- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Deuce is wild

Comedian Rob Schneider has it in for Los Angeles Times reporter Patrick Goldstein.

The ex-“Saturday Night Live” star took out a full-page advertisement in the Hollywood Reporter in response to Mr. Goldstein’s Jan. 26 article blasting movie studios for serving up haphazard sequels such as “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo.”

Mr. Schneider wrote of Mr. Goldstein: “Most of the world had no idea of your existence. Maybe you didn’t win a Pulitzer Prize because they haven’t invented a category for ‘Best Third-Rate, Unfunny Pompous Reporter.’ ”

The ad continued: “I can honestly say that if I sat with your colleagues at a luncheon, afterwards they’d say, ‘You know, that Rob Schneider is a pretty intelligent guy’… whereas, if you sat with my colleagues, after lunch, you would just be beaten beyond recognition.”

For his part, Mr. Goldstein responded on the New York Post gossip Web site PageSix.com: “I haven’t received so many congratulatory phone calls since Billy Crystal wrote a letter to the editor comparing me to Roy Cohn.”

Nicole betrothed

Life is becoming less simple for Nicole Richie, notes Associated Press.

The co-star of the Fox reality show, “The Simple Life,” is engaged to her boyfriend of one year, disc jockey Adam Goldstein, her publicist, Cindy Guagenti, announced yesterday.

It will be the first marriage for Miss Richie and Mr. Goldstein, whose professional name is DJ AM.

A wedding date was not announced.

Miss Richie, 23, the adopted daughter of pop music superstar Lionel Richie and his first wife, Brenda, is co-starring with hotel heiress Paris Hilton on the third season of “The Simple Life.”

Under pressure

Five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman, the first director-choreographer to have four musicals running simultaneously in New York, works fast under tight conditions.

“Even driving a car, I start to imagine various scenarios,” she told Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser and an audience in the Terrace Theater Monday night.

She said the entire second act of the 1992 revival of the George Gershwin musical “Crazy for You” was rewritten on an Amtrak train en route to Washington for its out-of-town premiere. “It made the show a hit for the next five years,” she confessed.

Miss Stroman, a blond University of Delaware English-major graduate who began her career choreographing halftime shows in high school, took a day off the New York set of “The Producers: The Movie Musical” — starring Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane — to appear in Voices of the Arts, the KenCen’s discussion series with performance artists who have had a significant impact on the nation’s culture.

Actor John Lithgow is next month’s featured guest.

Ann Geracimos

Power lunch

About 115 Oscar nominees gathered Monday for a lunch honoring contenders for the 77th Academy Awards. All said breaking bread together brings a spirit of camaraderie rather than competition.

“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” nominee Kate Winslet said the group met as friends, not rivals.

“It doesn’t feel competitive. It really doesn’t,” Miss Winslet told Associated Press. “It’s like you’re all going through this thing together, and it’s just so kind of exciting and mysterious and strange and glorious. And you’re all sort of in the bubble together.”

Dual nominee Jamie Foxx, the best-actor front-runner for his portrayal of Ray Charles in “Ray,” said that although he has been busy making acceptance speeches for the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards and other film honors, he hasn’t run out of steam.

“There are so many things that I want to say, I could never run out of things,” said Mr. Foxx, also nominated as supporting actor for the hit-man thriller “Collateral.” “Like I’ve always said to my friends, even when we dreamt of what we want to be, we never dreamt this.”

Start them up

Matthew McConaughey will give the command “Drivers, start your engines” at the Feb. 20 Daytona 500 race, NASCAR announced.

“I’m honored and excited to be the grand marshal of this year’s race,” Mr. McConaughey said. “There is nothing more American than NASCAR and the Daytona 500.”

AP notes that the actor joins the elite company of previous grand marshals including Ben Affleck and John Travolta. Ashton Kutcher will be the honorary starter of this year’s race.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from staff and wire reports.

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