Getting stranded in Nebraska is becoming common place for Harrison Ford whose private plane
got caught in a wind shear at about 5:40 p.m. last Sunday while attempting to land in Lincoln,
Nebraska to refuel
Indiana Jones was forced to bunk down at Lincoln's Embassy Suites Sunday night It wasn't the first time the actor had flight problems in Nebraska.
"About a year ago he had a plane problem while flying to New York. He had radio problems and
they were forced to land in Omaha," said Ahmad Naazar, an Iranian native who for ten years has
owned and operated Ahmad's Persian Restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska. It's an eatery that Ford
lists as one of his favorites. "They couldn't get the plane fixed right away so they had to spend the
night in a hotel. Harrison was hungry and asked for suggestions where to eat. My place was
recommended. That's how we met," explained Ahmad whose eatery is located in the historic Old
Town section near the boyhood home of Henry Fonda.
"Harrison Ford is a great guy. He came in with his pilot and they ate my food and loved it. He ate
Kiemich, which is beef stew with yellow split peas. His pilot had chicken kebobs."
The Fugitive loved the food so much that an article was written about the restaurant and Harrison
Ford, which was published in the Omaha World Herald.
The framed article is kept in the restaurant's unisex bathroom, which is a place of honor since
virtually everyone will be it. "I have his picture right by the door," explained the personable owner
whose restaurant seats 50. "He's a real good tipper," said a restaurant employee.
"He likes to eat. He cleaned off his plate. He's a very nice, lovely man who is just a wonderful
person. He said he has a son who is a souse chef in New York City. He said he pays attention to
food and enjoys sauces and spices."
"It' too bad the plane went down in Lincoln," sighed Ahmad about the city 60 miles from his
restaurant." I wish he was here, because he's such a great guy. But he's not, so I'll just send some
food over to him."
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ARE THE DIXIE CHICKS AND KISS
THE DIXIE CHICKS
It's not sure where The Dixie Chicks are all washed up. Or, for that matter, KISS?
All depends upon whether the Fargodome in Fargo, North Dakota can mop up in time for their
Seven feet of water landed on the arena turf staining the stuff with sewage and floating debris on
the arena floor. Heavy rains last Monday and Tuesday resulted
in water continuously running - for
10 hours - into Fargodome.
Two tractor powered pumps removed 12,000 gallons per minute
publicized as enough water to supply a family of four for two
months - were used to get rid of
the wet, while sandbags prevented the pumped water from
blowing back inside.
drying out health and safety inspectors do their thing.
"And then the assessment will start," said
Fargo Operations Manager Dennis Walaker.
Water inside the
Fargodome reached nearly 12
feet inundating offices, locker rooms and storage rooms four feet below the main floor and
rising to eight feet above the main floor to reach the seats in row B.
THE DIXIE CHICKS have a fondness
It's not too sure if the contracts got all wet. The Dixie Chicks - Natalie Maines, Martie Seidel and
Emily Robison - specify that they have fruit and crudities to nibble on in their dressing room.
Natalie has been known to eat all of the M&M's out of the minibars and the girls put on such a
high energy show that they lose four to five pounds during every performance.
KISS rain soaked make up won't do
Crews are tolling overtime to have the dome operational before KISS visits July 14, followed by
the Dixie Chicks two days later. "We have an excellent July event load," Johnson said. "We hope
we will be able to be back in service by that time."
"We took a direct hit from this storm. Until the water goes down and we see what condition
the equipment is in, it's tough to put an estimate on the damage," said Fargodome Executive
Director Paul Johnson. "It's definitely in the hundreds of thousands, if not a million (dollars)."
This was not the first time the Fargodome was flooded by heavy rainfall. In 1993, summer rains
flooded the dome with about five feet of water, resulting in $1.5 million to $4 million.
After 39 years of creating and producing some of the best theatrical productions for children and
families the nation has seen, Theatreworks/USA founders Jay Harnick and Charles Hull are
hanging up their hats. Harnick and Hull, who were honored at a Gala Benefit evening on May 8
at The New York Hilton, will be succeeded by their protegees Barbara Pasternack and Ken
Arthur as Artistic Director and Managing Director, respectively.
