- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A night at the opera

Jude Law and Sienna Miller’s on-again, off-again relationship seems to be on again.

The two were together at Monday’s opening night of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City — chaperoned by Miss Miller’s mother, Jo. Miss Miller, who seemed to be holding up a torn dress, appeared to be having a great time at her first opera. Mr. Law was very attentive.

Perhaps the actor was there to support his frequent collaborator, Anthony Minghella, who directed the Met’s stunning adaptation of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly,” the first new production to open the Met in 20 years. Mr. Minghella directed Mr. Law in “Cold Mountain,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and the upcoming “Breaking and Entering.”

The opening-night gala at Lincoln Center was a star-studded affair, with celebrities from all areas of the arts toasting the night with champagne.

“Satanic Verses” author Salman Rushdie and his gorgeous wife, Indian-American model and cook Padma Lakshmi, were a hot ticket for photographers as they walked the red carpet. Mr. Rushdie has been making more frequent appearances in public, although the fatwa against him remains in effect.

The world of fashion also was represented, with two designers attending with their muses. Zac Posen accompanied a radiant Liv Tyler, dressed in cream. Isaac Mizrahi, who has been designing costumes for the stage of late, attended with model Maggie Rizer.

Hollywood also made its way to the hot Big Apple scene. Meg Ryan, looking luscious with big blond hair, chatted with Tim Robbins. Australian actress Naomi Watts stood out from the crowd with a tight-fitting, low-cut flower-print dress.

The Met’s staff seemed as star-struck as the crowds watching from outside. A group of girls working a table didn’t seem to recognize Velvet Underground legend Lou Reed, who was there with his wife, fellow musician Laurie Anderson. They got excited, though, when they spied Jimmy Fallon, who hasn’t done much since leaving “Saturday Night Live” two years ago.

Vintage Dylan

As teenagers in northern Minnesota in the late 1950s, Ric Kangas and Bobby Zimmerman would spend hours playing guitar and singing. During one of those sessions, Mr. Zimmerman asked his friend to record what they were doing.

Mr. Kangas had no idea the man he was recording soon would become known as Bob Dylan. Years later, he came across the tape, which features Mr. Dylan singing three songs and playing guitar on another. Next week, Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas will offer the tape at auction, Associated Press reports.

Mr. Kangas says Mr. Dylan sings two of the songs in a much more melodic voice than what would later become his trademark. The third, Mr. Kangas says, gives a better hint of the later Dylan style: “He kind of sings like a frog,” Mr. Kangas says.

Mr. Kangas says one Dylan expert appraised the tape at about $100,000, but Mr. Kangas has no idea if it will fetch that much. A floor auction for the tape will be held in Dallas on Oct 6 and 7. Online bidding ends a day earlier, and those bids will compete with the floor auction. A publicist said Mr. Dylan, 65, had no comment.

Who’s your daddy?

Photographer Larry Birkhead, a former boyfriend of Anna Nicole Smith’s, tells Us Weekly magazine that no matter what a national TV audience was told Tuesday night, he’s the real father of the reality TV star’s newborn girl — and he’s seeking a DNA test to prove it.

On Tuesday, Miss Smith’s lawyer, Howard K. Stern, told CNN’s “Larry King Live” that he is the “proud father” of the girl, Dannie Ray Hope, born Sept. 7, and that he plans to marry Miss Smith “at some point.”

In an interview on the magazine’s Web site, Mr. Birkhead calls Mr. Stern’s remarks “laughable.”

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse and Kelly Jane Torrance from staff and wire reports.

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