ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT REPORTS FROM THE TIMES, NEWS SERVICES AND THE NATION’S PRESS.
Off Power: The Baka Boyz, the popular afternoon-drive duo at hip-hop radio station KPWR-FM (105.9), have left the station, reportedly hurt about being relegated to secondary status in station promotions to the host called Big Boy, who had replaced them on the higher-profile morning show two years ago. The Boyz--brothers Nick and Eric Vidal--had been working at the station without a contract, and this week they told management that they wanted to pursue film, television and music production projects. Power 106 station general manager Val Mackie said Friday that, at least temporarily, the team called Goodfellas will fill the afternoon slot. Meanwhile, there’s talk that the Bakas could be headed to rival urban station KKBT-FM (92.3), where former Power program director Steve Smith is vice president of programming for Chancellor, KKBT’s owner. He has already hired Big Boy’s head writer, Jeff Schimmel.
Van Gogh’s ‘Dr. Gachet’ Not Missing: The most expensive painting ever sold--Vincent van Gogh’s masterpiece “Portrait of Dr. Gachet"--is not missing after all but was sold early this year to an unnamed U.S. buyer, German radio reported this week. The painting was sold for between $87 million and $130 million to a man who wished to remain anonymous, said Berlin-based ARD, quoting Kiyonori Yamamoto, president of the International Auction Organization in Tokyo. The buyer has no plans to display the painting publicly, said Yamamoto, who helps cash-strapped Japanese find buyers for art. In 1990, Japanese businessman Ryoei Saito paid $82.5 million for “Portrait of Dr. Gachet,” the most ever paid for a painting to that time. Saito, the honorary chairman of Daishowa Paper Manufacturing Co., said he stored it in a warehouse after looking at it once. Six years later, he died at age 79. When the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York tried to find the painting for a current exhibition, museum officials could not locate it, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported last Sunday. The exhibition catalog had noted the absence with the words “present location unknown.”
Hello, Dali: A Salvador Dali painting stolen 25 years ago was found in the collection of his former personal assistant, police in Spain said this week. “The Double Image of Gala,” a 1969 work by the renowned surrealist, was stolen from New York’s Knoedler Gallery in 1974. Since then the painting, inspired by Dali’s wife Gala and worth $125,000 in 1975, had been sought worldwide without success by the FBI and Interpol. Police confiscated the painting Tuesday at the art center owned by John Peter Moore, a British citizen who worked for Dali for 20 years. Moore, 80, was detained, then released because of his age.
The Write Stuff?: Actor Antonio Banderas will direct a TV series based on six unpublished stories by Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The star of “Evita” and “The Mask of Zorro” said in an interview on Spanish National Radio that he was inspired by the idea while having dinner with the Colombian writer. “I didn’t think the stories were developed enough for the big screen and thought the television format would make for a quality series,” Banderas said.
Cassidy Hops Along: David Cassidy has signed a multiyear contract to produce a new show at the Rio Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The former teen idol calls it “a hybrid Broadway musical” that will appeal to a large demographic audience. Cassidy, who began his career on the TV series “The Partridge Family,” moved to Las Vegas three years ago to headline “EFX,” leaving the show in December.
A Silent Hitchcock: As part of the Alfred Hitchcock Centennial Celebration, the Directors Guild of America presents the director’s original silent cut of the 1929 classic “Blackmail,” Monday at 7:30 p.m. at DGA headquarters in Hollywood. It will be shown with live musical accompaniment by the Robert Israel Duo. The event, which is free to the public though reservations are suggested, (310) 289-2033, will feature special guest Pat Hitchcock, the director’s daughter. “Blackmail” made history as the first British “talkie.”
Paternity Rap: Trevor George Smith, better known as rap star Busta Rhymes, has been sued by a woman who claims he is the father of her child. Jill Miskelly, 25, filed the paternity suit earlier this month in Wilmington, N.C., claiming the child, Mariah Elizabeth Miskelly, is Smith’s, the result of a night they spent together in January 1998. A paternity test showed that the chances are 99.996% that Smith is Mariah’s father. In January, Smith started voluntarily making child support payments of $1,250 a month, but Miskelly’s attorney said that was not enough.
Tony Award winner Lauren Bacall is returning to Broadway in a revival of Noel Coward’s 1906 comedy “Waiting in the Wings.” The play, set in a retirement home for actresses, is scheduled to open on Broadway on Dec. 16, a century after the English playwright was born in London. . . . Actor James Belushi and his wife, Jennifer Sloan, have announced the birth of their daughter, Jamison Bess Belushi, on Wednesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.