Appearing at the gala were Academy Award winning actor F. Murray Abraham, four-time Tony
Award winning director Jerry Zaks, Tony Award-winners Lynn Ahrens, Roger Bart and Chuck
Cooper; Tony nominee Kevin Chamberlin, and Richard Kind of Spin City fame. Others
attending the Gala included Tony winner Brian Stokes Mitchell currently starring in Kiss Me
Kate, and comedians Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. Harnick and Hull were also awarded The
Medal of Honor from The Actors' Fund of America, a prestigious award given to visionary
corporate, political and entertainment leaders. Past recipients include Helen Hayes, Richard
Rodgers, Neil Simon, Angela Lansbury and Bernadette Peters. The award was presented by
Brian Stokes Mitchell and Actors' Fund executives Tom Dillon, Joe Benincasa
and Wally Munro.
Harnick and Hull will officially retire on June 30, to be succeeded by their longtime associates
Barbara Pasternack and Ken Arthur.TheatreWorks/USA was founded in 1961, and is America's
foremost not-for-profit theatre.
THE NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR
MUSICAL THEATRE (NAMT) STAGES FESTIVAL
Founded in 1985, The National Alliance For Musical Theatre is the only national service
organization for musical theatre. Its membership includes theatres, light opera companies,
booking and presenting organizations, universities, and individual producers Located throughout
32 states and the United Kingdom, their common bond is a shared commitment to preserve and
enhance musical theatre as the art form that is America's contribution to world theatre.
This September the National Alliance for Musical Theatre will host its 12th Annual Festival of
New Musicals. The Alliance's Festival Committee chooses eight to ten musicals to be presented
twice on September 24-25, 2000 as either 30-minute or 60-minute script-in-hand readings,
following the guidelines of the Actors' Equity Showcase Code.
Although the Alliance hasn't yet posted the musicals selected to be presented Christopher
McGovern who co-authored Lizzie Borden with Amy Powers, has informed us that their
musical has been selected for a 60 minute presentation. He's thrilled and we're happy for
THE MUSIC GOES ROUND AND
LISA RICHARD has released her
first CD Born To Entertain an LML Music Release. The CD is a collection of standards
along with well-known and not-so-well-known Broadway offerings.
Richard, a critically acclaimed cabaret and musical theatre performer from Southern California,
has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times as, " more than a theatrical singer a range
from shy-girl-next-door to lusty, hardhearted mama." She has appeared in a variety of musical
most notably in Inside Out (Robby Award) and 1940's Radio Hour (Robby
nomination). Her cabaret act has received glowing reviews. She returns to the Cinegrill in
Hollywood on July 23.
What makes her a tad bit different in the music world is her business background. She is Vice
President of Strategic Planning for Toshiba in Irvine, California. Accolades of her work in the
business world have been featured in such publications as Information Week, Internet World,
Fortune Magazine, and CIO Magazine. She is also in great demand as a conference speaker and
industry expert on the growing world of e-commerce.
ALISON FRAZER recording her latest
Tony nominations, one for playing Josephine/Monica in
Romance/Romance, and one for
portraying Martha in The Secret Garden.
She recently starred as Ida in the American Premiere
of the Olivier Award-winning Honk! at the Helen Hayes
Theatre, and at Carnegie Hall
with Elaine Stritch in Noel Coward's Sail Away.
spent her spare time in the recording studio with producer
Christopher McGovern where they recorded her latest CD
Men In My Life.
A diverse singer, with a intimate and passionate voice,
Frazer's CD includes Parallel
Lines, which documents Alison's performance
from Todd Rundgren's fascinating
Up Against It - one of Joseph Papp's last shows at the
Public, and for which no cast album
was ever recorded.
Frazer's CDs always spotlight excellent musicians: Drums/Percussion: Joe
Brady Additional Percussion (Beribau, Talking Drum, Llama Shaker,Caxixi): Robin Burdulis
Cello: Jennifer Gravenstine Guitars: Sean Harkness (appears courtesy of Windham Hill Records)
Trumpet: Erik Jekabsen Reeds: Peter Kikidakis Accordion/Additional Piano: Rusty Magee
Piano/Keyboards Christopher McGovern Viola: Joi Danielle Price.
