- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 27, 2012

A star-studded Cannes gala attended by the likes of Kylie Minogue and Janet Jackson has raised a record-breaking $11 million for AIDS research, organizers said Friday.

Kirsten Dunst, Zac Efron, Alec Baldwin and Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld were among the 980 glitterati at the event held Thursday night on the sidelines of the Riviera film festival by the American AIDS research foundation amfAR.

Organized in Antibes, just down the coast from Cannes, the gala also brought together producer Harvey Weinstein and Cannes juror Diane Kruger as well as Paris Hilton and Antonio Banderas.

Among star lots at the fundraiser, two guests paid $1.07 million to star in a short film shot by Mr. Lagerfeld, an Andy Warhol lithograph of Marilyn Monroe went for $752,000, and a chopper motorcycle for $200,000.

Last year’s event, the biggest of its kind in Europe, raised nearly $9 million and was attended by Monaco’s Prince Albert II and his then bride-to-be Charlene Wittstock and a galaxy of other celebrities.

AmfAR supports HIV research, prevention, treatment, education and the advocacy of AIDS-related public policy. Since 1993, the event has raised some $80 million.

Obama, Clinton to hit the Great White Way

President Obama will head to Broadway next month as part of a double bill with former President Bill Clinton — and the stars will be out to welcome them.

James Earl Jones, Angela Lansbury, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Mandy Patinkin, Nina Arianda, Kerry Butler, Norbert Leo Butz, Bobby Cannavale, Stockard Channing, Megan Hilty and Cheyenne Jackson are some of the performers slated to attend the June 4 fundraiser, according to the Associated Press.

“Barack on Broadway” is one of two events that day that will join Mr. Obama and Mr. Clinton. The two presidents also will attend a dinner featuring a performance by Jon Bon Jovi.

The fundraiser will be at the New Amsterdam Theatre, the home of “Mary Poppins,” and will be directed by George C. Wolfe.

General admission is $250, with VIP tickets for $1,000.

Madonna arrives in Israel to kick off ‘MDNA’ tour

Israelis are gearing up to get down at Madonna’s show as the pop diva landed in the holy land ahead of her world tour, which kicks off in Tel Aviv this week.

The Material Girl’s motorcade entered the Tel Aviv Dan hotel parking lot Friday as guards shielded the superstar from the media.

Fans are dressing up as the superstar at Madonna theme parties in Tel Aviv clubs and bars.

Madonna isn’t Jewish, but she has adopted the Hebrew name of Esther and studies Jewish mysticism. She is known in Israel as “Queen Esther” and Israeli media announced that “the Queen has arrived.”

Madonna is expected to visit holy sites in Israel ahead of her “MDNA” world tour that will kick off Thursday in Tel Aviv.

Gregg Allman prepping for seventh walk down the aisle

Gregg Allman is getting married for the seventh time.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member told several interviewers last week that he’s engaged to his 24-year-old girlfriend, Shannon Williams, with Mr. Allman’s publicist and manager confirming the news Friday morning.

Mr. Allman talked about the unexpected love he felt for Ms. Williams in an interview with the Associated Press earlier this year for a story about his memoir, “My Cross to Bear,” but admitted he was leery about taking the relationship further because of the past difficulties in his love life. But Mr. Allman told Howard Stern, Piers Morgan and a SiriusXM town hall audience last week that he’s taken the relationship to the next stage.

Little is known about Ms. Williams, who entered the 64-year-old rock pioneer’s life after he had a liver transplant and a run of health difficulties. Mr. Allman told the AP in a love-struck voice he met her while in Florida on Jan. 13 and “I am totally in love.”

Mr. Allman’s failed marriages make up a significant part of “My Cross to Bear,” a best-seller after its release May 1. He offers a rare glimpse into his private life, detailing the rise and collapse of his relationship with Cher, among other topics. It’s clear his failed relationships haunt him. He told the AP he has a distrust of the institution of marriage and has been left with the feeling that few, if any, of his wives were actually deeply in love with him.

No date has been set for the marriage.

Kidman dedicates performance to reporter killed in Syria

Nicole Kidman said Friday she dedicated her performance in new film “Hemingway and Gellhorn” to the female reporter for Britain’s Sunday Times who was killed this year in Syria.

“I dedicated my performance of Martha [Gellhorn] to Marie Colvin, the journalist killed in Syria, because I really see her as someone similar to Martha. These women are still rare and Martha was the first,” Ms. Kidman told Agence France-Presse.

Colvin was killed along with French photographer Remi Ochlik on Feb. 22 when a building that served as a makeshift media center in the Syrian city of Homs was struck by a Syrian army mortar.

Ms. Kidman made her comment ahead of the Cannes Film Festival gala premiere of her new film directed by Philip Kaufman, in which she plays Gellhorn, who is seen as one of the greatest war correspondents of the last century.

Gellhorn was married to Ernest Hemingway for five years.

Compiled from Web and wire reports