HANSON BROTHERS SWITCH LABELS
The Brothers Hanson, though not the mega-stars they once were, still are slugging it out in the trenches of popular music. They are trying to resurrect their career and are switching record labels in the process. Billboard magazine says Taylor Hanson tells it that the brothers are leaving Island Def Jam because the "partnership was not productive." The group is working on a new album project but has not found a record label yet. The brothers haven't put out a CD since 2000 and since the last of the three's voice changed. Their last effort, "This Time Around," sold about 270,000 copies. When they first hit the charts in 1997 with the No. 1 hit "Mmmbop," they ranged in age from 10 to 15. Isaac is now 22. Taylor's 20 and Zac is 17. On their Web site, hansonline.com, the boys strike a decidedly "adult" pose, 180 degrees out of phase from their debut personas.
DOLE DISHES IT OUT ON '60 MINUTES'
Former Sen. Bob Dole has taken off the gloves, blasting the crudity of Hollywood and throwing Bill Clinton into the line of fire. His remarks were pre-taped for Sunday's "60 Minutes" broadcast on CBS as part of the reincarnated "Point-Counterpoint" segment, opposite the former president. Dole, during his time at the podium, used the reality show that followed the exploits of the dysfunctional Ozzy Osbourne family as an example of the depths to which producers have sunk to get ratings. He also pointed out Clinton used the "Hollywood crowd" as a "piggy bank" during his years in the White House. Clinton countered by agreeing that some of the networks offer "racy" programming, singling out the Fox network. Fox is, of course, where Monica Lewinsky now picks up a paycheck for her new series, "Mr. Personality."
BLOOMBERG GOES TO THE AID OF 'GYPSY'
With pre-opening reviews less than charitable, Big Apple Mayor Mike Bloomberg is touting the revival of the old Broadway musical "Gypsy." His honor went so far last week as to declare a "Gypsy Day" in Manhattan. Gossip columnist Liz Smith says early reviews of rehearsals apparently don't hold water. People who have seen the musical say it's top notch and contains all the verve and action of the original. Smith points out the day of the musical is returning. Musicals have been a financial boon to Broadway over the years, and Bloomberg wanted to quash early negative reports about the big budget revival that many hope will bring business back to the Great White Way. Opening night went well. The after-curtain party was attended by musical icon Stephen Sondheim, who was very moved by the adulation he received from adoring fans.
TONY BROWN RETURNS HOME TO NASHVILLE
After three weeks of recuperation in a Los Angeles hospital, producer and musician Tony Brown has gone back to Music City. CMT reports Brown, a mover and shaker on the Nashville scene for decades and former piano player for Elvis, fell while in L.A. on business nearly a month ago. For a time his condition was "touch and go" as he was suffering from a severe head injury. Even though doctors agreed to let him return to Tennessee, technically he is still only in fair condition. Some think being back home will raise his spirits and speed his recuperation. Brown is a former head of MCA Records Nashville and currently leads Universal South Records with former Arista Records Chief Executive Officer Tim Dubois.
'LITTLE SHOP' CAST TWEAKS SHOW IN MIAMI
Audiences in Miami are getting a glimpse at another Broadway revival -- "Little Shop of Horrors" -- playing there before going to New York. The Miami Herald reports although "small in cast size," using modern-day audio-visual techniques and with the help of a dynamite cast, the 1982 musical sparkles and excites. Although "Little Shop" is thought of as being a Broadway musical, it never really made it to the big time, playing only as an off-Broadway play, even though it ran for 2,209 performances. Based on the unique 1960 low-budget movie of the same name, produced by a then-young Roger Corman, "Little Shop" was turned into a full-blown musical by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman. It has become one of the most frequently done "little theater" pieces in the English-speaking world in recent years. Now, under the direction of avant garde Scott Pask, the eight-person cast is bringing new life to the bizarre play. The project, bound for "on-Broadway," was put together at a cost of some $8 million. Hunter Foster stars, along with Tony award-nominated Alice Ripley, Lee Wilkof and Reg Rogers. By the way, the re-designed plants for the play were created by the Jim Henson Co.
COMPOSER OF 'GILLIGAN' THEME DIES
Songwriter and humorist George Wyle, who helped write the "Gilligan's Island" theme, died at his Los Angeles-area home over the weekend. Although he worked behind the scenes in the entertainment industry, anonymously cranking out tons of music, he will always be remembered for the catchy castaways' theme. Working with the show's creator, Sherwood Schwartz, Wyle brought the song from concept to recording, creating one of the most memorable themes in the history of television. There are few people, young or old, who can't sing at least part of it. He also is responsible for writing a Christmas favorite, "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year." Published reports say Wyle, 87, died of leukemia.
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 581
Today's is another food question: "Can you think of any amazing food dish you were served in a restaurant whose format or listed cuisine would seem not to favor that kind of meal?" Put UPI-FOOD in the subject line and send to email@example.com via the Internet.
RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 576 (BIOPIC)
Last week we asked about your favorite biopic movie and about the actor or actress who was picked for the starring role. From our usual random dip into the e-mail box here is what we found. Many noted that quite often the star really didn't match the "real life person" in looks, voice or sometimes nationality. CarlBest remembers Steve Allen was picked to play Benny Goodman. "It was a great movie, but Allen was Irish and Goodman was Jewish," he notes, "and they didn't look a thing like each other." AnthonyEl says he thought Alexander Knox in "Wilson" was a real winner. Several noted they liked Don Ameche's portrayal of Alexander Graham Bell, though they realized Bell was Scottish/Canadian and totally different in appearance. "The best of all time," writes PeggyR, "was Raymond Massey" as Lincoln. Good words also came in for Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison and Gary Bussey's portrayal of Buddy Holly.
TOMORROW: The longest ride. GBA