- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Mayor, music, museum

What to do with the old Washington Convention Center?

At least one good idea is on the books: a National Music Center and Museum to showcase America’s musical heritage, planned for completion in 2008 as part of the redevelopment of the decaying downtown site.

D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams, R&B; legend Quincy Jones and Nancy Sinatra will be on hand today for a press conference at which a design studio will unveil a model for the museum, a joint undertaking of the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution.

For a taste of what’s to come, a display of artifacts also will be on view, including original manuscripts of Francis Scott Key’s “Star-Spangled Banner” poem, composer John Philip Sousa’s “Washington Post March” and one of B.B. King’s “Lucille” guitars.

There also will be an early recording of Mr. Jones’ that dates back to — jeez, he can’t be that old, can he? — the 1940s.

The event takes place at 2:30 p.m. in Room 206 of the new convention center. For information, visit www.national musiccenter.org.

Just his imagination

A little bit of “Heaven” is coming to the District Saturday night.

The Washington-based groups Discovery Communications and Imagination Stage will honor actor Dennis Haysbertwith the Discovery and Imagination Award at a black-tie gala that begins at 7:30 p.m. A versatile actor, Mr. Haysbert has had memorable roles in movies such as “Far From Heaven,” “Heat” and “Major League.”

He also plays the commander in chief on Fox’s popular TV show “24.” Word has it that the last time he was in town, for a panel discussion on Capitol Hill about how Washington is portrayed in Hollywood, Senate staffers greeted him as “Mr. President.”

Mr. Haysbert is being recognized for a “high level of artistry in a diverse choice of roles” and for “playing parts that confront important social and political issues.”

Imagination Stage is the spiffy new downtown Bethesda home of the organization formerly known as the Bethesda Academy of the Performing Arts.

Cash raised by the event — organizers are counting on more than $220,000 — will benefit programs to increase access to the arts for handicapped people.

For information, call 301/280-1650 or visit www.imaginationstage.org.

Buffett surprise


It seemed as far from Margaritaville as you could get — a crowded Chicago suburb on an evening laden with cold winds, thick fog and a steady drizzle.

Yet island folk-rocker Jimmy Buffett braved the elements earlier this week to appear at a “pre-opening party” of the Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant in Downers Grove, Ill., playing a surprise 30-minute set with local act Johnny Russler and the Beach Bum Band.

‘Dirty’ rhymes

Clint Eastwood may have been the face of macho bad-boy cop “Dirty” Harry Callahan, but at home with his children, he’s a softie.

Reuters News Agency reports that the 73-year-old film legend, who composed the soundtrack for his “Mystic River,” credited nursery rhymes for inspiring his interest in marrying music to his movies.

His bass-playing son, 35-year-old Kyle Eastwood, is also a jazz lover and contributed two songs to the “River” soundtrack.

“I stopped playing piano for quite a few years,” the elder Mr. Eastwood, father of a 6-year-old daughter, told Reuters. “Then when my kids were born, I started playing nursery rhymes, and I started putting offbeat chords to … ‘It’s a Small World After All’ and all that sort of thing. And so I got back into it.”

Rosie’s no ‘Friend’

Interesting tidbits are trickling out of the legal battle surrounding Rosie O’ Donnell’s collapsed ego-zine, Rosie.

According to Internet Movie Database, the defunct magazine’s editor, Susan Toepfer, has said Miss O’Donnell slagged Jennifer Aniston during an editorial meeting last year.

Miss O’Donnell, the editor said, pooh-poohed a suggestion that the magazine run a feature on the “Friends” star, saying Miss Aniston would make for boring copy.

Miss Toepfer has Miss O’Donnell saying: “That is an example of someone I don’t want to do. The girl has nothing to say.”

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

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