Top Story: Travolta Regrets Turning Down Chicago Role
Actor John Travolta says he made a big mistake in turning down a starring role in the Academy Award-winning musical Chicago, Reuters reports. "I'm still angry with myself that I turned down the role of the lawyer in Chicago that Richard Gere then got," Travolta said in a German Bunte magazine excerpt released ahead of publication on Thursday. The 49-year-old Saturday Night Fever star said that while Gere did a great job with the dance numbers in Chicago, he would loved to have shown them all what he could do--one more time. Chicago, based on the 1975 Kander & Ebb/Bob Fosse Broadway musical of the same name, dominated the Academy Awards and won the coveted Best Picture Oscar.
Bravo's Queer Eye a Ratings Hit
Cable channel Bravo's premiere episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, in which five stylish gay men make over a straight man, set new ratings records for the network, Reuters reports. According to Nielsen Media Research, the show's Tuesday 10 p.m. bow set new records for the cabler among total viewers, households, audiences aged 18-49, and audiences aged 25-54. Bravo said the show attracted 1.64 million total viewers, which made it the No. 2 ad-supported cable network during the hour. Bravo had previously ranked No. 38 in that hour for the season to date.
Sharon Stone To Appear on The Practice
Sharon Stone, best known for her role in 1992 thriller Basic Instinct, is set to appear on three episodes of the ABC legal drama The Practice this fall, The Associated Press reports. Series creator David E. Kelley wouldn't discuss Stone's character but said there is a possibility she will stick around for more. The Practice is returning for its eighth season without stars Dylan McDermott, Lara Flynn Boyle. But Steve Harris, Camryn Manheim, Michael Badalucco and Jessica Capshaw will be back, joined by newcomers James Spader and Rhona Mitra.
Low Ticket Sales Cause Lollapalooza Show Cancellation
Promoters had to cancel the July 26 Lollapalooza rock concert in Vernon Downs racetrack in central New York because of low ticket sales and increased production costs, the AP reports. The revival tour was to feature Jane's Addiction, Audioslave, the Donnas, Queens of the Stone Age, Incubus and Jurassic 5. Laura Cohen, a publicist for Lollapalooza, said the Vernon Downs show was the second date dropped from the tour. Lollapalooza also canceled its opener in Ionia, Mich., in mid-June because of "staging and technical difficulties with the event site." The tour opened July 5 in Noblesville, Ind., instead.
Cuban Singer Celia Cruz Dead at 78
Legendary Cuban-born singer Celia Cruz, known as the "Queen of Salsa," died Wednesday at her home in New Jersey at the age of 78, Reuters reports. A representative for Cruz said the singer had been suffering from cancer and had been in a coma. Cruz, a Grammy Award-winner who recorded more than 70 albums, was born in Cuba but defected to the United States 1960. She was famed for her vocal talent, outrageous costumes, wild wigs and her trademark phrase: "Azucar!"-Spanish for "Sugar."
Pulitzer-Prize Winning Author Shields Dead at 68
Pulitzer-prize winning author Carol Shields, author of more than 20 books, died at the age of 68 after a long battle with breast cancer, Reuters reports. Shields earned international success in 1993 with her novel The Stone Diaries, a fictional biography of a woman who drifts through the role of child, wife, widow and mother. The novel went on to win a Pulitzer Prize as well as Canada's Governor General's Literary Award. Shields lived the last years of her life in Victoria, British Columbia, with her husband. She was the mother of five children.
Role Call: Tucci Boards Spielberg's Terminal
Stanley Tucci has joined the cast of Steven Spielberg's Terminal for DreamWorks Pictures. Tucci joins Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Chi McBride in the film, which revolves around a Balkan immigrant who makes an airport transit lounge his home after he learns that his passport has been voided and he's been left without a country. Terminal is set to begin shooting in September in Los Angeles.
After Lee (Maggie Gyllenhaal) a mentally disturbed woman who mutilates her body takes a typing course she goes looking for a job and is immediately lucky. Lawyer E. Edward Grey (James Spader) obviously not very demanding hires her as typist in his shabby and not very busy office. Grey is immediately annoyed with the errors in Lee's letters. Fortunately Lee has the support of her overly protective mother Joan (Lesley Ann Warren) and devoted boyfriend Peter ( Jeremy Davies) another loser with parents proud of his job at J.C. Penney's. But Lee and Edward both recovering from nervous breakdowns develop a sadomasochistic relationship which has the duo enjoying spanking and masturbatory sessions at the office. Lee grows so fond of the abuse that she purposefully makes mistakes to provoke Edward. Eventually Lee realizes that she doesn't love Peter and she and Edward acknowledge the perversity that binds them.
Gyllenhaal is charmless as Lee; the very talented Spader seeming to want to carry on with the Bud Cort banner is wasted in his role as lawyer Grey; Davies usually interesting in a variety of offbeat roles here phones in his familiar goofiness as the boyfriend; and Warren who triumphed as the slutty gang moll in Victor/Victoria has absolutely nothing to do here as Lee's overbearing mother.
Writer/director Steven Shainberg favors meaningless close-ups tacky sets and settings lugubrious and phony characters and lame material all around. He fails to make kinkiness amusing his characters compelling or his story dynamic.