- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Brangelina outing

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have denied wedding bells are in the air, saying they want to concentrate on their newborn daughter and two older children.

“There is nothing in the air. The focus is the kids, and we are obviously extremely committed to the children and as parents together,” Miss Jolie, 30, told local journalists yesterday in the Namibian coastal town of Swakopmund.

It was the Hollywood couple’s first public appearance since Miss Jolie gave birth to Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt on May 27 at a private clinic in Namibia. Delivered by Caesarean section, the baby weighed 7 pounds and was said to be in good health, Associated Press reports.

The couple sold rights to images of the infant through Getty Images photo agency, saying proceeds would be donated to a charity, not yet named. People magazine paid a reported $4 million for the right to release the pictures in North America, while Hello! magazine obtained British rights. The embargo on the images was broken when two Web sites posted an apparent image of the front cover of Hello! People and Hello! yesterday began legal action against the Web sites to prevent publication of the Hello! cover before the celebrity magazine was to go on sale today in Britain.

A win for ‘Beauty’

Three was the charm for British author Zadie Smith, who, after two earlier attempts, won the coveted Orange Prize for Fiction for her comic novel “On Beauty.”

On Tuesday, the 30-year-old Londoner scooped up the $55,800 award after her previous books “White Teeth” (2001) and “The Autograph Man” (2003) made the shortlist but failed to win, Agence France-Presse reports.

The Orange Prize, which was set up in 1996, celebrates fiction written by women and is open to female authors writing in English whose works were published in Britain in the previous year.

The judges hailed “On Beauty” as a “literary tour de force.” It beat “Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living,” by Australian Carrie Tiffany; “The History of Love,” by American Nicole Krauss; works by two British authors — “The Night Watch” by Sarah Waters and “Beyond Black” by Hilary Mantel; and “The Accidental” by Ali Smith, which recently won the Whitbread novel award.

“On Beauty” follows the professional rivalry between a liberal white English professor and a more successful conservative black academic.

Lewis to stage ‘Nutty’

Jerry Lewis, who played “The Nutty Professor” in 1963, has a wacky new scheme: staging the film as a Broadway musical.

Mr. Lewis, 80, said the first show is planned for January at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, where he has a houseboat. The comedian and actor will direct the show, which he aims to have on Broadway by October 2008, AP reports.

The show will be produced by the Michael Andrew Co. Mr. Andrew, a 41-year-old crooner and comedian who fronts the Atomic Big Band, is set to play the lead, the bucktoothed Julius Kelp, who invents a potion that transforms him into the suave Buddy Love. The story also was remade in 1996 into a movie — which Mr. Lewis co-produced — starring Eddie Murphy.

Mr. Andrew said he was inspired by Mr. Lewis’ comedy at an early age. “When I was 8 years old, I saw that movie, and it pretty much formed what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” he said.

Mr. Lewis has battled pulmonary fibrosis, a crippling lung ailment, in recent years, keeping him off the stage. He plans to return for four shows in Las Vegas in July.

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

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