A celebration of the works of one of America's most talented and prolific playwrights - Neil
Simon - will be presented by Time magazine as a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity
Fights AIDS on Monday, June 26, in the Broadway theater that
bears Simon's name.
Subtitled The Playwright's the Thing II, the event will feature excerpts from such Simon plays as
Biloxi Blues, Chapter Two, God's Favorite, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Laughter on the
23rd Floor, Lost in Yonkers, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, and The Odd Couple,
and will star Hank Azaria, Roger Bart, Mark Blum, Kristin Chenoweth, Charles S. Dutton,
Jennifer Ehle, Calista Flockhart, Rosemary Harris, Kristin Johnston, Julie Kavner, Robert Klein,
Jane Krakowski, Nathan Lane, John Larroquette, Leigh Lawson, Eugene Levy, Ribert Sean
Leonard, Natasha Lyonne, Marsha Mason, Debra Monk, Bebe Neuwirth, Bronson Pinchot, John
Ritter, Paul Rudd, Lynne Thigpen, and Mary Louise Wilson. Walter Bobbie will direct the
segments from 14 Neil Simon plays.
Tickets for the performance are available at $50 to $2,500; the higher-priced tickets include a
pre-show cocktail reception and/or a VIP dinner with the cast immediately following the show at
Dish of Salt.
has donated $2
million to the students at Wilberforce University near Dayton, Ohio. It is the largest single gift in
the history of the private, historically black university.
Charles' gift was made through the Ray Charles Robinson Foundation for Hearing Disorders. The
money will be used to set up a scholarship fund for students studying music, dance, theater and
voice, and to establish a chair in which musicians, artists and scholars come to the school and
serve as temporary lecturers.
" I was impressed on my campus visit with the quality of the
students and the faculty," said Charles. "In my small way, I wanted to be part of this great
Charles taught himself piano at age three. When he lost his sight at the age of seven, he entered
the St. Augustine School for the Deaf and Blind, where he learned classical piano and how to
compose scores in Braille. He discovered mathematics and its correlation to music. He learned to
compose and arrange music in his head, telling out the parts, one by one.
In April, 1987, the auditory physiology laboratory of The Ray Charles Foundation was
The laboratory's work includes: Pre-operative diagnosis and testing of prospective cochlear
implant patients. Follow-up testing and adjustments of the implant device in the post-operative
period. Development and evaluation of new auditory devices, diagnostic procedures and
techniques. Collection and analysis of research data on auditory pathology.
Current research projects include; Analyzing the effectiveness of the information produced by
different cochlear implants and developing a procedure to measure the proportion of speech
sounds that can be translated by them.
This will lead to selection and subsequent adjustment of a
cochlear device to fit the patient. Synthesizing word sounds so that the effect of the different
speech sounds transmitted to the patient can be studied. This will lead to improved design of the
cochlear implant device and to a better understanding of how to adjust the device to meet the
patient's needs. Development of an electronic tinnitus suppressing implant for patients with useful
hearing. Research into the cause of Bell's palsy and hemifacial spasm and development of
effective treatment. Advanced vestibular diagnostic testing for the evaluation of balance
criminal charges in the United States after the flame-out of his Livent production company, burst
has announced plans to produce a play by acclaimed South African playwright Athol Fugard.
Drabinsky, the co-founder and former chief executive of Livent Inc., which produced such
award-winning Broadway shows as Phantom of the Opera, Kiss of the Spiderwoman and
Ragtime, said he will bring Fugard's Tony award-winning "The Island" to a Toronto
theater next May.
STEVE WYNN who purchased the
Desert Inn Hotel in Las Vegas as a birthday present for his wife, isn't exactly taking it back - he's
just trashing the place. The hotel mogul intends to close the 50 year old Strip landmark the end of
September, and totally rebuild.
THE RITZ-CARLTON is also in an
expansive mood. They are going to build a 350 room hotel casino in Las Vegas making the high-end hotel the centerpiece of a $500 million resort that includes a casino, 820 condominium units, a
shopping area, restaurants and office space.
PATRICK STEWART, BEBE NEUWIRTH, CHERRY JONES,
PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN AND JOY BEHR were recipients of Special Advocate
Awards at a ceremony which took place New York City Hall last Thursday. Other honorees
included Joo-Yuan Kang, Jim Pepper, Patricia Nell Warren, Colin Robinson and Troy Masters.
