- The Washington Times - Monday, September 24, 2007

Rockin’ out

Kevin Costner and his rockabilly band drew a crowd of more than 1,000 at a free concert in Santa Fe, N.M., for a scene in his upcoming film “Swing Vote,” Associated Press reports.

On Friday night, the Santa Fe Rodeo Grounds were transformed into the site of a presidential debate, complete with red, white and blue bunting, fake news vans and a sign reading “you.net presents The Final Debate.” A helicopter shooting scenes for the movie buzzed overhead, while crew members barked instructions to extras through a bullhorn.

People who showed up weren’t paid as extras, but promoters promised a free concert by Mr. Costner’s band, Modern West.

“Swing Vote,” largely filmed in Belen, south of Albuquerque, is a political comedy set to be released before the November 2008 election. In the film, a presidential race between the Republican candidate played by Kelsey Grammer and the Democratic candidate played by Dennis Hopper comes down to a single vote.

Return engagement

Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora returned to rehab — just a month before the band is due back on tour.

According to the New York Daily News, the 48-year-old musician was reported to be in a private room at Cirque Lodge in Utah, where Lindsay Lohan is also a guest.

It is Mr. Sambora’s second visit to rehab this year. He spent a week at the UCLA Medical Center in June after the breakup of his marriage to Heather Locklear and split from girlfriend Denise Richards. Mr. Sambora’s representative says the rocker was continuing treatment he began in June.

Widow outraged

Rodney Dangerfield’s widow says that even in death the comedian can’t get any respect.

Joan Dangerfield filed a lawsuit Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court to stop the airing of a videotape of Mr. Dangerfield in his later years that his widow says was never intended for the public.

The comedian, whose catch phrase was “I don’t get no respect,” was 82 when he died in October 2004.

The suit claimed that producer David Permut, a former friend, has more than 200 hours of video footage of Mr. Dangerfield taken at his home during the last few years of his life. The material is “highly private, extremely sensitive and very personal,” according to the lawsuit.

Much of it shows the comedian in ill health and “was never intended to be made available for viewing by the public,” the suit said.

A call to Mr. Permut’s company, Permut Presentations of Beverly Hills, was not immediately returned Saturday, AP said.

The suit claims that Mr. Permut has shown some of the material to a writer and a newspaper reporter and is editing the material into a documentary called “Respect,” which he hopes to screen at the Sundance Film Festival next year.

The action also claims Mr. Permut violated an agreement he had with Mrs. Dangerfield giving her joint control of the material. It seeks court orders barring him from showing the footage until the dispute can be settled through arbitration.

Kudos for Smokey

Legendary Motown singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson is being honored for his contributions to the miracle of education.

Mr. Robinson, who helped put the fledgling Motown record label on the map in the early 1960s with his group the Miracles, is receiving the United Negro College Fund’s award of excellence. Previous winners include Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones and the late Lou Rawls.

Mr. Robinson, 67, was to receive the award during the Saturday night taping of the group’s 29th annual “Evening of Stars” concert at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. The show is to be broadcast sometime in January, AP reports.

Mr. Robinson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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