- The Washington Times - Monday, July 31, 2006

Possible viewing

Spike Lee’s movie about Hurricane Katrina might just get an audience from the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency — but the celebrity director shouldn’t necessarily expect President Bush to watch it, Associated Press reports.

FEMA director R. David Paulison yesterday said that if he’s not too busy grappling with this year’s hurricane season, he probably will catch Mr. Lee’s film, “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts,” scheduled to air on HBO Aug. 21 and 22.

Mr. Lee has had harsh words for Mr. Paulison’s agency, saying recently that Americans should be scared because of FEMA’s response to Katrina. “Pray to God you don’t have to depend on FEMA,” the director said.

Mr. Paulison, who took over FEMA after former director Michael Brown quit under fire two weeks after Katrina hit, said he wants to see any report that might help him understand what went wrong.

“I’m taking this very seriously, and I’m not taking it personally,” Mr. Paulison said. “I want to make this country proud of FEMA again. ”

Takin’ it to the street

Boy George will perform his court-ordered community service by picking up trash on city streets in the August heat, a New York sanitation spokesman said.

The one-time Culture Club singer will be issued a shovel, broom, plastic bags and gloves when he reports Aug. 14 for five days of work, AP reports.

“This is the epitome of community service,” Vito Turso, a spokesman for the city’s sanitation department, told the New York Daily News. “It’s not like he’s going to be working in an air-conditioned office.”

Boy George — real name George O’Dowd — has struggled with drug problems for years. The singer, 45, was ordered to do community service after pleading guilty in March to false reporting of an incident after calling police with a bogus report of a burglary at his Lower Manhattan apartment in October. The responding officers found cocaine inside.

Sound’ of silence

Scarlett Johansson won an audition to appear in the West End revival of “The Sound of Music,” but her team’s “ridiculous” demands doomed her chance to play Maria von Trapp, the Denver Post reports. Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber told the Times of London he was wowed by Miss Johansson’s singing ability. “We were at the top of the Peninsula Hotel, and she sang in front of everyone, which was fantastic. She can really sing,” Mr. Webber said. “The demands were so ridiculous. They wanted two minders backstage at all times and that sort of thing.”

At it again

Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey may look like the best of pals as they grind out the hits on their latest Who tour — but guess again.

According to the New York Post, Mr. Townshend is furious that Mr. Daltrey doesn’t want any of their shows available as free Web casts, and he’s ripping his band mate on his blog site. “Roger is my partner in the Who. He is not my partner in anything else,” Mr. Townshend fumed. “For now, we have a famous Who stalemate.”

He then urged the band’s legions of fans to fire off e-mails if they “believe Roger is wrong,” in a bid to pressure him to change his mind.

‘Heart’ of the matter

Paul McCartney has made his share of classic music. Now the ex-Beatle is releasing a classical album.

“Ecce Cor Meum,” which means “Behold My Heart,” is a choral and orchestral work in both English and Latin, due out Sept. 26. Britain’s Magdalen College at Oxford University commissioned Mr. McCartney to create the music more than eight years ago in celebration of a new concert hall.

Though Mr. McCartney has released three other classically oriented albums, he acknowledged that writing “Ecce Cor Meum” was a difficult task.

“Eventually I made it all come together through correcting some misapprehensions,” Mr. McCartney, 64, told AP.

“If it had been a Beatles song, I would have known how to do it. But this was a completely different ballgame.”

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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