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By DENNIS DAILY, United Press International   |   Oct. 16, 2002 at 9:15 PM   |   Comments

COLIN FARRELL FILM ON HOLD DUE TO DC SNIPER

The thriller "Phone Booth" will see its opening delayed. The reason, according to an executive of 20th Century Fox who spoke with CNN, is that the theme of the picture is too close to the ongoing fatal sniping events in and around Washington.

Additionally, People magazine notes that the movie was to have been released on Nov. 15 but now is shelved indefinitely. The same thing happened when Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Collateral Damage" was deemed inappropriate for release after Sept. 11; it was finally released last spring.


KENNY G TO SEND PROFITS TO SURVIVORS

When popular instrumentalist Kenny G releases a re-mix of "Auld Lang Syne," to be called the "Freedom Mix," he will be doing it strictly for charity. The artist tells United Press International that all the profits from the release will go to several funds working to help firefighters, medics and police officers and the surviving families of the Sept. 11 terror attacks in New York City and Washington.

The redone song will be part of G's third Christmas collection, to be called "WISHES." His previous two holiday CDs have been huge sellers; his melodic, often haunting music has been a staple on many radio stations for more than a decade and it seems that his Christmastime music is heard nearly everywhere during the holidays.

This new single is set to hit store shelves in about three weeks. The two major groups that will benefit from the profits are the New York State Fraternal Order of Police and the New York September 11 Firefighters Counseling Support Foundation.


'HAIRSPRAY' CAST THROWS CHARITY EVENT

Members of the cast and crew of the highly successful Broadway musical "Hairspray" will be teaming up to stage a benefit for charity. Producers tell us that two of Broadway's biggest stars, Harvey Fierstein and Marissa Jaret Winokur, will co-host the event, to be held the weekend of Nov. 9. The soiree, to be called Hair Cares, is co-sponsored by Le Bar Bat, NEXT magazine, HX magazine, On & Off magazine and MAC Cosmetics. Much of the proceeds will be used to help support an AIDS charity.

The event marks the first time that the cast of the show has joined for a fundraiser. Interestingly enough, the official press release for the event says that the night will be a tribute to the 1960s ... with some exceptions. Songs such as "The Pony," "The Jerk" and "The Twist," or any Ronnie Spector-style songs will NOT be performed.


OSMENT DISAPPOINTED ABOUT NON-RELEASE

Actor Haley Joel Osment is now 14, still riding on the wave of fame generated by his thrilling performances in "The Sixth Sense," "Pay It Forward" and "A.I. Artificial Intelligence." But his latest film may never be seen in movie houses. The Los Angeles Times says that the movie, "Edges of the Lord," a film that co-stars Willem Dafoe, is now owned by Miramax and that company doubts that it will ever be put into theatrical release.

Meanwhile, Osment is rightly disappointed. His father, Eugene, tells the publication that the film was a tough one to do. It centers around a young boy (Osment) who is a Jew, though he has Gentile-looking features. It's set in Poland during the Nazi invasion. Miramax has had the film for more than a year. There is a possibility it could be released on home video and DVD.


OPRY FANS PLAN HUGE BIRTHDAY BASH

The venerable Grand Ole Opry celebrates its 77th birthday this weekend, and, in the parlance of organists, the folks there are pulling out all the stops. The event, certainly not as big as No. 70 nor as huge as the anticipated 80th birthday will be, will nonetheless play host to some of country's biggest stars. Steve Wariner will headline Friday night, along with Ricky Van Shelton, Jimmy Dickens, Connie Smith, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Porter Wagoner and a dozen or so other lesser-known stars.

Saturday's show will feature Martina McBride, Ralph Stanley, Lorrie Morgan, Bill Anderson and Bill Carlisle. CMT says that earlier in the day on Saturday, the Opry will host a big bluegrass bash in honor of Bill Monroe, featuring Jim Lauderdale, the Osbourne Brothers and Stanley. The broadcast of the Opry is one of the longest-running shows in radio.


BIRDWATCHERS: HEAD FOR ALASKA

It would appear to be something out of a horror film or a new version of "Jurassic Park." That's the way the Anchorage Daily News is reporting the sighting of a strange bird that's been seen several times in southwest Alaska. The people seeing it are the ones who have the problem, convincing people of just what wheeled in the air above them. The bird has been described as larger than any ever seen before. One credible sighter was a local pilot who saw the animal while on a routine flight. Some of his passengers also saw the bird as the plane flew through the region.

The pilot estimates that the wingspan of the bird must be about 14 feet or so. Even though all of the witnesses seem to be well-known, "normal" people, scientists can't figure out what's going on. One bird specialist tells the paper that if there is a winged thing out there with a 14-foot wingspan, it's been hiding somewhere for 100,000 years.


UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 438

Today's question is inspired by the sighting of that "what's-it" in the skies over Alaska: "Have you ever seen something of a major nature that you can't explain, such as a "ghost" or UFO?" Put WHAT in the subject line and send to comments@upi.com via the Internet.


RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 433 (VOTE)

Last week we asked if you had any intentions of voting in the upcoming November elections. From a random dip into the e-mail inbox, here are the results:

72 percent said they would go to the polls.

25 percent said they would not vote this time around.

3 percent were still undecided.

TOMORROW: The strangest gift. GBA

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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