- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 20, 2008

‘Supercali’ night

Dick Van Dyke may be 82, but he still can get 14 syllables into a single word.

Mr. Van Dyke sang “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” on Monday night at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles during a tribute to actress Annette Bening and Disney studio chief Robert A. Iger. The ceremony honored their efforts to support the arts — live theater in particular, Associated Press reports.

Mr. Van Dyke even re-created a bit of the choreography from “Mary Poppins” with the current Broadway stars of “Poppins” and “The Little Mermaid,” Ashley Brown and Sierra Boggess.

“The secret to keeping moving,” Mr. Van Dyke said, “is keeping moving.”

Not coincidentally, Julie Andrews served as co-chair of the tribute with Mr. Van Dyke, marking a “Poppins”-movie reunion on the arrivals line.

Other celebrity attendees included Oscar winner Anjelica Huston, who presented the honor to her “Grifters” co-star Miss Bening, and Tony-winning director Julie Taymor (“The Lion King”), who presented to Mr. Iger. Also there: producer Gil Cates; writer Bruce Vilanch; and actors Sharon Lawrence, Dana Delany, James Cromwell and Jane Lynch.

Shining Knight

A $25 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to the Newseum — the largest investment from the news community to the newest museum in the District — will honor the news legacy of the Knight brothers.

Opening April 11, the new 250,000-square-foot interactive museum of news on Pennsylvania Avenue will remind generations of Washington visitors of the importance of the First Amendment, free speech and the role of the media in a free society.

The grant gives the Knight name to two broadcast studios and a conference center at the Newseum, the largest single project ever devoted to journalism and the free flow of news, a spokesman for the Newseum said yesterday.

“With its central location in the nation’s capital, the Newseum is extraordinarily well positioned to foster public awareness of the value of journalism and the First Amendment for generations of Americans,” said W. Gerald Austen, the Knight Foundation’s board chairman.

On the mend

CNN’s Anderson Cooper was back at work yesterday after minor surgery two days earlier to remove a cancerous mole from underneath his left eye, Associated Press reports.

There was no indication the skin cancer had spread, spokeswoman Shimrit Sheetrit said.

He blogged about his procedure yesterday.

“I hadn’t planned on mentioning this,” said Mr. Cooper, 40. “But I still have stitches, and you’ll no doubt notice them. …Don’t want you to think I got into a fistfight with Charlie Rose.”

French twist

If Elton John is willing to sing for Hillary Clinton, it’s only fair that a rocker get behind her Democratic contender, Barack Obama — and it’s Jay Jay French of Twisted Sister.

The guitarist has rerecorded the band’s anthem, “I Wanna Rock,” changing the words to “I Want Barack.”

“He has excited so many people,” Mr. French told the Philadelphia Daily News in a phone interview yesterday. “He has given sincere hope to people who have been out of the arena for years.”

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

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