Originally created 06/02/04

People in the News



SHANGHAI, China -- China to Britney: Come perform but leave the revealing outfits at home.

Britney Spears' first China tour has received Culture Ministry approval, but officials want to know what she's wearing before she hits the stage, the official China News Service reported Tuesday.

Spears, who's on a world tour to promote her latest album, "In The Zone," will perform five concerts in Shanghai and Beijing sometime next year, CNS said.

Wang Enqiang, an agent for Spears' Chinese promoter, Beijing Poly Culture and Art Co. Ltd., said the pop star planned to come to the mainland in 2004, but he had no information about ministry concerns.

However, the 22-year-old's sexy image has caused concern. Culture officials have asked the concert's Chinese organizers to guarantee she doesn't show too much skin on stage, CNS said.

"Relevant departments will carry out strict reviews of Britney Spears' performance clothing," the report said.

It wasn't clear what standards inspectors will use or how they would be enforced. A spokesman for Spears could not be immediately reached.

The head of the Culture Ministry's performance division, Pan Yan, said she hadn't received a performance application and couldn't comment on the report.

CNS quoted a spokesman for the concert's Chinese organizers as saying the ministry's wishes would be respected, but he said Spears' outfits and stage show are the same at each tour stop and it would be "impossible to make up clothes specially for the China performances."

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MADRID, Spain -- Paul McCartney returned to Madrid for the first time in 15 years and wowed fans with 33 songs, all but 10 of them Beatles' tunes.

McCartney and his band played until well pass midnight Sunday for an audience of 30,000. Scores of music lovers who were unable to get into the Peineta Stadium crowded a nearby slope to catch a glimpse of the rock star and his spectacular stage show featuring huge television screens and fireworks.

The 61-year-old delighted fans by addressing them in Spanish. "I was taught Spanish for a year 50 years ago, when I was 11 at school in Liverpool," he said.

He dedicated songs to his late bandmates, John Lennon and George Harrison, and drew a huge ovation when he said, "Let's hear it for John."

The show ended with hard-rocking versions of the Beatles numbers "Helter Skelter" and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

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NEW YORK -- They may not be known for their dancing, but Hugh Jackman and Donna Murphy have all the right moves.

Jackman, who plays Australian entertainer Peter Allen in "The Boy From Oz," and Murphy, star of "Wonderful Town," have won the 2004 TDF-Astaire Awards as the best male and female dancers on Broadway, it was announced Tuesday.

Kathleen Marshall, who directed and choreographed "Wonderful Town," was named best choreographer.

The prizes are given each year by the Theatre Development Fund and Robyn Smith Astaire, widow of the legendary dancer Fred Astaire. The awards will be presented at a ceremony later this month.

A panel of dance and theater critics chose the winners.

Among previous winners are dancers Chita Rivera, Gregory Hines, Bebe Neuwirth, Savion Glover, Charles "Honi" Coles, Charlotte d'Amboise, Ann Reinking, Ann Miller and Donna McKechnie.

On the Net:

http://www.tdf.org

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BERLIN -- German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder plans to attend the burial this week of acclaimed photographer Helmut Newton, who died in a Los Angeles car crash.

Newton, who fled Berlin in 1938 to escape persecution as a Jew, is being buried Wednesday in his native Schoeneberg district, near the grave of actress Marlene Dietrich.

Schroeder will attend the burial and a memorial event afterward at Berlin's City Hall with Newton's widow, June, and Mayor Klaus Wowereit, the Welt Am Sonntag newspaper reported.

Newton died Jan. 23 at 83 after apparently losing control of his car and crashing into a wall. Wowereit offered to have him buried in Berlin.

The photographer, born Helmut Neustaedter, returned to Berlin last October to donate more than 1,000 of his photos to a new gallery in Berlin, saying he was proud to have his work displayed in his hometown.

A fashion photographer whose work appeared in magazines including Playboy, Elle and Vogue, Newton was best known for his stark, black-and-white nude images.

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TORONTO -- Film director David Cronenberg is going down memory lane as he gears up for the DVD release of his 1977 feature film "Rabid."

Perhaps better known for his other eerie pictures "The Fly", "Dead Ringers" and "Crash," Cronenberg said the experience of shooting "Rabid" was part of an intense process of learning his craft.

"I learned everything. Those films, "Shivers" and "Rabid," were my film school, because I never went to film school," Cronenberg said.

One "Rabid" filming lesson had a particularly dangerous learning curve when a careening motorcycle almost landed on the director during a stunt.

In the film, Marilyn Chambers' character suffers a motorcycle crash and emerges from a medical clinic as a modern day vampire after radical plastic surgery goes horribly wrong. Infected crazies then lay siege to an entire city.

The DVD contains a director's commentary, an interview with Cronenberg, a widescreen format, a theatrical trailer and a photo gallery of production stills. It went on sale Tuesday.

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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid, whose unconventional designs include a ski jump, a fire station and an art museum, collected the Pritzker Prize, architecture's highest honor.

Hadid, the first woman to win the Pritzker, received $100,000 and a bronze medallion Monday at the Hermitage Museum. Each year, the 26-year-old prize is awarded in a ceremony at a different building of architectural renown.

"I really don't know why I have become the first woman to get this prize, but I hope it will help the other women in this profession to achieve success," Hadid, now a British citizen, said at a news conference. She learned in March that she was the winner.

Pritzker jurors singled out her designs for the Rosenthal Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, the Vitra fire station in Germany and a ski jump outside Innsbruck, Austria, as being of particular note.

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AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- A new English-language opera based on Herman Melville's classic "Moby Dick" premiered in Amsterdam for a one-night performance.

Named after the book's famous opening line, "Call Me Ishmael" drew a full house Sunday and standing ovation for composer Gary Goldschneider, who had worked on the piece for nearly 20 years.

Lyrics were drawn from the novel, and the music, performed by the Rotterdam Chamber Orchestra, was equally influenced by American musical theater and classic opera.

Like the book, the opera tells the story of the doomed whaling ship Pequod and its captain Ahab, who's hunting for Moby Dick, a white whale that bit off one of his legs.

Benjamin Bevan, the baritone who played Ahab, described his character as "going mad, possessed by desire for vengeance. He's so focused on his fight with the whale that it destroys him and everybody else."

Goldschneider said the opera will go on tour to several European summer festivals, with a possible trip to the United States with the American Landmarks Festival series.