- - Monday, November 28, 2011

Wyclef Jean proud of his charity’s work in Haiti

Haitian hip-hop star Wyclef Jean said he’s proud of the way his charity responded after an earthquake shook his native country almost two years ago.

According to the Associated Press, he said his Yele Haiti Foundation rebuilt an orphanage and set up a system of outdoor toilet and shower facilities in one of the largest shanties in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.

Mr. Jean’s comments Sunday follow reports by the New York Post saying his foundation collected $16 million in 2010 but less than a third of that went to emergency efforts. The Post also reported $1 million was paid to a Florida firm that doesn’t appear to exist.

Don McLean shoots down N.Y. bar’s claim to fame

Don McLean said “American Pie” was written in Philadelphia, not the upstate New York bar that has long laid claim to it.

According to the Associated Press, the Post-Star of Glens Falls, N.Y., reported that the 66-year-old singer-songwriter told the newspaper that contrary to local lore, he didn’t write the song on cocktail napkins at the Tin ‘N’ Lint in Saratoga Springs. He also said the first time he performed the song wasn’t at Caffe Lena, a famous coffeehouse around the corner from the bar.

Mr. McLean said he wrote “American Pie” in Philadelphia and performed it for the first time at Temple University.

“American Pie” hit No. 1 in the Billboard charts in late 1971.

Tallulah Willis makes debut at Paris’ Debutantes Ball

Tallulah Willis, the youngest daughter of actors Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, stepped out as the teen star of the Debutantes Ball in Paris on Saturday, alongside Andie MacDowell’s youngest, Margaret Qualley, Agence France-Presse reports.

Held each year at the Crillon Hotel on Paris’ Place de la Concorde, the ball is a highlight of Europe’s high-society calendar that updates a custom stretching back to the royal courts of France and England.

Clad in sumptuous designer gowns, Margaret and Tallulah, both 17, were among the youngest of the 23 girls making their debut, daughters of a global elite of actors, business leaders and aristocrats.

Both of the girls’ elder sisters made their debuts at the ball in past years.

Mr. Willis and the other fathers opened the ball, leading their daughters in a waltz before the music switched to modern fare including Duran Duran, in honor of the band’s bass player, John Taylor, who was one of the fathers present.

In centuries past, the daughters of Europe’s aristocracy were presented to the queen after leaving the convent on their 18th birthday. France’s modern ball was launched in 1957 and held until the student uprising of May 1968. The ball was revived 20 years ago as a charity fundraiser, and the proceeds from this year’s event will go to the Feed Foundation of Lauren Bush - who made her debut in 2000.

Past debutantes include the daughters of actors Forest Whitaker, Clint Eastwood and the blockbuster author Danielle Steel, and the granddaughters of ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Knee surgery can’t keep Channing off Broadway

Stockard Channing has made a speedy - some might say miraculous - return to Broadway.

The 67-year-old Tony-winner performed in “Other Desert Cities” on Friday night and planned to continue in the show despite undergoing arthroscopic surgery on her right knee less than a week ago.

Miss Channing felt her knee collapse backstage after the Nov. 18 show and missed seven performances. An understudy performed Saturday’s matinee and will do Wednesday’s matinee.

The Jon Robin Baitz play, about a dysfunctional family wrestling with a deep secret, opened Nov. 3.

In an interview Friday before her return, Ms. Channing said: “This is maybe stupid. I don’t know. But if it doesn’t blow up or get painful, I’m doing the right thing.”

Rare Walt Disney drawing to be auctioned in Nevada

An original, autographed drawing by Walt Disney, believed to have been made around 1920 before he hit it big in the entertainment world, will go up for auction in Reno this week, the Associated Press reports.

The whimsical drawing of a cigar-chomping man wearing a derby hat will be among 1,400 items up for sale at the two-day auction set to begin Tuesday at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa.

Titled “Fill Up My Can,” the illustration has an estimated value of $35,000 to $50,000. It’s believed to predate Disney’s Mickey Mouse, which made its cartoon debut in 1928.

“Real pieces signed by [Disney] are really rare,” said Fred Holabird of Reno-based Holabird-Kagin Americana, which is staging the auction. “This is one of the earliest known signed Disney pieces, if not the earliest.”

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.

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