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Archive for Tuesday, September 30, 2008

People in the news

September 30, 2008

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Three Tenors return, in drag for Domingo

New York - Placido Domingo and Woody Allen didn't exactly sing a duet on the stage of the Met.

But the two did dine together under the Metropolitan Opera spotlights Sunday to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the tenor's debut here. Allen is fresh from making his own successful debut as an opera director at the Los Angeles Opera, where Domingo is general director.

And for one more night, The Three Tenors appeared again - as transvestites.

Three female singing stars spoofed the famed male trio that included Domingo, the late Luciano Pavarotti and Jose Carreras. The surviving tenors joined several hundred guests for the onstage musical mirth before an empty auditorium.

Ripping off tuxedoes, sopranos Deborah Voigt and Patricia Racette and mezzo-soprano Susan Graham revealed shimmering gowns in which they delivered the aria "Nessun Dorma" that was a signature piece for The Three Tenors.

Domingo was shown in a video clip chatting with Miss Piggy - along with excerpts from his top-notch performances ranging from Verdi's "Otello" to Wagner's "Die Walkuere," which he's to sing this season at the Met.

Ledger ex-lawyer, insurer spar over policy

Los Angeles - A former attorney for Heath Ledger is suing over a $10 million life insurance policy he claims has gone unpaid since the actor's death earlier this year.

Attorney John S. LaViolette sued Minnesota-based ReliaStar Life Insurance Co. in July, claiming the company is trying to avoid paying the claim to Ledger's 2-year-old daughter Matilda Rose.

The lawsuit doesn't mention Ledger or his daughter's name, but states that it is on behalf of a man who died of "accidental causes on January 22, 2008." That is the date the 28-year-old actor was found dead of an apparent accidental prescription drug overdose in New York City.

ReliaStar states in its legal response that it is seeking more information about whether Ledger may have lied on paperwork and about whether his death may have been a suicide. LaViolette's lawsuit claims ReliaStar had to investigate any statements Ledger made in paperwork while the actor was still alive.

The lawsuit was removed from Los Angeles Superior Court to federal court in August. Its existence was first reported by celebrity gossip Web site TMZ.

The Boss to play Super Bowl halftime

New York - Another Super Bowl, another rock 'n' roll superstar at halftime.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will perform at the 2009 Super Bowl halftime show in Tampa, Fla., the NFL and NBC announced Sunday night.

Continuing a run of major talent that has lately included the Rolling Stones, U2, Paul McCartney, Prince and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the biggest television event in the nation will showcase one of its most beloved rock 'n' roll artists. The Super Bowl will be played Feb. 1 at Raymond James Stadium.

Spears: I can do 'way better' than 'Piece'

New York - Britney Spears thinks her clip "Piece of Me" leaves room for improvement - despite winning three MTV Video Music Awards earlier this month.

"It's a cool video, but I think by far I've done videos that are way better," the singer said Monday in an interview with New York's top 40 radio station Z100. "So I was really shocked that : it got the award."

The 26-year-old Spears called her triple victory "inspiring, though, because now going forward with the videos that I'm doing now, I can really go there and do something crazy and see what happens."

Spears, whose new album "Circus" drops Dec. 2, is planning a possible world tour next year.

Meanwhile, Spears' attorney has asked a judge to delay the singer's upcoming trial on a misdemeanor charge for driving without a valid license.

The singer is scheduled to go on trial in October on a single misdemeanor charge that she did not have a valid California license when she hit a parked car in August 2007 and left the scene.

Merv Griffin's company sues Ed McMahon

Los Angeles - Court documents show a company founded by Merv Griffin is suing Ed McMahon for a $100,000 loan it claims has gone unpaid.

The Griffin Group Inc. claims it loaned the money to McMahon, Johnny Carson's sidekick on the "Tonight" show, in 2005. The company filed the suit on Thursday and states that none of the loan has been repaid.

McMahon's publicist didn't directly address the lawsuit, instead asking, "Anybody wanna buy a nice house in The Summit?"

The quote is an allusion to McMahon's hilltop home, which is facing foreclosure. The former pitchman also faces numerous other lawsuits filed on behalf of creditors.

Griffin, the longtime talk-show host who created "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune," died in 2007.

The lawsuit is seeking repayment of the money, with interest and attorney fees.

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