- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rhys Meyers charged

Irish-born actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers was detained for several hours after he reportedly punched a waiter in a drunken scuffle at a Paris airport, Agence France-Presse reported Wednesday.

The 31-year-old actor, who in 2007 was arrested and charged with being drunk and disorderly at a Dublin airport, was detained Saturday after the altercation at Le Quotidien bar in terminal 2F at Charles de Gaulle International Airport, AFP reports.

He has been ordered to appear in court in a Paris suburb in September on charges of “willful violence, outrage, hitting and threatening death,” a judicial source said.

The actor is currently starring in “The Tudors,” a Showtime series that examines the reign of England’s Henry VIII. Mr. Rhys Meyers previously starred in Woody Allen’s “Match Point,” “Mission Impossible III,” “Elvis” and “Bend It Like Beckham.”

Freefest on tap

Speculation and predictions that have filled blogs and discussion boards can be put to rest.

The Virgin Mobile Festival is returning, but there’s a catch: It will be free.

On Wednesday, Virgin Mobile USA announced plans to host the 2009 Virgin Mobile Festival - free of charge - on Aug. 30 at the Merriweather Post-Pavilion in Columbia, Md. All tickets will be given away, and previous Virgin Mobile Festival ticketholders and Virgin Mobile customers will have the first crack at securing the 35,000 tickets, organizers said.

The move is both a giveback to music fans in a bad economy as well as an effort to solicit donations to homeless-youth agencies in need around the country through the RE*Generation, Virgin Mobile’s charitable arm.

“Instead of focusing on layoffs or the state of the economy, we want to focus on concrete ways to provide assistance to those in need,” said Dan Schulman, chief executive officer of Virgin Mobile USA.

Those scheduled to appear include Weezer, Blink-182, Franz Ferdinand and Public Enemy, Jet, The National, Girl Talk, The Bravery, The Hold Steady, St. Vincent, Wale, and Taking Back Sunday, Also appearing: dance tent favorites such as Pete Tong, Danny Howells and Lee Burridge.

The complete lineup of bands is available at www.virginmobilefreefest.com.

On the road

Billy Crystal is taking his acclaimed stage autobiography, “700 Sundays,” on the road this fall, Associated Press reports.

“700 Sundays” was a Broadway success during the 2004-05 season, playing to sold-out houses and winning a Tony Award for special theatrical experience.

The show will play six cities, starting with a two-week run at Washington’s National Theatre, Sept. 8-17. The 61-year-old actor-comedian will then visit Philadelphia; Dallas; Palm Beach, Fla.; Miami; and Atlanta, where the tour will end Dec. 20.

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

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