Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

Sunrise for 'Sunset': "Sunset Boulevard," the latest musical from Andrew Lloyd Webber, opens tonight in London after breaking box-office records. More than $6 million has been collected from advance bookings, despite the $48-a-seat ticket price--the most expensive in British theater. Based on the 1950s film with Gloria Swanson, the play stars Patti LuPone as the fading film legend Norma Desmond. The Royal Shakespeare Company's Trevor Nunn directs.The $4.5 million production was supposed to start two weeks ago but was delayed because of technical problems. In an unusual move, Lloyd Webber invited American critics to the premiere. The musical is set to open in Los Angeles in December with Glenn Close in the lead role; it opens in New York next year.

* AIDS Benefit: "Elegies . . . ," an AIDS anthology directed by Tony Award-winner Marshall W. Mason with a scheduled cast including Tyne Daly, Bruce Davison, Piper Laurie, Rosie Perez, John Malkovich, Conchata Ferrell, Ethan Hawke, Charles Durning and Lainie Kazan, will be performed July 20 at the Wilshire Ebell Theater to benefit AIDS Project Los Angeles. The show, inspired by the AIDS Memorial Quilt, celebrates the lives of those who have died of AIDS.

* 'Joy' Comes to Shanghai: A play based on "The Joy Luck Club," Amy Tan's acclaimed novel about Chinese immigrants and their daughters, is coming to China. The production, a joint venture between the Shanghai People's Art Theatre and the Long Wharf Theatre of New Haven, Conn., opens in Shanghai on Aug. 6. Korean-American playwright Susan Kim adapted the novel; Arvin Brown of the Long Wharf and Yu Luo-Sheng of People's Art Theatre co-direct the play, which features Chinese and American actors. "The Joy Luck Club" will make stops in Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Shenzhen as it tours China through 1993. A film version of Tan's best-selling book is due out from Disney's Hollywood Pictures this fall.


* Nothing Compares to Sinead: Irish rock star Sinead O'Connor has pulled out of her planned stage debut in Dublin at the last moment, complaining of emotional exhaustion. The controversial 27-year-old singer was to have opened Thursday in "Hamlet's Nightmare" in which she was to play the part of Death. Last month, O'Connor pulled out of an Irish peace concert at the last minute and then took a full-page ad in an Irish newspaper asking people to leave her alone so she could get on with her life.

* Cancellation Stings Sting: British pop star Sting has been banned from the southern Italian city of Catanzaro by authorities worried that his young fans might turn violent. Catanzaro police chief Gianni Carnevale warned that Sting's songs and performance could provoke physical violence. The warning led to the cancellation of the Sting concert scheduled for this Saturday, Italian television reported over the weekend.


* 'Live' Lives: Public TV's "Live From Lincoln Center" has received a $3.25 million grant from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund. The money will underwrite nine "Live" productions beginning with a "Great Performers" concert featuring Luciano Pavarotti in January. In addition, "Live" will create 30-minute educational programs to precede each televised concert.


* Offsprings: Actors named Connery, Quinn and Welch will star in a new Western to be shot in Nashville this fall. But they're not Sean, Anthony and Raquel. The film, titled "Ieska," is due to star Francesco Quinn, son of Anthony; Jason Connery, son of Sean; and Tahnee Welch, daughter of Raquel. Directed by Jim Fargo, the movie is about a Sioux Indian.


Albert Finney, Greta Scacchi and Matthew Modine will star in "The Browning Version," a Paramount Pictures release adapted from Terence Rattigan's play about a professor at a prestigious boys school in England who is disillusioned with his career and marriage. . . . Patrick Dempsey will play the young John F. Kennedy in a four-hour mini-series called "J.F.K: A Reckless Youth," based on the book of the same name. It's set to air on ABC during the November sweeps period. . . . .Oprah Winfrey is at work on her next project: She'll star as a determined mother coping with life in a Windy City housing project in the upcoming ABC movie based on Alex Kotlowitz's nonfiction bestseller, "There Are No Children Here.". . . There will be a Partridge Family reunion on "The Arsenio Hall Show" Tuesday night when David Cassidy, Shirley Jones and Danny Bonaduce come on as guests.

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