Dan Jinks, Oscar winning producer of the film American Beauty, will gave the Keynote Address.
Sharon Lawrence and Marcia Lewis, of the Broadway smash Chicago, and cast members from
the new Off-Broadway hit The Laramie Project will perform.
AL PACINO, ELLEN BURSYTN AND HARVEY KEITEL
have been chosen to lead the legendary Actors Studio. The three,
all members of the theater's board, will replace Arthur Penn, who is leaving to become
producer of the television series Law and Order.
The workshop was founded in 1947 by
actors Robert Lewis and Cheryl Crawford and by director Elia Kazan. Studio alumni include
Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Marilyn Monroe, Alec Baldwin and Jack Nicholson.
PBS is doing a TV movie version of
James Agee's A Death in the Family in Middle Tennessee and intends to shoot a
newcomer to stardom. Auditions were held to selection the lead a boy between the ages of 7 and
12 and three other unknowns for supporting roles. Films begins July 25 until
JAMES GANDOLFINI, JULIE ROBERTS AND BRAD PITT wrapped up Las Vegas production of The Mexican in
which Gandolfini dropped 30 pounds for his role of the gay kidnapper. The actor, who stars in the
megahit The Sopranos celebrated the wrap by eating his way through town. "I'm putting
the weight back on. My Mafioso character wouldn't be the same with out that weight. So, I'm
having a lot of fun eating."
MORGAN FAIRCHILD born a preemie, the actress is
to Broadway for the first time in 20 years when she and John Davidson, last seen on Broadway in
State Fair, co-star in High Infidelity, opening
next month at the Promenade
Fairchild and Davidson play a Senator and his wife being coerced by party leaders to
salvage their marriage in order to salvage his presidential aspirations.
When off stage Fairchild
needlepoints and while she doesn't bake cookies, she does enjoy reading recipes to help her
The blonde bombshell was born a preemie who developed scarlet fever. She has so many
kidney and ear infections as a child that she admits she is "partially deaf." She also spent more
time out of school than in the classroom because of her health and was required to spend
prolonged periods of time "in dark rooms. I'm also asthmatic, so I couldn't do very much even
when I was well."
A lot of people would have created a lifestyle out of being a sick kid.
High Infidelity will be produced by Jennifer Smith Rockwood, the comedy was written by
John Dooley and will be directed by Luke Yankee.
THE BUBBLY BLACK GIRL SHEDS HER CHAMELEON
SKIN a new musical by Kirsten Childs, opened to rave reviews
and sold out shows at Playwrights Horizons, NYC. The production stars La Chanze as Vivica, a
middle-class black girl from Los Angeles who dreams of becoming a Broadway performer.
Childs, who wrote the book, music and lyrics, was a Bob Fosse dancer and appeared in "Chicago"
with Chita Rivera. The production runs thru July 9 with producers looking for a larger
UTAH SHAKESPEAREAN FESTIVAL the Cedar City, Utah organization that just brought home a Tony Award
stages The Merry Wives of Windsor, closes Sept. 2; The Merchant of Venice,
closes Sept. 2, and The War of the Roses, closes Sept. 1, all in the Adams outdoor
theater; in repertory with Noises Off, Peter Pan and The Cherry
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST
the Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company's production which
concluded it's sold out run yesterday now crosses the pond to London's Barbican for a run July
27-Aug. 5, as part of the BITE:00 Festival. The London cast includes: Gary Sinise, Amy Morton,
Rick Snyder, K. Todd Freeman and Mariann Mayberry who were all in the Chicago production.
Written by Dale Wasserman, Sinise stars as McMurphy in the mental hospital drama, and Morton
as Nurse Ratched. Terry Kinney directs. Others in the cast include: Sarah Chariper, Stephanie
Childers, Jennifer Engstrom, Eric Johner, Leonard Kraft, Misha Kuznetsov, Ross Lehman, Bill
Noble, Ron O.J. Parson, Tim Sampson, Warren Schueneman, Christian Stolte, Greg Vinkler,
Danton Stone, Afram Bill Williams and John Watson, Sr.
