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Celebrity news

March 16, 2005

McGovern taking 'Women' on the road


NEW YORK (AP) - Maureen McGovern, who plays the mother of four spirited daughters in the Broadway production of "Little Women," will take the musical on the road when it begins its 30-city national tour this summer.

McGovern, best known for her recording of the Oscar-winning song "The Morning After," plays Marmee in the show, which stars Sutton Foster as Jo, the lively daughter who wants to become a writer.

The musical, based on Louisa May Alcott's classic novel, starts its tour in San Diego, Aug. 30-Sept. 4. It will later play cities such as San Jose, Calif.; Columbus, Ohio; Chicago; Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Washington. Exact dates and more cities will be announced.

"Little Women" opened Jan. 23 at Broadway's Virginia Theatre.




Actress Harden to stage Mendelssohn


NEW YORK (AP) - On a mid-March night, Oscar-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden is making her New York Philharmonic debut.

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Harden, who won a supporting-actress Academy Award for 2000's "Pollock," is among the ensemble cast performing a semi-staged version of Mendelssohn's complete incidental music to Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Also in the cast: Campbell Scott, whose acting credits include the Broadway production of "Long Day's Journey Into Night" with Jason Robards and Colleen Dewhurst; Hope Davis ("About Schmidt"); Linda Emond; Reg Roberts; Lorenzo Pisoni; and Jeremy Shamos.

The Philharmonic performances at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall are scheduled for Thursday, Saturday and March 22. Soprano Susan Gritton and mezzo-soprano Patricia Risley also perform in the concert conducted by Sir Neville Marriner.




Macpherson sends games' baton along


LONDON (AP) - Elle Macpherson set the 2006 Commonwealth Games baton off on its yearlong journey to the Australian host city of Melbourne.

The Australian model carried the Queen's baton through the gates of Buckingham Palace Monday before handing it to 2000 Olympic 400-meter champion Cathy Freeman.

Queen Elizabeth II put a microchip containing her message to athletes competing at the games from March 15-26, 2006, into the high-tech baton, which also contains two miniature TV cameras and a GPS tracking device.

The technology will allow the baton's progress to be followed on the Internet as it is carried by thousands of runners on its 110,000-mile relay through all 71 Commonwealth nations.

Freeman gave the baton to Kelly Holmes, the British gold medalist in the 800 and 1,500 at last year's Olympics, who passed it on to 2004 Olympic boxing lightweight silver medalist Amir Khan.




Italian musicians to aid tsunami victims


ROME (AP) - Andrea Bocelli and other top Italian musicians will perform in a concert next week to raise funds to help victims of the tsunami in Sri Lanka.

The March 21 concert will be held at the Forum di Assago in Milan, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said Monday.




Beverly and Maze to close Essence fest


NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Frankie Beverly and Maze will close out the 2005 Essence Music Festival in July, as they have every year since the festival began.

The festival will kick off a yearlong celebration of the 35th anniversary of Essence magazine, a lifestyle publication aimed at black women.

The "party with a purpose," is set for July 1-3 in the Louisiana Superdome.

Joining Aretha Franklin on the main stage the first night will be Alicia Keys, John Legend and Ruben Studdard. On July 2, Destiny's Child will top a roster also featuring Kanye West, Teena Marie and Fantasia. On July 3, Maze will close out a night that includes Lionel Richie, comedian-actress Mo'Nique and Kem.

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