- The Washington Times - Monday, January 2, 2006

Green year

After the most successful year of their careers, courtesy of the hit album “American Idiot” and the sky-high-grossing world tour to promote it, the rockers of Green Day are hoping for a little peace and quiet in 2006.

“It was a crazy year, but it’s been the best year of our career,” frontman Billie Joe Armstrong told Billboard magazine.

“It’s … kind of sad for it to end, but, you know, we don’t have any regrets.”

Coming off the road means the band can “get back to some of the other aspects of what we do,” bassist Mike Dirnt said, “whether it’s recording or just getting back into the creative process again.”

Although Mr. Armstrong said discussions about a new album will begin this month, he cautioned fans not to expect anything too soon.

“We’ll start with silence, and that’s how we’ll be able to find the inspiration to find another record,” he said.

Frightening comedy

British actress Emily Mortimer says her role in the upcoming remake of “The Pink Panther” was tougher than working for Woody Allen. (She appears in Mr. Allen’s latest, “Match Point.”)

“‘Pink Panther’ was much more scary,” Miss Mortimer tells Time magazine.

“To tell a joke that no one laughs at in a movie is so potentially embarrassing on a kind of international platform.”

Hurricane troubadour

Legendary folk singer Arlo Guthrie fancies himself the troubadour of Hurricane Katrina.

Mr. Guthrie rode into the Big Easy on Amtrak’s City of New Orleans train two weeks ago to raise money and round up instruments for musicians who lost everything to the devastating storm, according to Associated Press.

Next he returned for New Year’s Eve to entertain revelers in Jackson Square as they said goodbye to a painful 2005 and welcomed in a new year.

“I always had a kinship of spirit, you might say, for the music that came out of here,” the 58-year-old singer said.

Warwick tribute

Who’s that we see in our crystal ball? Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson participating in a tribute to Dionne Warwick.

More than 50 singers and musicians will perform tunes Miss Warwick made famous at Los Angeles’ Kodak Theater Jan. 26, according to Reuters news agency.

The special, which will salute Miss Warwick’s 45th anniversary in the music business, also will include appearances by Olivia Newton-John, Gloria Estefan, Angie Stone, Ashford & Simpson, Yolanda Adams and BeBe Winans.

First lady’s comeback

Dagmar Havlova, ex-wife of former Czech president Vaclav Havel and a theater and film star, began rehearsals yesterday for what will be her first public performance in nearly a decade.

The 52-year-old actress has a role in a Czech production of American playwright Israel Horovitz’s “Park Your Car in Harvard Yard,” which opens at Prague’s Na Vinohradech theater March 17, Agence France-Presse reports.

Miss Havlova, who starred in dozens of films and television productions under the name of Dagmar Veskrnova, has devoted herself to charity work since the marriage.

Last month, she revealed that she suffered from heart- and thyroid-related health problems.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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