THE FLAME KEEPER by Amos
Kamil is in previews at the 47th Street Theatre. Officially opens on July 6th. The play centers
around a Jewish professor's return to Berlin in 1946, the German owner of a cigar store, and the
choices each had to make in order to survive the war. The Flame Keeper stars Lenny
Mandel and Paul Whelihan. Scenic design by Kenneth Foy, with costume design by Gail Copper
Hecht, lighting design by Jason Kanfrowitz, and sound design by Peter Fitzgerald.
WEST SIDE STORY opened in
Centerville, Utah with the fighting between the Jets and taking a toll. Neal Sorenson, who plays
Tony injured an ankle during the opening-night performance on Friday. Geoff Hemingway a
graduate of the American drama Academy in Pasadena. will be filling in until further notice.
Brooke Flinders plays Maria. Eric B. Millward is the hot-tempered Bernardo, and Brianne
Flinders (Brooke's sister) is the fiery Anita, Derek Trythall portrays Riff, leader of the Jets, and
Ryan Shaver, who is Action, one of the Jets. Directed by Karen Whiting-Monroe with
choreography by Marilyn Montgomery. Performances thru July 29.
winner of six
Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Book by George Furth Music and Lyrics by Stephen
Sondheim. Choreographed by Linda Cholodenko. Directed by Julianne Boyd.
Stephen Sondheim's landmark musical tells the story of Bobby, a confirmed bachelor who is
surrounded by five mixed-up, crazy married couples and three girl-friends as he celebrates his
thirty-fifth birthday and contemplates the state of matrimony.Opened last night at the Barrington
Stage Company, Massachusetts and continues through July 16.
BSC artistic director is Julianne Boyd who directs. Robert Bartley stars as Bobby. Alison Bevan
plays the oft-married Joanne, singer of the satiric The Ladies Who Lunch with Becca
Ayers as Marta, the girl who sees Another Hundred People pour every day into New
York City. Bevan appeared on Broadway as Dora Foster in Steel Pier and Alaura in
City of Angels. Also in the cast are Kathryn Kendall, Michael J. Farina, Christianne Tisdale,
Kurt Ziskie, Brandy Zarle, Gary Lindemann, Marylee Graffeo, Larry Cahn, Erin Gilliland,
Pamela Bob, and David Brummel.
Linda Cholodenko choreographs with Darren R. Cohen as musical director. The design team
features John Coyne (sets), Jeff Croiter (lights) and Louisa Thompson (costumes).
KAREN MASON performs tonight at
The Bradstan Country Hotel in White Lake, NY.
BETTY BUCKLEY appears June 30
& July 1 at the John Drew Theatre (Guild Hall) in East Hampton, NY.
has joined the cast of
Cabaret at the Roundabout Theatre, NYC.
The touring production opens in Denver in July with Sally Bowles played by Kate Shindle, who
was Miss America of 1998. Joely can give Kate some suggestions for road survival, since Joely has
been on tour with the production for several months and not all of the experiences have been
When they were performing at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle that cast got ripped off.
When the cast arrived at the theatre for a performance they discovered that the costumes, musical
instruments, laptops, Joely's collection of over 500 CDs and other personal items from the cast,
including the snagged hose that Sally Bowles wears.
The show went on, though.
made an announcement informing the audience that they had only a piano and would be wearing
The cast was rewarded with a sanding ovation. The touring company
performs June 27 through July 9th at Jones Hall, Houston, Texas.
LILLY TOMLIN in to see The Laramie
THIS AND THAT
RETIRED GENERAL COLIN POWELL telling friends that his favorite musical is The Music Man.
NOW WE KNOW WHY HIS HAIR STANDS ON END Comedian Marty Allen who lives in Las Vegas and along with his wife
Karon Kate Blackwell are starring at the Gold Coast hotel, has an age defying secret - which my
also be hair raising. He goes to the gym every day and sits in a tub of ice water. He says it's good
for the circulation. The couple has no children.
LIZARD WEEK celebrates what
the hot dry New Mexico country side has -- lizards. This coming week is filled with events leading
up to the World's Greatest Lizard Race on July 4th. The event ends with a Lizard Pageant and
fireworks. Lea County, New Mexico.
Mention BROADWAY TO VEGAS for Special Consideration
Call (800) 942-9027
Next Column: July 2, 2000
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