This time it's for real. Although it's been just six months since her quickie Las Vegas marriage--and just as quick annulment--to a childhood friend, pop princess Britney Spears is willing to again try her hand at the whole marriage thing, announcing she is engaged to her new boyfriend, dancer Kevin Federline. Spears' personal publicist and label, Jive Records confirmed the engagement to Reuters Friday but gave no further details. Federline, 26, reportedly met Spears, 22, during her 2000 tour, when he was in the opening act, but the two began dating only a few months ago. The dancer recently moved in with Spears to help her recuperate from knee surgery. According to Reuters, Federline also has a 2-year-old daughter by his ex-girlfriend, actress Shar Jackson, who also is pregnant with their second child.
Broadway stays open, for now
Although contract talks between Broadway producers and the actors' union broke down over the weekend, the Actors' Equity Association said actors would keep performing on Monday, The Associated Press reports. "It's important for the city's economy and we're very, very aware that this is the tourist season and taking a strike is the last resort," Maria Somma, a spokeswoman for the Actors' Equity Association, told AP. She explained the producers abruptly left the table Sunday while an Equity representative was speaking, but Bob Chlopak, a spokesman for the League of American Theatres and Producers, said talks ended because progress had slowed to a near halt, AP reports. "There won't be a strike," Chlopak said. The two sides have been intensely negotiating since June 10, imposing a news blackout; the key points of contention include rising health care costs and non-union tours of Broadway shows.
Kutcher lends name to clothing company
Ashton Kutcher has signed on to endorse Zoo York, a skate-influenced collection of clothing and accessories, AP reports. "He engages everything with such sincerity that you can't help but know that you are seeing a true representation of who he is…no matter what his surroundings. This consistency is similar to the philosophy which drives Zoo York," Greg Lucci, the company's vice president, told AP. The actor will be featured in a new ad campaign premiering in magazines next month and in another set of ads for spring 2005.
Lange, Shepard put estate up for sale
Longtime couple Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard have decided to sell the estate where they've lived for nine years, AP reports. The 12-room Victorian mansion, which sits on a 2 1/2-acre site overlooking the St. Croix River in Stillwater, Minn., has been on the market since mid-May with an asking price of $3.3 million.
Unknown Soldier wins top prize at LA film fest
Writer/director Ferenc Toth won the top prize at the Los Angeles Film Festival Saturday for Unknown Soldier, about a Harlem youngster forced to live by his wits on the streets. Toth, a 35-year-old New Yorker who funded the project with help from an investment banker, will get the jury's $50,000 cash prize, the biggest bestowed by a major U.S. film festival, according to festival organizers. The $25,000 prize for documentary went to Jonathan Caouette's Tarnation, in which he revisits his family's troubled past. Joshua Marston's Maria Full of Grace, a Spanish-language drama about a Colombian teenager who becomes a drug mule, won the audience prize for narrative feature, while Mike Wranovics won the audience documentary prize for Up for Grabs, about the litigation over the ownership of the baseball hit by Barry Bonds when he made his record-breaking 73rd home run in 2001, Reuters reports.
Controversial documentary Celibacy to air on HBO
British filmmaker Antony Thomas' documentary Celibacy, which links the child sex abuse scandal that has rocked the U.S. Catholic Church to mandatory celibacy among its clergy, airs on tonight at 10 pm on HBO, as part of the cabler's America Undercover series. The film was shot in 10 countries and features disturbing images, including a roomful of skulls in a desert cave inhabited by early Christians and modern-day self-whippings and reenactments of crucifixion. It also includes interviews with current and former priests as well as historians, scientists and psychologists while examining the primal power of the sex drive and the social-sexual development of priests. A critic's review in the Catholic News Service accused the documentary of "trotting out the hoary chestnuts about the Church's thinking that sex is, at best, a necessary evil," Reuters reports.
Legendary host Bob Barker inducted into TV Hall of Fame
Bob Barker, who has hosted the TV game show The Price is Right since in first aired in 1972, has been inducted into the Academy of Television and Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame, the AP reports. Barker, 80, received the honor Saturday from action star Chuck Norris, his friend of 30 years. "They may in the future induct people who deserve it more than I, but they will never induct anyone who appreciates this honor more than I," Barker told KCAL-TV. Barker also hosted the TV game show Truth or Consequences from 1956 to 1974, first with NBC and later in syndication. Other inductees Saturday included Katie Couric and Dan Rather.
Jewel first artist to sign on to Instant Live roster
Clear Channel Entertainment's live CD recording division, Instant Live, has signed its first major-label artist--Jewel. Instant Live creates master stereo recordings of concert performances, burns them at the venue and delivers them on-site immediately following the show. Prices range from $10 for a recorded club performance to $20 to $25 for multi-CD "digipaks." Billboard.com reports the company also has pegged a series of dates to record and sell CDs on the summer tours of Kiss, Peter Frampton, the Allman Brothers Band and the Cowboy Junkies. Jewel, meanwhile, will sell live CDs at select dates on her summer tour.
Guylaine Cadorette contributed to this report.