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Entertainment Today: Showbiz News

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International   |   March 11, 2003 at 3:00 AM   |   Comments

WOODY TO DIRECT FIRST PLAY

Acclaimed filmmaker Woody Allen will make his theatrical directorial debut next month at New York's Atlantic Theater Company.

Bebe Neuwirth (Broadway's "Chicago") and Paul Reiser (TV's "Mad About You") will headline an ensemble cast in the world premiere of "Woody Allen's Writer's Block," written and directed by Allen. Also appearing in the show will be Kate Blumberg ("The Syringa Tree"), Annabelle Gurwitch ("Dream Team with Annabelle & Michael"), Clea Lewis ("Ellen"), Richard Portnow ("Poolhall Junkies"), Grant Shaud ("Murphy Brown"), Skipp Sudduth ("Third Watch") and Christopher Evan Welch ("The Crucible").

Comprised of two new one-act comedies -- "Riverside Drive" and "Old Saybrook" -- "Writer's Block" will start previews at the Off-Broadway theater on April 23 with opening night scheduled for May 15.

For more information, visit the Web site atlantictheater.org.


FONDA, ELFMAN TO WED

Bridget Fonda's publicist has confirmed the actress is engaged to composer Danny Elfman.

Nancy Seltzer offered few details other than the fact the red-headed duo were betrothed before Fonda's recent car crash.

"They're really happy," Seltzer said.

Fonda, best-known for her performances in "Singles," "Single White Female" and "Jackie Brown," is recovering from injuries she sustained when her Jaguar went over an embankment on a rain-slicked section of California's Pacific Coast Highway two weeks ago.

Seltzer said Fonda is expected to make a full recovery, but the accident has forced her to drop out of a planned three-episode stint on ABC's "The Practice."


NIELSEN'S RECALLS JERRY LEWIS KISS

"Gladiator" beauty Connie Nielsen says her first on-screen kiss was with comic legend Jerry Lewis.

While promoting her two up-coming action flicks, "The Hunted" and "Basic," in New York Sunday, Nielsen talked about her first screen smooch, which was with Lewis in 1984.

Nielsen recalled how a month after she moved to Paris to be an actress she found herself performing with Lewis in "this unmentionable movie, Par où t'es rentré? On t'a pas vu sortir."

"My first film kiss was Jerry Lewis and I was 18 and Jerry Lewis, I think, was 60-something and he had just had open-heart surgery and that was my first film kiss," she explained. "And it was a really good kiss, too, let me tell you."


STRIKE POSTPONES "FLOWER DRUM SONG" CLOSING

Broadway's "Flower Drum Song" is expected to resume performances this week should the strike that has closed 18 musicals be resolved. Scheduled to run through March 16 at the Virginia Theatre, the musical officially posted a closing notice for this past Sunday.

© 2003 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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