Originally created 07/30/05

People in the News

ROME - Elton John will take the stage just outside the Colosseum in September, Rome officials said on Friday.

The free Sept. 3 concert will take place on the Via dei Fori Imperiali, the large boulevard that leads to the Colosseum and is lined with ancient Roman relics.

"I can't wait to meet my fans in Rome for a unique musical happening," John said in a video broadcast during a news conference. "It is so exciting."

Last year, a Simon and Garfunkel concert on the same stage drew hundreds of thousands of fans. Paul McCartney has also performed on the Via dei Fori Imperiali.

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NEW YORK - Julia Roberts, movie star, is heading to Broadway next spring.

The 37-year-old actress will make her Broadway debut in a revival of Richard Greenberg's "Three Days of Rain."

The announcement by producers Marc Platt and David Stone was first reported Friday in The New York Times. Platt and Stone are the team responsible for the megahit musical "Wicked."

The production will begin a limited 12-week engagement next March at a theater to be named, the Times said, and will be directed by Joe Mantello, one of the theater's most sought-after directors. No other details, including other cast members, were announced.

Mantello directed the Broadway and touring productions of "Wicked" as well as "Take Me Out," Greenberg's Tony-winning drama about a gay baseball player. He will also direct the Nathan Lane-Matthew Broderick revival of "The Odd Couple," opening on Broadway in October.

"Three Days of Rain" was first done in New York in 1997 at off-Broadway's Manhattan Theatre Club. The three-character play, a mysterious family drama, starred Patricia Clarkson, John Slattery and Bradley Whitford.

It is one of the first acting gigs Roberts has committed to since giving birth to twins last December. Her screen hits include "Pretty Woman," "Steel Magnolias" and "Erin Brockovich" - for which she won an Oscar in 2001.


NEW YORK (AP) - Lindsay Lohan missed her own premiere in London Thursday to fly home to her mother for the start of her parents' divorce proceedings.

Lohan was meant to join her co-star Michael Keaton at the premiere of the Disney film "Herbie: Fully Loaded." Instead, the 19-year-old actress flew to New York to be with her mother and siblings.

"She's having some troubles at home," Angela Robinson, director of "Herbie," told AP Television News. "She wanted to go back and deal with her family because she had some personal stuff going on, so we definitely miss her here but I think it's best that she do that."

Her parents have had a public divorce battle, with Lohan's mother and co-manager Dina suing for divorce and her father, Michael, asking for a cut of his daughter's earnings in response.

"He didn't do anything for my career except go out and not come home at night," Lohan told W magazine in April. "So I don't think he deserves anything. He doesn't even deserve my respect."

Michael Lohan, 44, was sentenced in late May to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison on guilty pleas to a variety of crimes, including driving while impaired and attempted assault.

Lohan's mother is seeking full custody of the couple's children, alimony and $1 million in damages.

Lindsay Lohan is the star of such films as "Parent Trap," "Mean Girls," "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen" and "Freaky Friday."



LOS ANGELES (AP) - Bob Hope's family is saying thanks for the memories with a garden celebrating the late entertainer's life.

Hope's remains were moved from a mausoleum at the San Fernando Mission's cemetery this week to the mission's new Bob Hope Memorial Garden. His family and close friends, including actors Mickey Rooney and Red Buttons, dedicated the garden Wednesday. It was to open to the public Friday.

"I think he would be absolutely thrilled," Hope's daughter, Linda, said Thursday. "And with all the green, it's got to remind him of a golf course, and I guess that is the next best thing."

An avid golfer, Hope played the game well into his 90s. He died July 27, 2003, at age 100.

Hope, whose theme song was "Thanks for the Memories," entertained generations through vaudeville, radio, movies and television. He spent decades circling the globe to entertain U.S. troops stationed overseas, often in war zones.

Visitors to the historic mission's chapel will find the garden by taking a winding stone walkway from the chapel, past a memorial wall of bronze reliefs depicting high points in Hope's life.

Pine, sequoia and orchid trees shade the grounds, where other family members, including Hope's son, Tony, who died last year, are buried. Hope's widow, Dolores, has made arrangements to be buried there when she dies.

Linda Hope recalled her father's response when her mother asked him toward the end of his life where he might like to be buried.

"Surprise me," he told her.

"This is a surprise he would certainly enjoy," she said.


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CHICAGO (AP) - Oprah Winfrey's greatest hits are coming to DVD.

"The Oprah Winfrey Show: 20th Anniversary DVD Collection" is scheduled for release in November. The multiple-disc set will feature some complete episodes as well as highlights, behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Winfrey, according to her production company.

"Every show you'll see here holds such profound meaning for me," Winfrey said in a prepared statement.

Winfrey's Harpo Productions Inc. plans to donate its profits from the DVD release to Oprah's Angel Network, a charity that has raised more than $30 million for nonprofit groups.


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NEW YORK (AP) - Maggie Gyllenhaal didn't let a lack of professional training keep her from singing live in her latest movie, "Happy Endings."

The 27-year-old actress, who plays a singer in a bar band, refused to pre-record her songs.

"There's nothing alive happening in the scene" when someone lip-synchs, she told reporters recently, according to AP Radio.

Gyllenhaal called the role the "roughest, scariest acting ever," but said she's more natural singing on screen than acting.

"It's easier to be awake and alive and really in the moment singing," she said. "It was like a gift handed to me because you have to breathe, you have to respond to the sounds coming out of your mouth."

Written and directed by Don Roos, "Happy Endings" follows the romantic and family relationships of a large group of characters. Currently in limited theatrical release, its cast includes Lisa Kudrow, Laura Dern, Tom Arnold and Steve Coogan.

Gyllenhaal's screen credits include "Secretary" and "Mona Lisa Smile." She co-starred with her brother, Jake Gyllenhaal, in the 2001 film "Donnie Darko."


CLEVELAND (AP) - Gerald Levert has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts stemming from a confrontation with police during a traffic stop five months ago.

The R&B singer apologized in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday and admitted to charges of assault and attempted obstruction of official business. He was fined $2,000 and put on probation for one year.

Police said Levert, 39, and a passenger in his car, James Austin Jr., intervened when authorities stopped a friend of Levert's for speeding at 12:45 a.m. Feb. 25.

Austin pleaded guilty to a felony count of assault on a police officer and a misdemeanor count of attempted obstruction of official business.

Cuyahoga County assistant prosecutor Michelle Earley said the assault charge against Austin was more severe because he threw a punch. No sentencing date was set for Austin.

Levert is the son of Eddie Levert, a founding member of The O'Jays, a famed R&B group. Gerald Levert became lead singer of the trio Levert in 1985. He began his solo recording career in 1991.


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