POP/ROCKLennon Postal Tribute: Eight nations from five...
Lennon Postal Tribute: Eight nations from five continents will mark the 15th anniversary of John Lennon’s shooting death on Dec. 8 with the simultaneous release of commemorative postage stamps honoring his musical and cultural legacy. Participating in the “John Lennon World Postal Salute” are the nations of Nicaragua, Guyana, Azerbaijan, Antigua/Baruba, Palau, Ghana, Mali and the Maldives. Artists worldwide submitted more than 100 prospective stamp designs, which were personally selected by Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, before being assigned to each participating country. Ono will attend a Dec. 8 ceremony at New York’s Hard Rock Cafe for the designs’ unveiling. Organized by the New York-based Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corp., the tribute is the largest postal salute ever: No more than three countries have previously issued postage stamps on the same subject simultaneously. A limited number of the stamps are available in the United States by calling (800) 322-8900.
Pumpkins Rule Charts: The Smashing Pumpkins’ two-CD set, “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness,” was the nation’s top album last week, selling 246,000 copies during its first week in stores. It is one of three new albums among the top five this week. The others: Ozzy Osbourne’s “Ozzmosis,” which is No. 4 after selling 127,000 copies, and Alan Jackson’s “Greatest Hits Collection,” which is No. 5 after selling 115,000 copies. Mariah Carey’s “Daydream” sold 149,000 copies, dropping to No. 2 after three consecutive weeks at No. 1, while Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” sold 145,000 units.
Funding Partnership: Mayor Richard Riordan will announce today a new “Art Partners” program to provide private funding for youth classes at six city-run arts centers. The program, a partnership between the city’s Cultural Affairs Department and American Express, the Ahmanson Foundation, the Los Angeles Times, La Opinion and Target/Mervyn’s, aims to use private funding to replace shrinking government dollars for community arts activities. The program has been endorsed by the National Endowment for the Arts and is expected to provide a model for other cities. Today’s announcement, at 9:30 a.m. on City Hall’s South Lawn, will offer representative samples of “Art Partners” programming, including hands-on workshops for 80 area children featuring coaching in Brazilian and Korean drumming, mask making, photography and the art of papel picado .
New York Honors for Davidson: Center Theatre Group artistic director/producer Gordon Davidson will receive the “Mr. Abbott” award for lifetime achievement from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation in New York Monday. Davidson will be given the honor, named after the late legendary Broadway director George Abbott, as part of a tribute to Abbott featuring celebrities including Mary Tyler Moore, Valerie Harper, Carol Burnett, Joel Grey, Stephen Sondheim, Wendy Wasserstein and Lucie Arnaz. Meanwhile, Davidson’s staging of “Candide” opens Wednesday at the Ahmanson Theatre.
Diva’s Sour Note: American opera star Jessye Norman has filed a $3-million libel suit against the internationally circulated Classic CD Magazine for portraying her as overweight and uneducated. The suit alleges that a November, 1994, story titled “Deadlier Than the Male” depicted her “in a grotesque and exaggerated manner” and mocked her speech in an effort “to ridicule and caricature her and all persons of African American background and descent.” Cited is one particular anecdote in the story in which Norman, stuck in a doorway, is advised to turn sideways and replies, “Honey, I ain’t got no sideways!”
Rocker Bruce Springsteen has been added to the Nov. 19 “Sinatra, 80 Years My Way” benefit concert at the Shrine Auditorium that will be taped for airing Dec. 14 on ABC. Others scheduled to appear at the gala tribute celebrating Frank Sinatra’s 80th birthday include Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Luis Miguel, Tony Bennett and Little Richard. Tickets are still available. . . . Talk-show host Ricki Lake, 27, and her husband, Robert Sussman, 29, pleaded guilty Wednesday to disorderly conduct charges for ransacking the New York offices of designer Karl Lagerfeld in a 1994 anti-fur protest. Lake and Sussman agreed to four days each of community service at an AIDS charity. . . . Actor Liam Neeson will be feted by the American Ireland Fund at the Regent Beverly Wilshire tonight when he receives the group’s 1995 Heritage Award. Past honorees include Gene Kelly and Angela Lansbury. . . . Actor Jim Carrey will leave his hand and footprints in wet concrete at Mann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood today in a noon ceremony open to the public. Carrey will be introduced by fellow actor Clint Eastwood, with whom he starred in “The Dead Pool.” . . . Country music star Garth Brooks has signed a two-year production deal with Fox Family Films that will include making music, acting, developing and producing.