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Caustic comic brings show to Funny Bone

For a comic whose business is being mean, Lisa Lampanelli means business. The self-described “Queen of Mean,” who performs today through Saturday at the Funny Bone at Station Square, insults people regardless of race, sex or creed, with a caustic, over-the-top abandon that suggests she’s the evil spawn of Archie Bunker and Roseanne. Confrontational but charismatic, she’s a one-woman New York Friars Club Roast, where, incidentally, she helped Richard Belzer and Paul Shaffer cook the goose of Chevy Chase.

Lampanelli was the first female chosen to close this year’s The Nasty Show, the edgy, sold-out finale to the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. You also might know her from her appearances on “I Love the ’70s” on VH-1. Her Web site, insultcomic.com, features this ringing endorsement from Howard Stern: “Lisa is a REAL funny broad!”

Shows are at 7:30 p.m. today and Thursday; 8 and 10 p.m. Friday; and 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Saturday’s 7 p.m. show is a no-smoking show. Tickets are $8 Wednesday and Thursday and $15 Friday and Saturday. Also appearing are Brad Trachtman and Bill Scott.

Details: (412) 281-3130.

– William Loeffler

‘Vagina Monologues,’ Lepage’s ‘Moon’ canceled

Two events planned for the 2003-04 Trust Presents Season have been canceled.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust had planned to present “The Vagina Monologues” Nov. 4 through 9 and Robert Lepage’s “The Far Side of the Moon” on April 23 and 24.

However, the North American tour of “The Vagina Monologues” has opted not to return from its summer hiatus.

Technical issues with the tour have been cited for the cancellation of “The Far Side of the Moon” that had been scheduled for presentation as part of the Trust’s Quebec Festival next spring, says Frances L. Egler, vice president of programming for The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

“We look to present other Robert Lepage works in the future as we expand our programming efforts, and we hope to replace ‘Far Side’ with a presentation by another Quebecois theater company,” Egler says.

– Alice T. Carter

Count Basie Orchestra singer to perform at benefit

Singer Chris Murrell from the Count Basie Orchestra will switch bands to help the Hunger Services Network at its Magical Jazzical benefit.

The dinner and concert are Oct. 3 at the Pittsburgh Hilton, Downtown, but the deadline for making reservations is Friday.

Murrell will perform with the Roger Humphries Big Band at the event, which also will include a silent auction to benefit the food-assistance group.

Cocktails and the auction begin at 6:30 p.m. and music at 9 p.m.

Tickets are $75 a person, $140 a couple and $140 for a table of 10. Details: (412) 681-1110.

– Bob Karlovits

Bigfoot expo set for Saturday

The Fifth Annual East Coast Bigfoot Conference/Expo will be held noon- 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Pitzer’s Townhouse Restaurant, 101 S. Fifth St., Jeannette. Doors open at 10:30 a.m.; admission is free.

The event will feature guest speakers, and Bigfoot investigators will answer questions and display photographs, footprint track casts and other collected evidence. A Bigfoot Paraphernalia Auction will be held, and Bigfoot books, T-Shirts and other collectibles will be sold.

For more information, contact Eric Altman, director of the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society, at 724-374-5555. For more information, visit www.pabigfootsociety.com.

Daguerreotypes exhibit opens at the Met

The first of the visuals emerged in early 1839 — precise images on silver-plated metal, unlike anything that had been seen before.

Months later, inventor Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre showed the world the process for creating those daguerreotypes, and a global craze was born.

“It’s as much a turning point in civilization and the transmission of knowledge and culture as was the invention of movable type or the computer,” says Malcolm Daniel, curator of “The Dawn of Photography: French Daguerreotypes, 1839-1855.”

The exhibit, which includes portraits of authors Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas and artist Eugene Delacroix, opened Tuesday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and runs through Jan. 4. It was organized by the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, where it was originally shown this past summer, but the show at the Met has made some content changes.

Daguerre was a painter and printmaker who had spent years working with partner Nicephore Niepce on a process that would allow images seen through a lens to be captured permanently.

“Everybody was just chomping at the bit” to try it, Daniel says, and within months, it had spread all over the world. People used it to take pictures of everything — landscapes, subjects under microscopes and, of course, themselves. Daniel says most of the daguerreotypes produced during this time were portraits.

It also was used to capture images from all over the world. Artists began using it to take pictures of the nude images they used for their paintings, and others for selling erotica.

The Met exhibit consists of about 175 items, mostly daguerreotypes. It starts off by explaining the process and showing examples, before moving into sections on images of Paris, portraits, images from global travels and the use of daguerreotypes in art and science.

The show will not travel.

Details: www.metmuseum.org .

– The Associated Press

People in the News



Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck turn heads with routine courthouse visit

Just because Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez aren’t doing much of anything doesn’t mean they’re not making news.

Hollywood’s most overexposed couple set gossip pages aflame anew on Tuesday after they popped into a south Georgia courthouse near Affleck’s Hampton Island home.

But apparently it was a gun license, not a marriage license, that the on-again, off-again super couple was seeking Monday.

“Affleck wanted to know where he could apply for a gun permit,” said Liberty County Sheriff Don Martin, who mugged for a photo before sending the couple down the hall to the probate court.

The appearance has unleashed a horde of paparazzi and celebrity reporters onto the small town of Hinesville, where a court clerk verified yesterday morning — apparently not for the first time — that the couple did not apply for a marriage license.

