POLICE PROBE THEFT OF POTTER BOOKS
British police are investigating the apparent theft of a couple of first-edition copies of the soon-to-be-released fifth Harry Potter book.
Word from Ananova.com and the Sun newspaper in London is a couple of copies of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" were discovered in a field in Bungay, Suffolk, more than six weeks before the fifth installment of the popular series is set to be officially released.
The books were found a quarter-of-a-mile from Clays Ltd., a firm which will print hundreds of thousands of copies of the new book, reported the news service.
Neil Blair, from the literary agency Christopher Little, which represents author J.K. Rowling, said police were involved and the initial inquiries were concentrating on suspected theft.
Suffolk Police said they had not yet received a complaint about the books, which were found by an unnamed 40-year-old father, who alerted The Sun.
More than 195 million copies of the Harry Potter series have been sold.
ELTON, THE VAMPIRE PLAYER?
Legendary singer/composer Elton John hopes to bring Anne Rice's "The Vampire Lestat" to Broadway.
Huge fans of Rice's books, John and long-time musical collaborator Bernie Taupin have said the show would be based on three of her vampire novels: "Interview with the Vampire," "The Vampire Lestat" and "Queen of the Damned."
"Interview" was turned into a very successful 1994 film starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, while "Queen of the Damned" flopped as a movie headlined by Aaliyah shortly after her death last year.
"It will be dark, sexy and scary, but that doesn't mean it has to be cliche," Taupin promised reporters in New York Tuesday.
Although John has enjoyed huge success with the smash Broadway hits "The Lion King" and "Aida," this is Taupin's first foray onto the Great White Way. The musical is expected to open in 2005.
'GYPSY' STAR IN THE SICK BAY
Broadway diva Bernadette Peters had to bow out of Tuesday's performance of "Gypsy" due to illness.
The musical's producers said the actress, who has been battling a recurring respiratory infection, is being treated with antibiotics and has been told by her doctors to get some rest.
Peters' understudy, Maureen Moore, was expected to perform the role of stage mother Mama Rose in the performance.
NICE SURPRISE FOR 'CHEERS' FANS
"Cheers" fans were delighted to see the actors who played Diane and Cliff show up on "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter" Tuesday.
Shelley Long and John Ratzenberger played the Hennessy family's next-door neighbors, Mary Ellen and Fred Doyle.
"Johnny was absolutely on his game, as he always is," Long told TV Guide Online. "This is a terrific character for him. Very different. And I got to do something new, too. There are bits and pieces of Mary Ellen that I don't think will be familiar to people who know my work. I'm also looking a little bit different, hopefully, than you've seen me before."
It was unclear whether Long and Ratzenberger would reappear in future episodes of the ABC sit-com, which stars John Ritter and Katey Sagal.