Entertainment Today: Showbiz News

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International  |  March 7, 2003 at 3:00 AM
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Former President Bill Clinton and his onetime White House opponent Bob Dole will go head to head in a series of televised debates.

The first of the 10 debates will air Sunday on CBS' "60 Minutes."

"I see this as an opportunity to try to have a really civil debate that enlightens people on the issues," Clinton told The New York Times.

Dole said he expects he and Clinton would "have some fun" while getting into the issues of the day.


One of the hottest shows in town this week was "Nothing Like A Dame," a one-night benefit featuring some of America's great leading ladies.

The star-studded revue blended dazzling musical numbers, side-splitting comedy and poignant testimonials from women in the entertainment industry who benefited from the Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative of the Actor's Fund of America.

The 8th annual event Monday featured performances by Newman, Judy Kaye, Cady Huffman, Amanda Green and "honorary dame" Harvey Fierstein, who sang "I Am What I Am." Kate Mulgrew previewed her new play "Tea at Five," in which she plays screen icon Katharine Hepburn, while Rosie Perez performed a monologue from "Vagina Monologues" and Georgia Me and Mayda del Valle of "Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam," brought down the house with their respective poems: "Full Figure Potential" and "In the Cocina." Other show-stoppers included gorgeous Bebe Neuwirth belting out the "Chicago" anthem, "All that Jazz," and the energetic "Can Can" performance by the children of David Sanders Dance Dynamics, a Long Island dance studio named DRA Studio of the Year by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Also making special appearances were Lauren Bacall, Edie Falco, Kathleen Turner, Hilary Swank, Liz Smith and members of the casts of "La Boheme," "The Producers" and "Hairspray."

The money raised Monday night, approximately $300,000, helped support The Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative, a program of The Actors' Fund, which offers services to women in the entertainment profession who face cancer, domestic violence, chemical dependency and mental health issues and who often are without health insurance.


For the third time in six years, participants in a new Harris poll chose Oprah Winfrey as their favorite TV personality.

The day-time talk show queen previously held the No. 1 spot in 1998 and 2000.

Following Winfrey in descending order of popularity are Ray Romano, David Letterman, Katie Couric, Bill O'Reilly, Jennifer Aniston, Dr. Phil McGraw, Tom Brokaw, Jay Leno and Dan Rather.

Among different demographic groups, Winfrey is No. 1 with women, people 40 years and older, Hispanics and African-Americans, while Romano is the most popular TV star among white fans.

The Harris Poll surveyed 2,201 adults nationwide online between Jan. 21-27.


Grammy-winning singer Norah Jones has agreed to perform at the Montreal Jazz Festival this summer.

She will appear July 2, a few days after musical icon Ray Charles and his big band play June 26, said organizers of the event.

Other artists confirmed for the prestigious Canadian festival include Mark Knopfler and folk-rock singer Ben Harper.

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