 26 that showed in the couture season five years ago.

Malkovich to play Austrian artist

VIENNA, Austria (AP) - John Malkovich will play the lead in a movie about the life of Austrian artist Gustav Klimt.

The movie, titled "Klimt," will depict the life of the famous art nouveau painter whose masterpieces include "The Kiss." Shooting will begin Jan. 4 in Vienna, the film's leading producer, epo-film, said Thursday.

Producers from London, Paris and Munich, Germany, are also involved in making the film, which is expected to premiere in May 2005.

"I see this film as a waltz," said screenwriter-director Raoul Ruiz in the statement.

Malkovich eagerly agreed to play Klimt, said Susanne Biro, an epo-film official.

"He was our first choice," she said. "He physically resembles Klimt and he is a good friend of Ruiz."

Pavarotti plans world farewell tour

NEW YORK (AP) - Luciano Pavarotti, long a giant in the opera world, has signed a contract for a 40-date worldwide farewell tour.

Pavarotti, whose tenor voice has filled opera halls for more than four decades, will perform in countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, New Zealand and Australia.

"This tour will be very emotional," the singer said in a statement Thursday. "I am looking forward to traveling around the world, meeting many of my colleagues and friends I have made throughout my career, and performing for audiences for the last time."

The concerts will be produced by British producer Harvey Goldsmith. Dates are yet to be announced. Earlier this year, Pavarotti gave his final operatic performance at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.

Bergen to join cast of 'Boston Legal'

NEW YORK (AP) - Candice Bergen is joining her first prime-time TV series since "Murphy Brown," this time as a cast member of ABC's "Boston Legal."

Bergen will join "Boston Legal" stars James Spader and William Shatner. She'll play Shirley Schmidt, a founding partner of the show's law firm.

In the early '90s, the actress won five Emmys and two Golden Globes for her performance on "Murphy Brown," a sitcom about a single mom in the television news business.

"Boston Legal," a David E. Kelley-created spin-off of "The Practice," focuses on the lives of high-priced civil lawyers at an upscale Boston law firm.

Both an ABC spokesperson and Bergen's publicist confirmed this week that Bergen will be a full-time cast member, though she is also to appear as a judge in the new installment of the "Law & Order" franchise, "Trial by Jury."

Bergen's first episode with "Boston Legal" is planned for Jan. 9. The show airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

Cole Christmas tune tops list of favorites

NEW YORK (AP) - Although it's been played many times, many ways, Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song" rates as the most popular Christmas song in a survey of women ages 30-49.

Following Cole is Burl Ives' "A Holly Jolly Christmas," Celine Dion's "O Holy Night," Bobby Helms' "Jingle Bell Rock" and John Lennon's "Happy X-mas (War Is Over)."

Edison Media Research, which surveys radio listeners, conducted a study of the favorite yuletide tunes of women ages 30-49 from across the country.

"They had surprisingly strong tastes," Sean Ross, vice president of music at Edison, told The Associated Press Wednesday. "It's been assumed before that if you like Christmas music, you like all Christmas music."

Charting as the most hated Christmas song? The rephrasing of "O Holy Night" by "South Park" character Eric Cartman.

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