- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 17, 2008

Huckabee gets his laugh on

Former Arkansas governor and one-time presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee will join fellow politicians, pundits and policy-makers in the 15th annual Funniest Celebrity in Washington Contest Sept. 10 at the DC Improv in Northwest.

Other participants include Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr; Rep. Congressman Brad Sherman, California Democrat; talk show host Jim Bohannon; Michelle Bernard, president of the Independent Women’s Forum; Dan Glickman, president of the Motion Picture Association of America; David Schuster of “Hardball”; Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform; CNN Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre; and Al Jazeera radio host Riz Khan.

Proceeds from the event will benefit VSA arts, an international nonprofit organization founded in 1974 by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to create a society where people with disabilities learn through, participate in and enjoy the arts.

Uncensored Solzhenitsyn

An uncut edition of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s “The First Circle,” a highly praised and controversial novel published 40 years ago and heavily edited because of its story of a Soviet prison camp, is finally coming out in English, Associated Press reports.

Harper Perennial, a paperback imprint of HarperCollins, will release “The First Circle” in 2009. Mr. Solzhenitsyn, 89, winner in 1970 of the Nobel Prize in literature, returned to his homeland in the 1990s after two decades in exile. He now lives in Moscow.

The novel, completed in 1964 and banned by Soviet officials even after Mr. Solzhenitsyn cut nine chapters, is set in a gulag where scientists and scholars have been sent for reported subversion against the Stalinist regime.

Something’s coming

“West Side Story,” the landmark American musical, will be staged in Washington Dec. 16 through Jan. 17 at the National Theatre — where it made its world premiere in 1957 — before returning to Broadway in a new production directed by two-time Tony Award-winning librettist Arthur Laurents.

Preview performances will begin Feb. 23 at a Nederlander theater to be announced.

The show features music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim (in his Broadway debut).

Men behaving badly

Barenaked Ladies frontman Steven Page was arrested in a Syracuse, N.Y., suburb for possession of cocaine, the New York Daily News reports. Police busted the singer, 38, and two women — ages 27 and 25 — Friday in an apartment. The arrest comes as the squeaky-clean Canadian alternative rock band was celebrating the release of its first full-length children’s album, “Snack Time.” Police said they saw the suspects and the drugs through the glass door of a home. Mr. Page was released on $10,000 bail and is due in court Thursday.

Comedian Andy Dick has been arrested in California for investigation of drug use and sexual battery, AP says. Mr. Dick, 42, was arrested shortly before 2 a.m. Wednesday in a restaurant parking lot. The former co-star of NBC’s “NewsRadio” was being held on $5,000 bail. In 1999, Mr. Dick was arrested for possession of cocaine and marijuana after driving his car into a telephone pole in Hollywood. Last year, he was cited in Columbus, Ohio, for urinating in public.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, Web and wire reports.

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