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I Am Lilith, Hear Me Roar . . .

Lilith Fair, the all-female traveling festival that was the surprise hit of the 1997 concert season, will kick off its ambitious second season June 19 in Portland, Ore., and is expected to reach the Rose Bowl on June 25 for its biggest show yet. Details of the tour, which runs through the end of August and will include some 50 concerts, will be announced Thursday at a news conference at the El Rey Theatre. The eclectic mix of performers scheduled to join founder Sarah McLachlan in the rotating lineup this summer includes Natalie Merchant (who will co-headline a majority of the dates), Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, Sinead O’Connor, Erykah Badu and Bonnie Raitt, as well as holdovers Shawn Colvin, Paula Cole, Sheryl Crow and the Indigo Girls. The Lilith Fair grossed about $16.4 million in 35 dates last year, according to Pollstar magazine, which tracks the U.S. concert industry. It was the highest-grossing festival tour of the year and ranked No. 16 overall on Pollstar’s list of 1997’s most successful concert treks. This year’s tour will take the performers to more cities and larger venues. Also new this year is a 14-city talent search, which starts Thursday night at the El Rey. Each showcase will feature 20 female acoustic artists, with the winners booked into the show-opening slot on the tour when Lilith reaches their city. Admission to the El Rey showcase, which will include a one-song performance by McLachlan, is free.

Following in John Walsh’s Footsteps?

“Search for Justice With Fred Goldman” will air on UPN Wednesday at 8 p.m. and the prime-time special could provide the basis for a weekly television series hosted by the man who was brought to prominence by his media exposure during the O.J. Simpson criminal and civil trials. The show will seek to spotlight wrongs perpetrated by the criminal and civil justice systems as well as efforts to affect change. Goldman’s son, Ronald, was killed in 1994 along with Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson. The former football star was acquitted of those crimes in a highly publicized trial, but Simpson was found financially liable in a civil case that concluded last year and was ordered to pay the victims’ survivors $33.5 million. When the show was announced in February, David Garfinkle, an executive producer on “Search for Justice,” said he and his partners first approached Goldman, who has since assumed an active role in shaping the project. “While watching shows like ‘America’s Most Wanted,’ you always wonder what happens to these criminals after they get caught,” Garfinkle said. “This show is about people, it’s about victims, and it’s about heartfelt stories. . . . We thought of who would be a powerful person to spearhead this, and of course we thought of Fred. I think he’s someone people can relate to.” Regarding the public recognition he has garnered in the wake of the Simpson case, Goldman said, “I still don’t consider myself a celebrity. In my mind, a celebrity is someone who wants to be in the limelight. I’m here because of a tragedy.” For that reason, Goldman acknowledged some initial misgivings about doing a television show, but said he concluded that “I have an opportunity to maybe bring something good out of all this horror, and I think this may be a way to do it.”

And Sometimes They Just Fly Off the Handle

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Paulie didn’t want a cracker. Paulie wanted money from the ATM machine. The trick for animal stunt coordinator Boone Narr was teaching the parrot how to punch in the ATM code, pick up the dispensed cash and then fly away with the loot. “That was a tough one,” said Narr, who runs Animals for Hollywood in Castaic. “We taught three birds to do that and it took us a month to train them.” This Friday, DreamWorks SKG will release its new family comedy “Paulie” in theaters nationwide. It is the story of a parrot named Paulie who has learned to converse with humans, not merely mimic them. The plot revolves around the parrot’s first owner--and first love--a little girl named Marie (Hallie Kate Eisenberg), who raises the bird from a baby. Fearing their daughter is becoming too attached to the parrot, Marie’s parents send Paulie away, thus beginning the bird’s cross-country odyssey to reunite with its owner. To cast Paulie, Narr--who also trained 60 mice for the 1997 DreamWorks film “Mouse Hunt"--held seven casting calls and reviewed 38 species of birds “trying to figure out who this Paulie guy should be.” Director John Roberts finally settled on the blue-crowned conure. Narr collected more than 25 birds in all--17 of them play Paulie. In the film, 98% of the parrots are real, the remainder are animatronic. Narr and his trainers taught the birds to turn pages in a book, dance with actor Cheech Marin and fly over the Grand Canyon without winging away. Make no mistake, Narr said, the birds are intelligent and often cop an attitude. “I think some know they’re being filmed,” Narr said. “You’re behind the camera and you are cuing the bird on what he needs to do with the actor who is doing their lines. Every once in awhile they learn the word ‘Action!’ ” Narr recalled how one bird flew off camera and wound up on a catering table. “Somebody said, ‘Hey, there’s a pickle over here with wings,’ ” Narr said. “He was so fat he couldn’t work so we had to bring in a stand-in.”

Compiled by Times staff writers and contributors


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