NEW YORK -- Break out the bubbly. A major revival of Noel Coward's "Private Lives" is the latest entry in Broadway's crowded spring season, slipping into town just before the May 1 Tony nomination deadline.\nLindsay Duncan and Alan Rickman play a formerly married couple who are now hitched to other people in this new incarnation of Coward's frothiest comedy. It's been a big hit in London, where it opened last September.\n"Private Lives" has been a regular visitor to New York over the years -- and those productions have never lacked for star power. The original, which opened at the Times Square Theatre in 1931, starred the playwright Gertrude Lawrence and a young Laurence Olivier. Tammy Grimes, who won a best-actress Tony for it, and Brian Bedford were featured in an acclaimed 1969 revival. Maggie Smith and John Standing played New York and on tour in 1975.\nAnd there were less-than-scintillating attempts, too. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton battled through an overstuffed version in 1983, and many have tried to blot out the Joan Collins-Simon Jones mishap of several seasons back.\nThe opening of this latest revival is April 28 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Preview performances begin April 19. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster at 212-307-4100.
sh: Jackson: singer turned producer\nsh: Never say never: Jackson starts movie company
TORONTO -- Michael Jackson's Neverland Entertainment is putting as much as $20 million into a Montreal company that will operate a new movie production division called Neverland Pictures.\nMark Damon, chief executive of MDP Worldwide Entertainment Inc., said the deal announced Monday will allow MDP to produce major films with Jackson's involvement.\nJackson, who will become a major shareholder in MDP, has appeared in films including "The Wiz" and intends to co-direct a film with Canadian filmmaker Bryan Michael Stoller.\nAccording to Damon, Jackson will be a producer, actor and director for Neverland Pictures.\n"Films have always been a passion for me," Jackson said in a statement. "There is nothing in the world like the magic captured forever in a time capsule like motion picture images."\nDamon, an independent producer and distributor, has been involved in films such as "9 1/2 Weeks," "Never Say Never Again" and "Prizzi's Honor."\nHe and Jackson were introduced by Raju Sharad Patel, Jackson's partner in Neverland Entertainment.\nMDP is "in a stronger position because we've had a capital infusion by Michael Jackson and because his name will make our company so much more visible," Damon said.
sh: Canadian artist dies at 76\nsh: Artist Ewen dies at 76\nsh: Canadian painter, sculptor dies at 76
LONDON, Ontario -- Paterson Ewen, a leading Canadian contemporary artist who used painted plywood and other hardware to create spiritual landscapes, died this month after a lengthy illness. He was 76.\nEwen died Feb. 17 at his home in London, Ontario, according to the University of Western Ontario, where he taught for 14 years.\nCombining painting and sculpture, Ewen was known for vivid landscapes that offered a spiritual perspective of Canada's vast outdoors.\n"He was in that sense a towering figure, somebody who was central to the stories we tell about Canadian art in the 20th century," said Matthew Teitelbaum, the director of the Art Gallery of Ontario and editor of a 1996 study of Ewen's art.\nEwen's work has been displayed in galleries in Canada and New York, and he represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in 1982. His creations include "Halley's Comet As Seen By Giotto," "Forked Lightning" and "Thunder Cloud As Generator No. 4."\nEwen was born April 7, 1925, and raised in Montreal, where he attended McGill University before moving to London, Ontario, in 1968.\nHe is survived by his wife, Mary Handford, and four sons from a previous marriage.