Hoon Autopsy Results Expected: Autopsy results are expected today on Blind Melon singer Shannon Hoon, who was found dead Saturday afternoon on a New Orleans tour bus. After Hoon's death, band members gathered at the New Orleans home of drummer Glenn Graham to grieve and "remember the good things about Shannon," said Josh Stevens, father of Blind Melon guitarist Roger Stevens. Meanwhile, fans placed a wreath on the front door of the famed Tipitina's music club, where the band was to have played Saturday night. Hoon, 28, had entered drug rehabilitation centers at least twice recently, according to the band's Los Angeles co-manager, Doug Goldstein.
'Shorty' Towers Over All: John Travolta's career comeback looked stronger than ever as his "Get Shorty," in which he plays a Miami loan shark-turned-Hollywood film producer, opened with a strong $13 million at the weekend box office. The MGM movie, co-starring Gene Hackman, Rene Russo and Danny DeVito, soared above Travolta's $9.3 million No. 1 opening last October in "Pulp Fiction." Another newcomer came in second this weekend--New Line Cinema's "Now & Then," a coming-of-age tale with Demi Moore, Melanie Griffith, Rosie O'Donnell and Rita Wilson in the adult roles. The movie took in an estimated $7.7 million, nosing out "Seven," which with $7.6 million, dropped to third after four weeks at No. 1. Antonio Banderas films completed the Top 5: "Assassins" came in fourth with $3.5 million, while the new "Never Talk to Strangers" was fifth with $3.1 million.
'Restructuring' in Long Beach: Long Beach Civic Light Opera, known for musical revivals with stars such as Carol Burnett, Barbara Eden and Sandy Duncan, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The organization's board president, Eugene Johnson, said all employees were laid off Friday "but some are coming back" for a "ground-up restructuring." "We hope to continue in the tradition of the past, offering quality productions, education and community programs," Johnson said, adding that the current season remains unchanged. Johnson declined to be specific about the size of the group's debt.
Burnett on Broadway: Actress Carol Burnett addressed the New York City Council on Friday in support of a bill to rid Times Square of most of its topless bars and porn shops, saying that the businesses scare away tourists. The Martin Beck Theater, where Burnett is starring in "Moon Over Buffalo," is surrounded by adult entertainment stores, she said, adding: "I can't get to the door without being bothered by flyers and hawkers and graphic pictures of women in degrading positions. It's not the image people should carry away from Broadway. They should remember the magic."
MUSIC & DANCE
L.A Ballet Debut Postponed: John Clifford, director of the Los Angeles Ballet, has announced that the debut of his newly reconstituted company has been "postponed until next year." L.A. Ballet had scheduled performances of George Balanchine's "Nutcracker," starting in Denver in mid-November and ending at Universal Amphitheatre in late December. However, according to Clifford, a loan against a three-year, $975,000 grant from the Mervyn-Target retail stores fell through. Clifford says that a European promoter was also considering backing the tour, but "they have not committed, and it's too late [to wait any longer]." A Jan. 5-6 L.A. Ballet repertory program at the Thousand Oaks Civic Theatre has also been canceled.
Rostropovich's Cause: Renowned conductor and former Russian dissident Mstislav Rostropovich returned to Moscow over the weekend to fight for a new cause--the $250-million reconstruction of the city's Christ the Savior Cathedral, which was razed by Josef Stalin 64 years ago and replaced by an outdoor swimming pool. Rostropovich conducted and performed cello at a $1,000-per-person fund-raiser at the Moscow Conservatory on Saturday, then played a free concert Sunday in an almost completed room at the construction site itself.