- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Don’t mess with Babs

Barbra Streisand’s return to touring after a 12-year absence was the extravaganza that it promised to be. Monday night’s show at Madison Square Garden was the third stop of a 20-city jaunt across the nation — a virtual love fest between the ultimate diva and an adoring, sold-out, celebrity-studded crowd.

The megastar effortlessly crooned through a select repertoire of her four decades of hits. But the night’s most riveting moment came during what was perhaps the only unscripted — and truly uncomfortable — episode in the three-hour show, Associated Press reports.

Miss Streisand endured a smattering of loud jeers as she and “George Bush” — a celebrity impersonator — muddled through a skit that portrayed the president as a bumbling idiot. Most of the crowd offered polite applause during the slightly humorous routine, but the act quickly wore thin for others — especially for those who just wanted to hear her sing.

“Come on, be polite,” Miss Streisand, a well-known liberal, implored. But one heckler wouldn’t let up, and finally, she let him have it.

“Shut the [expletive] up,” the diva bellowed, drawing wild applause. “Shut up if you can’t take a joke.”

The jeers immediately ended and the message was delivered: No one gets away with trying to upstage the star — especially not in her hometown.

Miss Streisand, who performs at the Verizon Center on Friday, later apologized but said that “the artist’s role is to disturb.” She then delivered a message of tolerance before launching into a serenely beautiful rendition of “Somewhere” from “West Side Story.”

Extolling monogamy

Scarlett Johansson says that while monogamy might go against instinct, she’s happy in her relationship with boyfriend and recent “Black Dahlia” co-star Josh Hartnett.

“Josh is very sweet,” the actress, 21, tells Allure magazine in its November issue, arriving on newsstands Oct. 24. “He’s a good boy. A great person. I’m very lucky and I’m very happy. Contrary to popular belief, I’m not promiscuous.

“I do think on some basic level we are animals, and by instinct we kind of breed accordingly,” she says. “But as much as I believe that, I work really hard when I’m in a relationship to make it work in a monogamous way.”

Too darn hot

A campaign ad created by Hollywood producer and director David Zucker that was intended to be used by Republican organizations in the closing weeks of the 2006 campaign was deemed “too hot” by party strategists who are refusing to use it.

According to a story published yesterday by Drudgereport.com, Mr. Zucker — producer of “Scary Movie 4” — re-creates former Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright’s 2000 visit to North Korea. During the trip, Mrs. Albright presented North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il with a basketball autographed by former NBA superstar Michael Jordan. However, in Mr. Zucker’s re-creation, an actress playing Mrs. Albright is shown presenting Kim Jong Il with the Michael Jordan basketball, painting the walls of Osama bin Laden’s Afghanistan cave and turning a blind eye to suicide bombers. In one scene, her skirt rips as she changes the tire of a Middle Eastern dictator’s limousine.

One GOP strategist said “jaws dropped” when the ad was first viewed, Drudgereport.com noted. “Nobody could believe Mr. Zucker thought any political organization could use this ad. It makes a point, but it’s way over the top,” the unnamed strategist was quoted as saying.

Mr. Zucker is the producer and director of comedies such as “Airplane” and “The Naked Gun.” A longtime Democrat, he embraced the Republican Party in 2004 based on concerns he had about national security issues and voted for President Bush.

Jack, you cad

Jack Nicholson admitted he propositioned Nicole Kidman at the 2006 Academy Awards, not knowing she was engaged or that her then-fiance, country crooner Keith Urban, was standing next to her, the Denver Post reports.

Mr. Nicholson, 69, quoted by World Entertainment News Network, said, “I still owe Nicole Kidman an apology. I didn’t know she was engaged — or that she was standing with her fiance. Let’s just say I’m getting older. But I haven’t lost my sense of whimsy.”

Miss Kidman, ex-wife of Tom Cruise, and Mr. Urban wed earlier this year.

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

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