Is life seeming more and more like a movie directed by Stanley Kubrick? The latest scene has $1 million of the Defense Department's $368 billion budget going to fund performances of Shakespeare plays on military bases. Instead of Tim McGraw now the troops can see "Macbeth." But will they see the whole play? The Army has its own touring company called Bravo! that performs abridged versions of Shakespeare around the U.S. (BBC)
Speaking of surreal movies, A&E has two in the works -- one about Arnold Schwarzenegger called "See Arnold Run" and one, no name given, about Sen. Hillary Clinton. Casting? My God, the mind reels. (ABC News)
Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke are pledging to work things out. The rumors were rampant that a breakup was imminent, partly due to a reported affair Ethan had on one of his movie sets. But now the two will concentrate on the family and will "fly to wherever the other is every weekend." Maybe Hawke saw "Kill Bill" and got scared. (WENN)
And, in other reconciliation news, Lisa-Marie Presley and Nicolas Cage may be getting re-hitched (after a month-long marriage a year ago). Seems they are still in love and just didn't know it! (IMDB)
New York City gets another daily newspaper today as amNew York debuts and tries to get young people to read something other than a computer screen. "In 20 minutes, we'll update you on the most important news of the day," said an editorial in the first issue. Twenty minutes? That's a lifetime for an 18-year-old. (Yahoo)
Meanwhile, Russ Smith, columnist for New York Press, opines: "I doubt amNew York will make much of an impact ... New Yorkers don't need another dumbed-down daily to read on subways. They already have the New York Post, which I happen to like, for readers with an aversion to 'big' words, and the New York Times, for those who want their political biases reinforced. No Wall St. Journal reader will treat this new paper as anything more than the trash it's bound to be." I love New York -- everyone sugarcoats everything all the time. (I Want Media)
-- Karen Croft
Newsflash for the California governor-elect (and the rest of us): Jay Leno says he never endorsed you, despite having had you on his show to announce your intention to run and to celebrate your victory and his proclamation at your victory party that your very election was testament to the power of his show. Nope. Never endorsed, Leno's P.R. guy Bruce Bobbins says. "They're just longtime friends," Bobbins told the New York Daily News. "He never had Arnold on during the campaign. He also booked [defeated governor] Gray Davis as a guest." This apparently comes as something of a surprise to Davis' people. "Leno didn't endorse Schwarzenegger?" says Davis spokesman Peter Ragone. "Everyone in California thought he did."
Also not on Arnold Schwarzenegger's side: Liz Smith. The veteran gossip columnist is apparently the latest in the long line of women to come out with stories of Schwarzenegger's brutish attitude toward women. No, she wasn?t groped by the newly elected gov. (Thank goodness.) But she does remember -- well, sort of remember -- confronting the actor back in 1984 about the particularly gruesome treatment of a female character in one of his films. "Arnold just laughed: 'But Liz, all women should be thrown in the fire.' To this I reportedly asked, 'Does that include the fair Maria Shriver?' Arnold didn't answer."
Speaking of women with distracting hair ... Mirage hotel owner and Siegfried and Roy buddy Steve Wynn says the tiger who mauled Roy Horn the other night was just trying to protect his trainer from a woman with an alarming (to the tiger) hairdo seated in the front row. Or maybe Roy was trying to protect the woman from the tiger. In any event, Wynn says the tiger became distracted by the woman's whopping 'do and put his face a few inches from hers. The big-haired gal, thinking the tiger's attention was part of the show, then reached out to pet him, prompting Roy to step between the furry tiger and his hairy tormentor. Then, to indicate his mild displeasure, "the tiger gently reached up and grabbed Roy's right arm with his jaws between Roy's elbow and wrist in a very gentle way." Gently, Roy stumbled and fell, at which point the gentle stagehands emerged from the wings to try to subdue the tiger. In the mayhem that followed, the tiger gently scooped up Horn like a cub by the scruff of his neck and carried him offstage with perfect blocking -- gently severing Horn's vertebral artery in the process with his gentle, but razor sharp-teeth.
This from a Salon colleague: "Some of us living in the West Village awoke this morning before 9 a.m. to klieg lights in our eyes and Kim Cattrall, in a low-cut teal suit with matching pumps, in our street, getting in and out of a taxi cab. They've started shooting the final 'Sex and the City' season, which means there will be blocks of roped-off areas downtown for weeks to come. New Yorkers, then, are expected to act thrilled at getting a glimpse of women who make more public appearances than clouds. No one in this neighborhood had much time to figure out what Samantha's scene was about, because as soon as we groggily left our apartments we were accosted by angry, squat women shouting 'You're in the shot! Get out of the way!' Said one of my neighbors, while trying to weave her young son through a maze of production assistants, 'I never thought I'd say it, but I can't wait for this show to end.'"
Serena Williams, who missed this year's U.S. Open because of knee surgery, and has kept a low profile since the tragic murder last month of her half-sister, Yetunde Price, will receive the Celebrity Role Model Award at the Avon Foundation Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer Awards Celebration next week. Also expected at the benefit: Jewel, who will give an acoustic performance to "help Avon honor the 'Most Powerful Women in Breast Cancer,'" a spokeswoman for the event tells us.