- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 26, 2005

New ‘Companion’


Recent Oscar nominee Virginia Madsen is the latest addition to the all-star cast of Robert Altman’s upcoming adaptation of “A Prairie Home Companion.”

Garrison Keillor scripted the film, which is based on his venerable radio program. Mr. Altman will direct and produce “Companion,” set to begin shooting next month in Minneapolis.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, here’s how the ensemble cast breaks down: Mr. Keillor will play himself, as the story takes place on what could be the last night in his program’s run. Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin have been cast as the two surviving sisters from what was once a five-sister country act, with Lindsay Lohan playing the daughter of Miss Streep’s character.

Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly appear as a pair of singing cowboys. “Saturday Night Live’s” Maya Rudolph is the show’s stage manager and Kevin Kline plays a security guard.

Miss Madsen’s character is described vaguely as only a “dangerous woman.”

Also new to the cast is L.Q. Jones as a veteran musician on the show.

Sentence delayed


Hip-hop diva Lil’ Kim had been expected to appear in court Friday morning in New York for sentencing, but the hearing has been bumped back to July 6.

The Queen Bee was convicted on March 17 of perjury and conspiracy for lying to investigators and to a federal grand jury about her involvement in a shooting four years ago at New York hip-hop station Hot 97 (WQHT-FM).

Curtains for ‘Pond’

TV Guide. com

James Earl Jones’ bout with pneumonia has forced the early closing of Broadway’s “On Golden Pond.”

The Tony-nominated show, which was staged last fall at the Kennedy Center, was to play its last performance yesterday.

Mr. Jones, meanwhile, is expected to make a full recovery. The actor, 74, has been out since June 15, and box office receipts have plummeted, Newsday reports.

Surgery for Stanley

Associated Press

Bluegrass singer Ralph Stanley will undergo coronary bypass surgery today .

Doctors recommended the multiple bypass operation after the 78-year-old singer went for a regular checkup last week, according to a statement from his publicist.

Mr. Stanley and his brother, Carter, formed one of the premier groups of early bluegrass music, the Stanley Brothers.

The brothers and their band, the Clinch Mountain Boys, recorded during the 1950s and ‘60s and were known for their distinct haunting sound.

Carter Stanley died in 1966, and Ralph Stanley continued a successful solo career that has influenced contemporary artists such as Patty Loveless and Ricky Skaggs.

Mr. Stanley became a cast member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2000. The Virginia-born artist has earned multiple Grammys, including an award for his a cappella performance of “O Death” on the “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack.

Letter perfect

Associated Press

There’s a new venue for Vanna White’s letter turning.

The “Wheel of Fortune” game show star will be unveiling the letters V-A-N-N-A W-H-I-T-E on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next year.

She’s among the dozens of celebrities who will be enshrined in 2006 with concrete stars along the celebrity sidewalk.

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce on Friday released the eclectic list of Walk of Fame recipients, including Miss White, Annette Bening, Matthew Broderick, Holly Hunter, William Hurt, Nathan Lane, Steve Martin, Charlize Theron, Ray Romano, Isaac Hayes and Motley Crue.

“Each name on this list will bring much happiness to our residents and tourists from around the world,” Walk of Fame chairman and Hollywood honorary mayor Johnny Grant said.

Compiled by R. Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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