Broadway comes back to life after strike
New York - Broadway came back to life Thursday as stage-starved fans lined up in the cold for tickets and theaters reopened their doors following a 19-day stagehands strike that took a big toll on the local economy.
The mood was ecstatic all around the theater district. Tourists, actors, stagehands, restaurants, musicians, hot dog vendors - basically anyone remotely affected by Broadway - were all thrilled about the return of musicals and plays.
"I never thought I'd have the opportunity to see a Broadway show! And the price is right," Canadian tourist Susie Biamonte said as she waited for steeply discounted $26.50 tickets to "Chicago" - reopening Thursday with a new cast that included two stars from "The Sopranos."
The strike inflicted serious harm on Broadway during one of the best times of the year, when the city is teeming with tourists and Christmas shoppers. Officials estimated that the city lost about $38 million because of the strike.
The end of the walkout meant a scramble for new opening nights for shows that were in previews when the strike hit. Aaron Sorkin's "The Farnsworth Invention" will now open Monday; "August: Osage County" from Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Tuesday. "The Seafarer" arrives Thursday; and Dec. 9 will be the new opening for a long-lost Mark Twain comedy, "Is He Dead?"
Jodie Foster to receive leadership award
Los Angeles - Jodie Foster needs to make more room on her trophy shelf.
The 45-year-old star will add the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award to her collection of Oscars, Golden Globes and other awards.
Lansing, former chief of Paramount Pictures, will present Foster with the award Tuesday at The Hollywood Reporter's 16th annual Women in Entertainment breakfast.
The actress-director-producer "has consistently maintained a sensibility and quality that is not easily sustained in this industry," publisher John Kilcullen said Thursday. "She clearly embodies the qualities of excellence and achievement that this award was created to honor."
Previous recipients include Barbara Walters and Meryl Streep.
Foster's film credits include "Taxi Driver," "The Accused," "The Silence of the Lambs" and this year's "The Brave One."
Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ross McCall engaged
Los Angeles - Jennifer Love Hewitt is engaged to her boyfriend, Scottish actor Ross McCall.
Hewitt, star of the CBS drama "Ghost Whisperer," became engaged last week, her publicist, Sarah Fuller, told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Fuller said she had no details on the couple's wedding plans.
The engagement was reported Wednesday on Us Weekly's Web site.
Hewitt, 28, also starred in the TV series "Party of Five" and "Time of Your Life." Her film credits include "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and "The Tuxedo."
McCall has appeared in the TV miniseries "Band of Brothers," "CSI:NY" and "Ghost Whisperer."
Brooke Shields: Women shouldn't apologize
New York - Brooke Shields hopes her upcoming show, "Lipstick Jungle," will convince women that they shouldn't be afraid to want it all.
"It's about not apologizing for being able to be successful, and not apologizing for wanting as much as you can," the 42-year-old actress said Wednesday night behind the scenes at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
"If it's a family and a career, why not?" she added. "It may not be easy, but we don't have to apologize for at least wanting the most of what is available to us."
Shields appeared at the ceremony with co-stars Kim Raver and Lindsay Price to announce that the NBC series, based on a book by "Sex and the City" author Candace Bushnell, will air at 10 p.m. on Thursdays, beginning Feb. 7.
Goran Visnjic to pay child support for girl
Zagreb, Croatia - Goran Visnjic has agreed to pay child support for the infant daughter of a Croatian woman.
Mirela Rupic, 36, had sued Visnjic, claiming he is the father of her 8-month-old child.
At a hearing Tuesday before a Zagreb court, Visnjic's attorney, Marijan Hanzekovic, said the 35-year-old actor had abandoned requests for a paternity test and recognized the child as his own. He agreed to pay $1,800 a month in child support.
Visnjic, who lives in Los Angeles, was granted visits once a month, said Rupic's attorney, Nenad Skare.
The Associated Press was attempting to reach a representative of Visnjic on Thursday.
Visnjic plays Dr. Luka Kovac on the NBC series "ER."
He has been married to Ivana Vrdoljak since 1999. The couple adopted a baby boy this spring.
Alicia Keys kicks off holiday season in Tokyo
Tokyo - The Christmas season starts early in Tokyo, and Alicia Keys was there Thursday to help get it going.
The 26-year-old singer appeared at a Tokyo office building to sing a few songs from her new album, "As I Am," and wish a crowd of several hundred people a happy holiday season - with a three-story-tall Christmas tree behind her.
"My new name is Alicia Trees," she joked.
"As I Am," released Nov. 13, has risen to the top of the Japanese charts.