- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 30, 2009

MJ on chef’s menu

Add yet another name to the never-ending parade of those recalling the final days of the late Michael Jackson: his personal chef, Kai Chase, who was hired by the King of Pop to maintain a healthy food regimen.

In an interview with Associated Press, Miss Chase, 37 - who has cooked for other celebrities and comes from a show-business family - says she was hired by Mr. Jackson in March, let go in May, then returned on June 2. She says the pop star’s focus was fresh, healthy food for him and his children.

On most days, Miss Chase says, his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray - now the focus of a manslaughter investigation in Mr. Jackson’s death - would bring the superstar the special fruit-juice drinks Miss Chase prepared for him, followed by granola with almond milk. For lunch, Mr. Jackson would eat with the children from a menu that included such things as spinach salad and chicken, Miss Chase says.

Dr. Murray sometimes joined them for dinner, which might be a seared ahi tuna, Miss Chase recalls, adding that the doctor conferred with her about the 50-year-old pop singer’s food and made sure that he ate.

Miss Chase tells AP she has visited with Mr. Jackson’s children since his death and they are doing well.

As for her own future, she says Mr. Jackson encouraged her to write a cookbook, and she has written one, tentatively titled, “Fit for a King.” It includes recipes she cooked for Mr. Jackson and the story of the time she worked for him.

“He was an inspiration to me,” she says.

Goodbye, Dolly

“9 to 5: The Musical,” the Broadway show that features a score by country superstar Dolly Parton, will close Labor Day weekend after a disappointing four-month run, its producers announced Wednesday.

The musical will have played 148 performances when it closes Sept. 6 at the Marquis Theatre.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better experience on my first Broadway show,” Miss Parton said. “I’ve had the privilege of working with an amazing group of people who have become like family to me.”

A national tour is expected to start in September 2010 at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville.

“9 to 5” is based on the 1980 film and stars Allison Janney, Stephanie J. Block and Megan Hilty as three female office workers who plot against their sexist boss, played by Marc Kudisch.

A boost for Brown

Finally, some good news for Chris Brown. Thanks to nothing he’s done recently, his 2008 single “Forever” has soared back onto the iTunes Top 10 chart.

The reason, of course, is the incredible popularity - 10 million views and counting - of the video Jillian Peterson and Kevin Heinz posted of their wedding procession on YouTube, TVWeek.com notes.

The joyful, infectiously delightful video has the entire wedding party boogeying down the aisle to the strains of Mr. Brown’s “Forever.”

Earlier this month, Mr. Brown offered a videotaped apology to his former girlfriend, Rihanna, for his role in their much-publicized altercation in February.

• Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, Web and wire reports

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