- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 25, 2005

Stars’ relief effort

It’s not often that a Nobel laureate, Pulitzer Prize winners, Grammy winners, Academy Award winners and just about every other kind of winner share a single stage.

But a benefit for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, sponsored by the New Yorker magazine as part of its annual New Yorker Festival, brought an eclectic and star-studded cast of performers to Manhattan on Saturday night. The lineup included Toni Morrison, Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, Kevin Kline, Richard Ford, Willem Dafoe and lots of zydeco music.

Most of the evening’s entertainment celebrated New Orleans culture.

Actress Patricia Clarkson read Tennessee Williams’ letters from the French Quarter, New Yorker writer Calvin Trillin read an essay about the city’s anything-goes attitude, and actor Terrence Howard read a Mark Twain essay about New Orleans architecture.

Woody Allen played the clarinet with Eddy Davis and his New Orleans Jazz Band, and Kevin Kline played Randy Newman’s “Louisiana 1927,” a song from the mid-1970s that sounds as if it could have been written about Hurricane Katrina.

Other performers included David Byrne, Buckwheat Zydeco, Queen Ida and Her Zydeco Band, Audra McDonald, Mary-Louise Parker, Walter Wolfman Washington and the Roadmasters and more. New Yorker Editor David Remnick said many of the performers were still searching for relatives missing since the hurricane.

Tickets for the event ranged from $50 to $250, with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross. Conde Nast Publications, publisher of the New Yorker, will match the donation.

Patsy’s shrine

The Winchester, Va., home of Patsy Cline, already a favorite stop for country music fans, is now recognized by Virginia as a landmark.

Miss Cline, born 1932 as Virginia Paterson Hensley, was in 1973 the first solo female to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. She is best known for “Crazy,” the torch song penned by Willie Nelson.

Miss Cline lived at 608 South Kent St. from age 16 to 21, and lived there off and on through 1957. The home was listed this month on the Virginia Landmarks Register. It also has been proposed for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

“The family home was a foundation and a springboard for Patsy’s ambitious dreams of becoming a country music star,” according to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

The dining room where Miss Cline’s mother, Hilda Hensley, sewed her stage outfits remains largely unchanged from the 1950s, the board said.

Miss Cline was killed in a plane crash in 1963.

Make Elle’s mink

Elle Macpherson will star in the new “What Becomes a Legend Most?” advertising campaign for Blackglama mink.

Miss Macpherson, 42, was one of the world’s top-earning supermodels in the 1990s. She starred opposite Hugh Grant in 1994’s “Sirens” and had a recurring role in the NBC sitcom “Friends.”

In recent years, the Blackglama “Legend” campaign has featured models including Linda Evangelista, Gisele Bundchen and Cindy Crawford.

“Elle Macpherson embodies everything that Blackglama looks for in a legend — glamour, sophistication and a timeless elegance,” said Ed Brennan, chief executive officer and president of American Legend Mink, the holding company for the Blackglama brand.

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from wire reports

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