F. Barry Wilkes, the Liberty County clerk and court administrator, told Us Weekly magazine for its Oct. 6 issue that Affleck and Lopez requested an application for a marriage license several months ago, but added, “If they had gotten married (already), I would know about it.”

Affleck’s spokesman, Ken Sunshine, said only: “We never comment on his personal life.”

The pair, whose recent film “Gigli” bombed after abysmal reviews, had planned to marry Sept. 14 before abruptly calling off the wedding. It would have been the third marriage for Lopez, 33, and the first for Affleck, 31.

Jack Palance helps Mickey Rooney celebrate birthday

Jack Palance said he’d always wanted to work with Mickey Rooney. He got his chance at a Pennsylvania fair.

Palance was the surprise guest who delivered the birthday cake on stage as Rooney celebrated his 83rd birthday at the Bloomsburg Fair on Monday night. Rooney and his wife, Jan, had performed earlier at the fair, opening for the Smothers Brothers.

Palance, who is in his 80s and lives in nearby Drums, was asked to deliver the cake, which depicted scenes from some of the 350 movies Rooney has performed in, by friend and fair president Fred Trump.

Rooney began his film career at age 5, playing a midget in “Not to be Trusted.”

Liz Taylor asks judge to remove allegations

Elizabeth Taylor has asked a judge to strike “inflammatory, irrelevant and false” allegations about the actress from a lawsuit that her former gardener filed.

Willem Van Muyden claimed he suffered improper sexual advances from her butler in his Superior Court lawsuit filed in July, which seeks unspecified damages from Taylor. Van Muyden claims in the lawsuit that he was fired without being paid $294,000 Taylor owes him for 10 years of gardening work.

Van Muyden also makes allegations in the lawsuit about Taylor having a relationship with the butler, Jean-Luc Lacquement, who filed a notice of demurrer that argues the gardener’s complaint has no merit.

The butler’s attorney did not immediately return a call for comment Monday.

In papers filed Sept. 15, Taylor’s representatives asked the court to strike those details from the lawsuit along with Van Muyden’s claims for punitive damages.

“These allegations are included merely as inflammatory, irrelevant and false insinuations which do not belong in the complaint. … They add nothing to the complaint except an inappropriate intimation of scandal,” the document states, adding that the gardener was trying embarrass the 71-year-old actress into a settlement.

Taylor’s attorney, Martin Singer, said Monday he would prefer if the judge heeded Lacquement’s filing and threw the lawsuit out because the gardener “has no legitimate claims.”

Van Muyden’s attorney, Mark Leonardo, said he was “not surprised” by the counter filings, but said he expects his client’s lawsuit will prevail.

Fred Durst sued

Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst has been sued by the St. Paul-based security company that employed a guard Durst allegedly kicked in the head during a 1999 concert here.

Azzone Security-Investigation Agency Inc., or ASIA, filed the lawsuit Monday in Ramsey County. The lawsuit names Durst, his production companies and his record labels as defendants.

The company seeks a judgment against Durst and the other defendants for the $49,663 in workers’ compensation it claims it already paid and for expected future payments.

Durst allegedly kicked security guard Patrick Estes in the head onstage during the concert, according to police reports. Durst was apologetic, police said then, because he apparently had mistaken Estes for a fan he believed was attacking his personal security guard.

Police arrested the 33-year-old singer, but an assault charge later was dismissed, said his lawyer, Earl Gray. Gray said he was not familiar with the new complaint.

Estes filed his own civil lawsuit against Durst leading to an April 2000 settlement in which Durst and other defendants agreed to pay the guard $100,000, according to court records.

Fire destroys motel on Chuck Berry’s estate

WENTZVILLE, Mo. (AP) — A suspicious blaze has destroyed a motel on Chuck Berry’s estate, fire officials said.

The assistant chief of the Wentzville fire district, Austin Worcester, said no one was injured. The cause of the fire was being investigated.

Worcester said the 76-year-old singer-guitarist was out of state at the time of the Saturday evening fire.

The building, known as the old Chuck Berry lodge, was in unincorporated St. Charles County. It had eight suites and used to house Berry’s visitors, Worcester said, but had been used for storage in recent years. It’s located on property about 40 miles outside of St. Louis, near Wentzville.

The two-alarm fire started around 6:30 p.m. Other buildings on the property weren’t damaged.

Berry pioneered a revolution in rock music with hits including “Maybellene” and “Johnny B. Goode.” He’s a member of both the Rock and Roll and Songwriters halls of fame.

Paltrow says New York makes her miss her dad

Gwyneth Paltrow says it’s harder to spend time in New York since her father’s death a year ago.

Bruce Paltrow, a producer and director who worked on acclaimed TV series including “The White Shadow” and “St. Elsewhere,” died at 58 of throat cancer.

“I love New York, and I’ll always be a New York girl at heart — but it’s a very different place without my father around to meet me and have coffee with. Not that I drink coffee,” Paltrow, who’s famous for her macrobiotic diet, told Vogue magazine for its October issue.

“I do miss home,” the actress added. “I feel very connected to American girlishness.”

Paltrow, who turns 31 on Saturday, said she spends about half her time in London and has traveled this summer to Scotland, Australia, France and Spain. Her boyfriend, Chris Martin, is the lead singer of the British band Coldplay.

“When something as terrible as your father dying happens, you start redefining everything,” she said. “I feel the finiteness of life — I’m still grieving pretty heavily — but I realize that we are all going to die, so I want to be with people that I love, and I want to travel.”

Her latest film, “Sylvia,” in which she stars as poet Sylvia Plath, opens Oct. 17.

The Associated Press


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