- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 21, 2003

Krall-ing for originality

Getting hitched to one of the best pop songwriters in the business has apparently inspired Diana Krall, the jazz vocalist who recently wed Elvis Costello. Miss Krall’s forthcoming album, “The Girl in the Other Room,” due April 27 on Verve Records, will feature original material for the first time in her career, all of it co-written with her new hubby. Customarily, “Girl” also will see Miss Krall interpreting songs from other artists such as Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell and Mose Allison.

‘American’ graduate

“American Idol” fame can’t last forever, so it’s a good idea to have a back-up plan. For University of North Carolina at Charlotte graduate and “Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken, the plan is for a career in special education. On Saturday, Mr. Aiken attended a UNCC commencement ceremony for students who take a degree in August in December, according to the Associated Press. “One among you has received a bit more attention and he would like to speak to his class,” Chancellor James Woodward told the audience as Mr. Aiken stepped to the microphone for a few quick words, to cheers and a smattering of boos. “This has been an amazing year for me,” Mr. Aiken said, according to the AP. “This is more special than a lot of the things that have happened to me this year, because what happens here today says something to people. This is a day that makes for all of us a statement … how important it is to persevere and continue to work and strive to succeed.”

Moving over

For an organization named for the attitude that everyone chill out about President Clinton’s extracurricular dalliances, MoveOn.org sure does know how to stick around. On Jan. 12, according to Rolling Stone magazine’s Web site, MoveOn.org will hold an awards ceremony in New York to announce the winner of the organization’s “Bush in 30 Seconds” contest for a knockout anti-George Bush television ad set to air the week of the president’s State of the Union address. Left-lurching musicians Moby and Michael Stipe, gadfly filmmaker Michael Moore and actor Jack Black will be among the 15 “judges” presiding over the ceremony. RollingStone.com reports that more than 1,500 ads have been submitted, and the public can vote on the clips through this month, along with input offered by the celebrity judges, a group that also includes filmmaker Michael Mann, actress Jessica Lange and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. For Moby, beating President Bush next year is the grand pinata for folks who fancy themselves progressives. “There are myriad causes with which I’m involved,” Moby told the Web site, “and I have friends who work for a lot of different non-profits, and we all feel the same way: The one cause that seems to take precedence over all the others is to do everything in our power to make sure George Bush is sent back to Texas in 2004. Every cause would benefit immeasurably.”

Bar none

Members of the Royal Shakespeare Company, currently performing through Jan. 4 at the Kennedy Center, have been hanging out after hours at Marshall’s Bar and Grille at 2524 L St. NW, which stays open until 2 a.m. They aren’t a hard drinking lot, apparently. Their brew of choice to unwind after what are lengthy, demanding and very athletic roles? “Wine or beer,” manager Joseph Soares told The Washington Times’ Ann Geracimos. Forty or more are likely to spend Christmas Day afternoon there as well — steak and chips, seafood, vegetarian selections and tiramisu will be on the menu — before that evening’s performance of “The Taming of the Shrew.” Not quite the Merrie Olde England ritual repast of turkey and pudding, but some family members are flying over to join them for the rest of their stay.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from staff, wire and Web reports.

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