- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 9, 2006

Celeb wedding watch

Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn told friends on a Mexican getaway they are getting married, the Denver Post reports, citing a story in Us Weekly. Miss Aniston’s rep denies the report.

Meanwhile, Life & Style Weekly magazine reported that Mr. Vaughn popped the question in Paris. An unnamed source, quoted by contactmusic.com, said Miss Aniston “already asked (former ‘Friends’ castmate) Courteney Cox to be her matron of honor.”

While we’re on the subject of celebrity matrimony, another wedding rumor had Martha’s Vineyard all abuzz, the Denver Post notes. Rap mogul Jay-Z and longtime girlfriend Beyonce were in Chappaquiddick, Mass., over the Fourth of July weekend. Rumors spread that the couple were trying to rent a huge house for a wedding. Jana Fleischman, spokeswoman for Def Jam Records, told the New York Daily News: “They were there, but they didn’t get married.”

Taking back the music

Oprah Winfrey, accused of dissing hip-hop by the likes of Ludacris, Ice Cube and 50 Cent, isn’t alone, it seems, in her distaste for the music genre’s often questionable lyrics that denegrate women.

Grammy-winner Jill Scott also says that the portrayal of black women in popular music and videos is too often degrading — and that the black community must find a way to change these images.

“It is dirty, inappropriate, inadequate, unhealthy and polluted. We can demand more,” Miss Scott said in Houston last week at the Essence Music Festival’s empowerment seminars as part of the magazine’s Take Back the Music campaign.

Miss Scott, 34, told the audience members that if they are offended by those images, they should stop buying the albums and encourage people in their lives to do the same.

“This is about choosing what we will allow in our lives,” she said. “We can force things. We can change things. Challenge the music industry with your purchasing power.”

According to AP, Miss Scott used an eloquent speech, interlaced with song, to illustrate that black women are more than their sexuality and that music should represent that.

“There are many stories to be told that aren’t about our sexuality,” she said.

Dylan does Broadway

Twyla Tharp took on the music of Billy Joel and created “Movin’ Out,” which ran for more than three years on the Great White Way

Now the director-choreographer has turned to another pop superstar, Bob Dylan, for her next project — “The Times They Are A-Changin.’ ” The musical, a coming-of-age story set in a circus, opens Oct. 26 at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Preview performances begin Sept. 25, Associated Press reports.

“The Times They Are A-Changin” concerns a young man, played by Michael Arden; his tyrannical father, portrayed by Thom Sesma, and a beautiful circus performer (Caren Lyn Manuel).

The musical received mostly encouraging reviews when it premiered in February at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre. The San Diego Union-Tribune called it an “exciting, flawed, phantasmagoric fable,” while the San Francisco Chronicle said it “looks like a success,” praising the production’s “dynamic performances and imaginatively acrobatic choreography.”

Among the Dylan hits in the show — besides the title song — are “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Lay Lady Lay,” “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.”

Brush with the stars

If you weren’t lucky enough to receive an actual invite to Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban’s wedding, you can buy several items of memorabilia from the event on EBay, the New York Post reports. A menu from the reception, a piece of the wedding cake — and a Tiffany desk clock engraved with the inscription, “A moment in time, June 25, 2006, Nicole and Keith” — are up for sale on the site with an opening bid of $5,000.

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

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