, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- LIZA MAKING BIG WEDDING PLANS
The guest list for the upcoming wedding of newly rejuvenated Liza Minnelli and fiancée David Gest is getting longer and longer. And it contains some pretty high-powered names. Security should be super tight. Gossip columnist Liz Smith reports that among those on the "invite list" are Elizabeth Taylor and Marisa Berenson, both will be maids of honor. Claudia Cardinale, Janet Leigh, Esther Williams, Gina Lollobrigida and Mia Farrow will be bridesmaids. Gest has invited Michael Jackson and brother Tito to be best men, assisted by other members of the Jackson Five, James Ingram, Tony Franciosa and Robert Wagner. Entertainment reporter Robert Osborne, frequently seen hosting on Turner Movie Classics, will also be there. The nuptials are set for March 16. And, if that's not enough, consider that the after-wedding reception will feature Whitney Houston, Tony Bennett, Robert Goulet, Little Anthony and the Imperials and the Doobie Brothers. Wow, they should sell the video.
LANCE BASS, ASTRONAUT?
Photogenic Lance Bass, one of the members of the "boy group" 'N SYNC, says he wants to take a ride on the international space station. According to MSNBC's on-line service, Bass -- who has long sung about being a "Space Cowboy" -- isn't joking or making the remark for the publicity. Additionally, discussions are in the works that would allow a TV crew to film the singer during his training and flight as part of a space-age reality television series. California millionaire Dennis Tito went into orbit last April. At the time, though, the idea was criticized by many who think that space is no place for amateurs.
RUSSELL MEANS WANTS GOVERNOR'S CHAIR
American Indian activist Russell Means says he wants to become the next governor of New Mexico. And, as part of his fundraising efforts, he's been contacting many east coast tribes and politicos. The New York Post says that Means recently attended the wedding of Chris Cuomo to raise his visibility. He's not just seeking contributions; he wants some legal help in changing the rules in New Mexico. It seems that under current regulations Means can't run for governor because he spent a year in jail in the Dakotas for disputing a trial in Rapid City. The Post says that former Energy Secretary Bill Richardson (who served during the Clinton years) could eventually face Means for the Democratic nomination. That would mean an American Indian and a Hispanic would square off in what would be an interesting confrontation.
HOUSTON SYMPHONY FORGING FORWARD
At a time when many symphony orchestras are on the financial rocks -- witness the plight of the San Jose Symphony -- The Houston Symphony is alive and well and embarking on what can only be called an "innovative" agenda of music. According to the Houston Chronicle's Charles Ward, the symphony, under music director Hans Graf, has announced major programs for its 2002-2003 season. One is to be called "Shakespeare in Music." It is set for one year from now. Graf, who came to Houston only two years ago, has already made his mark, announcing ambitious programs for the orchestra's subscription and non-subscription concerts. Ward notes that Graf is well known as an interpreter of Russian music. Because of this, Russian composers will dominate much of the coming season. One innovative work to be performed will be Rachmaninov's "The Bells." It's based on the poem of the same name by Edgar Allen Poe.
FRIENDS CHEER VASSAR'S FIRST GOLD CD
A large group of country music stars turned out in Nashville this week to congratulate singer Phil Vassar for racking up his first gold album. The celebration was held at the Union Station Hotel in the Tennessee capital. Among those in the party, according to country.com, were Kenny Chesney (who's been on tour with Vassar), Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Billy Yates and a group of local songwriters. Many members of Vassar's immediate family were also there for the party. Popular local entertainment writer Brad Schmitt was master of ceremonies. Schmitt's columns appear in the Tennessean newspaper on a regular basis. Vassar's Web site -- philvassar.com -- has more information about the quickly rising singer and his latest music projects.
BROSNAN HIT WITH 'MYSTERY INJURY'
Forty-nine-year old actor Pierce Brosnan's latest project, yet another James Bond movie, has been put on hold for a couple of weeks while Brosnan recuperates from what People magazine is calling a "mysterious injury." He's playing the lead in a Bond film for the fourth time. At least one news service is reporting that the actor suffered some kind of knee injury during the filming of a scene "in water." The movie, being filmed by a London-based company, is tentatively titled "Bond 20." People notes that injuries on the set of action movies are not uncommon. Last year's Best Supporting Actor, Benicio Del Toro, broke his wrist during the filming of "The Hunted." The accident happened during a fight scene with Tommy Lee Jones.
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 273
Next week I have to take my car into the shop to have the hood replaced. Some time ago a tall pickup truck backed over my car while I was pulling out of a parking lot. But, since there were no witnesses, the driver claimed I pulled under his vehicle. Since I had opted for a high deductible ($500) it's taken a while to save my share of the costs. So, in light of that, here's today's question: "What have been your experiences in having car repairs or body work done?" Put DAMAGE in the subject line and send to firstname.lastname@example.org on the Internet.
RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 268 (SERVICE)
Last week I asked for some of your experiences dealing with standing in line, particularly when people "crash the party" and ask for preferential treatment. Here is a sampling of your replies: Pat says that "just about everywhere you go where you have to stand in a long line, there is always someone who cuts in. I hate it when those people don't turn around and (apologize)." RM remembers incidents where people crashed the line at the high school cafeteria. Mike P in Chicago says there is one thing worse than having someone cut in line ... waiting for more than two-and-a-half hours to talk with a job recruiter only to find, when finally at the head of the line, that they weren't hiring any more people. Mike, that's sad. Beverly brings up another problem, people using cell phones in line. They seem to lose track of everything and can't be chatted with because they are "occupied." Shellie says that being polite and mentioning to the offending person that you "think you have gotten in front of me" often works, if you're polite about it. Pat G says sometimes you just have to "turn and walk out" when that happens. Maybe Brenda put is best. Her reaction depends on what mood she's in that day. TOMORROW: Your thoughts about a possible new test for Alzheimer's disease and Friday your replies about the human treatment of animals. GBA.