People talk 6/27/03

Friday, June 27, 2003

Wedding in the future for actor KevinCostner

LOS ANGELES -- Kevin Costner is dancing down the aisle again, this time with his girlfriend of four years, Christine Baumgartner.

The 48-year-old director and star of "Dances With Wolves" and Baumgartner, 29, announced their engagement Thursday.

No wedding date was set, publicist Paul Bloch said.

It's the second marriage for the actor, the first for Baumgartner.

The couple met four years ago and have been dating ever since, Bloch said, noting they both attended California State University, Fullerton -- but at different times.

Costner is promoting the film "Open Range," coming out Aug. 15, which he stars in and directed. Baumgartner is a handbag designer, Bloch said.

'The Osbournes' mom recalls son's drug abuse

NEW YORK -- Sharon Osbourne said she blamed herself for her son's alcohol and marijuana abuse.

Jack Osbourne, the 17-year-old son of Sharon and heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne, returned home after two months in rehab on June 18. He entered a Pasadena, Calif., hospital on April 23, saying he "got carried away with drugs and alcohol."

"The first thing I did was put blame on myself -- and in a way I always will," Sharon Osbourne, 50, told Us Weekly magazine for its July 14 issue. "It's a natural reaction of a mother to think, 'What could I have done differently? What could I have done wrong?' I thought I was a cutting-edge mom, and I didn't even know what was happening."

Spader joins legal lineup at ABC's 'The Practice'

NEW YORK -- James Spader is joining "The Practice."

The "sex, lies and videotape" star will play an ethically challenged lawyer next season on the ABC drama, the network said Wednesday.

After dodging cancellation to come back for an eighth season, "The Practice" is completely revamping its cast, largely to save money. Star Dylan McDermott has left, along with five other cast members.

Actress Rhona Mitra, who played the college temptress in "The Life of David Gale," also is joining the show in a role described as a "tough-as-nails" paralegal.

Bassist Phil Lesh helps Red Cross seek donors

PHILADELPHIA -- The Dead bassist Phil Lesh is out for blood.

He'll greet donors at an American Red Cross blood drive Saturday in Philadelphia.

The musician's timing couldn't be better, Red Cross officials say, because blood supplies in the region are critically low.

"All the donors who come to this particular blood drive Saturday will be as a result of Phil being there," said Red Cross Penn-Jersey Region spokeswoman Susan Sponar. "He greets all the donors and everything. He's just terrific about it."

Lesh, who had a liver transplant in 1998, devotes space on his Web site to promoting blood drives and organ donations.

Saturday's appearance will be Lesh's third blood drive in Philadelphia. He also plans to attend a drive in Denver on July 9.

Sponar said blood supplies in the Philadelphia region were at about 25 percent of need. She said hospitals could run out of blood in the case of mass casualties.

"We're on the cusp of a very dangerous situation," Sponar said. "If donors ... could help us out, it would really appreciated."

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DENVER -- More than two years after it shut down for lack of money, Up With People is back and promising a 2004 tour featuring more of its singing, dancing and do-gooding college students.

Jeff Hoag, the former president of the nonprofit organization, said the group will return on a smaller scale. He said 120 students will be accepted for the initial tour of 12 to 18 cities on three continents.

Up With People's board shuttered the organization in December 2000, dismissing 262 employees, including 66 workers at its headquarters in suburban Broomfield. At the time, the group reported a $3.2 million budget shortfall, declining donations and increasing debt and costs.

Still, Up With People officials had promised to revive the program in which young people perform musical numbers and do community service.

Hoag said tuition will be $14,500, up $300 from the rate charged in 1997. The group expects to enroll 240 students for next year's fall and spring programs, down from the 650 it once had, and will have just seven staff members in its Denver office.

"No one wants to experience the difficulties we did in December 2000," Hoag said recently. "We've been careful to develop a program that is financially viable and a leading-edge program in the world of international education."

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NEW YORK -- As Women's Wear Daily ranked Calvin Klein as fashion's most recognizable designer brand, the trade newspaper reported that Klein himself is no longer responsible for designing the women's and men's clothes that bear his name.

Company design directors Francisco Costa and Italo Zucchelli are now in charge of designing the signature collections, Klein confirmed in Monday's edition of WWD.

Klein described his new role at the company as "consulting creative director" and said his involvement in design and business strategy would be "fluid."

When Klein agreed to sell the company in December to Phillips-Van Heusen Corp., maker of men's dress shirts, in a $430 million deal, he signed a contract to serve for nine years as a consultant but he can terminate the arrangements after three years.

Klein, 60, said neither the sale of Calvin Klein Inc. nor his shrinking role had anything to do with his substance abuse problems. He acknowledged seeking treatment in April. Two weeks earlier, a disheveled-looking Klein interrupted a New York Knicks game by walking up to Latrell Sprewell as he was about to throw an inbound pass.

"I've had this problem for many years, and it has nothing to do with any of this. It is no different than it was 15 years ago. It's the same problem and the solutions are the same. I just work on that," Klein said of the timing of the professional changes and his personal treatment.

LOS ANGELES -- Miramax Films co-chairman Harvey Weinstein acquired rights to the 1955 musical "Damn Yankees," and he's made a movie deal with the executive producers of "Chicago."

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will produce the movie, Miramax said Tuesday. Weinstein had previously tapped the duo for the remake of "Guys and Dolls," but the baseball musical "Damn Yankees" will come first.

Tony Award-winning "Damn Yankees" is the story of a die-hard Washington Senators fan who sells his soul to the devil so his team can finally topple the New York Yankees and win the pennant.

"I see us updating 'Damn Yankees,' modernizing it and really having fun with the role of the devil," Weinstein said.

The original "Damn Yankees" was choreographed by Bob Fosse, who did the same with "Chicago." Rob Marshall, who directed the Oscar-winning "Chicago," choreographed the 1994 Broadway revival of "Damn Yankees."

Warner Bros. first adapted the musical to the screen in 1958 with stars Tab Hunter, Gwen Verdon and Ray Walston.

NEW YORK -- The first joint American performance of renowned tenors Marcelo Alvarez and Salvatore Licitra will be held July 19 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Central Park.

The free concert will be part of a daylong celebration that will include park tours, musical performances and recreational activities, the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and the Central Park Conservancy said recently.

The concert will replace the previously announced appearance of Andrea Bocelli, whose agents have informed the city that the concert couldn't take place.

Their album "Duetto," a collection of new songs and classical arias, was released by Sony Classical this week.

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