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Archive for Tuesday, January 10, 2006

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January 10, 2006

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New Broadway champion

New York - Broadway has a new long-run champion: "The Phantom of the Opera."

Andrew Lloyd Webber's lushly romantic musical about a haunted, disfigured composer pining for a beautiful young soprano in the Paris Opera House, surpassed his "Cats" on Monday as the longest-running show in Broadway history.

With performance number 7,486 Monday night, the show topped Lloyd Webber's feline extravaganza, which closed in September 2000. "Phantom" has lasted nearly 18 years at the Majestic Theatre, where it opened Jan. 26, 1988.

The money made by "Phantom" has been staggering. Its worldwide box-office gross - the show is still running in London, too - has gone past $3.2 billion. More than 80 million people around the world have seen the musical, which has been presented in two dozen countries.

Swank, Lowe separate

Los Angeles - Two-time Oscar-winner Hilary Swank and actor husband Chad Lowe have separated after more than eight years of marriage.

"Hilary and Chad have decided to separate, but they are hopeful they'll be able to get through this tough time," Swank's manager Troy Nankin said in a statement Monday.

There was no elaboration on the reason for the split.

Swank, 31, and Lowe, who turns 38 on Jan. 15, were married on Sept. 28, 1997. They have no children.

Swank famously forgot to thank a tearful Lowe while accepting her best actress Oscar in 2000 for "Boys Don't Cry." Last year, Swank won again for "Million Dollar Baby" - this time, thanking her husband.

She will next star in "The Black Dahlia," Brian De Palma's adaptation of James Ellroy's novel.

Lowe, who is the brother of actor Rob Lowe, won an Emmy Award for his portrayal of AIDS patient Jesse McKenna on the TV series "Life Goes On" in 1993.

Astronaut among those on board for next 'Survivor'

New York - The next cast of CBS' "Survivor" will include a retired astronaut who flew in space three times, twice on the space shuttle Discovery.

The 12th version of the popular game, this time set in Panama, will feature tribes briefly separated by age and an exile where a contestant can profit after stomaching some time alone.

Dan Barry, a 52-year-old ex-astronaut from South Hadley, Mass., is among the 16 cast members. Barry last flew in space in 2001, and he has four space walks to his name. A yoga instructor, nurse, engineer, lawyer, social worker and logging sports performer are among his competitors.

On "Survivor: Panama - Exile Island," at least one cast member each episode will be sent alone to a separate island miles from the others. Hidden on the island, however, will be an immunity idol.

The next "Survivor" edition begins on CBS Feb. 2.

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