ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT REPORTS FROM THE TIMES, NEWS SERVICES AND THE NATION'S PRESS.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Indecent Exposure Charges: R&B; singer K-Ci of K-Ci & JoJo was charged Tuesday with 23 counts of indecent exposure and one count of lewd conduct for allegedly exposing himself at KIIS-FM's Jingle Ball concert at the Shrine Auditorium in December. The singer was performing when he allegedly pulled down his trousers and underwear, exposing himself to the 4,000-member audience, which prosecutors say included hundreds of children. Several parents who had attended with their kids, some as young as age 5, complained about the alleged nudity, officials said.

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Another Bruce, E Street Album? Following a recent reunion tour, Bruce Springsteen has been recording again with the E Street Band. E Street guitarist Steven Van Zandt said that Springsteen and the band recently recorded a studio version of "American Skin"--a controversial song about the shooting of an unarmed West African immigrant by New York City police officers that the band performed on the reunion tour--and also "fooled around" in the studio with other songs. "We haven't formally started anything or decided anything. But I'm certainly hoping that sometime this year we'll . . . do a record," Van Zandt told the Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J. Meanwhile, the Springsteen/E Street band concert album, "Live in New York City," is due in stores April 3, while a concert special shot on the tour will be seen April 7 on cable's HBO.

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Counting on the Reviews: Oscar-nominated screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan ("You Can Count on Me") drew mostly positive notices Wednesday for his latest theatrical work--the drama "Lobby Hero," which opened Tuesday at off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons. The New York Daily News' Robert Dominguez called the tale of four morally conflicted individuals "a smart, funny and wonderfully acted drama that derives its strength from Lonergan's keen ear for dialogue." Michael Kuchwara of the Associated Press called the drama "rich in character and comedy," noting "the production . . . except for some wordiness in an overlong second act, couldn't be more satisfying." And the New York Times' Ben Brantlee, while referring to the work as "meaty if unfulfilled," observed: "It's a moment of triumph for the dramatist, capturing what makes Mr. Lonergan . . . such a valuable anatomist of those imperfect creatures called human beings. . . . There is so much that's fine and original in 'Lobby Hero' that we aren't fools to keep on expecting fresh wonders from its creator." However, the New York Post's Donald Lyons was not so enamored, calling it "one of Lonergan's lesser (and morally confused) works."

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Cable News Notes: Bill O'Reilly, anchor of Fox News Channel's top-rated nightly "The O'Reilly Factor," has signed a fat, new six-year contract worth an estimated $4 million annually. Under the deal, O'Reilly will also appear on the Fox broadcasting network, including "Fox News Sunday," and has an option for a radio show. Over at rival CNN, "Moneyline News Hour" co-anchor Stuart Varney has left, "by mutual agreement," according to one insider. Co-anchor Willow Bay will begin solo anchor duties next week.

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Public Support: "Gladiator" has swept three of the top four categories in the sixth annual Moviefone Moviegoer Awards, voted by the public via Moviefone's telephone listings service and over the Internet. While Oscar front-runner Julia Roberts picked up the outstanding actress award for "Erin Brockovich," "Gladiator" was named outstanding film and took the director and actor prizes for Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe, respectively.

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